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Panning For Gold for Fun and Profit

Gold Nugget

You already know about the value of gold in uncertain times. Yes, the value of gold is relatively timeless and that is probably the reason you have a certain amount of your money invested in it. However, like most investors you may not have considered the possibility of actually finding the precious metal yourself. Along with investing money in gold, you should consider investing some of your time into looking for it. There are many active gold prospectors, and some are even able to make a living from it. Panning for gold is a very old way of prospecting and while hitting a major jackpot may not be likely these days, it is possible for it be rewarding in a financial sense and in other ways as well.

Benefits of Panning for Gold
Not only is it possible to make a profit from panning for gold from placer deposits, the activity can put you out in the midst of nature. In this way it bears much in common with the hobby of fishing. In both cases, seeking a particular goal allows an individual to be able to observe the natural beauty of the world around them.  This means that a prospector may be able to find value in their trip, even if a financial reward does not pan out, so to speak. That said, the value of gold is such that it is entirely possible for a prospector to find enough of the metal to make panning for gold a lucrative hobby.

The equipment that a prospector will need to pan for gold includes:

·         A water tight bottle for storing gold.
·         A magnet for removing iron particles.
·         Gold pan, preferably one made of plastic so that corrosion will not be an issue.
·         A paintbrush for getting into rock crevices for gold particles.

Where to Pan for Gold
Panning involves seeking the gold that has eroded and washed away from its mother lode by a stream. A prospector who uses this method may even be able to trace the stream of gold all the way back to its source and hit pay-dirt, which is the point of origin of their gold. It is important to note that streams may pass through miles and miles of ground where gold deposits may exist. When choosing an area in which to pan for gold, it is best to seek out an area rich in minerals. The ideal point in a stream is where its flow slows down considerably as a result of the rock formations surrounding the stream.

How to Pan for Gold
Gold is far more dense than the minerals that may surround it at the bottom of a stream. It is this density that allows it to settle at the bottom of a gold pan. The process itself is extremely simple: the prospector places a certain amount of material from the bottom of a stream into their pan, they then shake it left to right under the surface of the water, allowing the denser material to sink to the bottom and the lighter stuff to wash off. Usually, the materials at the bottom of the pan will consist of iron and be darker colored which should help to show up any gold present.

The value of gold is expected to remain stable in the long term which means that while this hobby may not be always profitable; there is always the possibility that you will find enough to make your efforts worthwhile.

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