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GOLD PAN FEATURES IN GENERAL
There are a wide variety of gold pans available in our catalog and they all
have advantages and disadvantages that you should consider in choosing
a gold pan.
The size of the gold pan is important and there are several dimensions that
you should consider. In the above illustration the top diameter of the pan is
referenced as (A). This gives you an idea of the overall size of the pan and
they are available from 6 inches to 16 inches in width. A larger pan has the advantage of
holding more material and therefore allowing more production. A large pan full of material is
heavy and can be tiresome. A small pan is handy as a finishing pan to complete the final
separation of gold from black sand concentrates. A smaller pan is also easier to use when you
are not panning in a stream or lake where you have lots of water and room.
Dimension (B) represents the depth of the pan which is also a good indication of how much
material it will handle without overloading it.
Dimension (C) represents the size of a straight drop between the sloped edge of the pan and the
bottom. The size of this drop varies and some pans do not have this feature at all. This drop
creates an extra riffle at the bottom of the pan. Some experienced panners use this riffle as the
first and best chance to capture their gold. Dimension (D) represents the size of the bottom of
the pan. A large bottom relative to the overall size of the pan is handy when you get to the
point of separating the gold from the last black sand.
TYPE OF PAN MATERIAL
Gold pans can be made out of plastic, steel, or copper. The most common pans are made of
plastic which is light, can be made with deep riffles and do not rust. Steel pans are heavier,
usually have small riffles, if any, and are subject to rust. Many old timers prefer the smooth
sides of the steel pan. Copper pans are made specially for using with mercury or for presentation
COLOR OF THE PAN
Plastic pans are available in several colors. The most common color is black which makes gold
easily visible but tends to mask black sand. Blue and green pans are popular and make the gold
and black sand easily visible.
PRETREATMENT OF NEW GOLD PANS
New plastic pans are coated with a mold release material in the manufacturing process that will
cause the pan to work ineffectively at first because the mold release compounds are lubricants
and will cause water to bead up. This will be eliminated after the pan is used for awhile. The
process can be speeded up by thoroughly cleaning the pan with a good degreasing detergent.
Sometimes steel wool helps. Be careful not to scratch the surface of the pan too much.
New steel pans usually are impregnated with oil from the spinning process used to
manufacture them. This oil can easily be removed by heating a new steel pan on your
stove top burner or with a propane torch until it is very hot. The heating will quickly
burn away any oil residue but will create a little smoke. If you want a nice blued
finish on the pan you can pick it up with a pair of pliers, while it is still hot, and drop
it into cold water. Be careful you don’t burn yourself. If you do not want to use the
heat process you can follow the same instructions provided above for plastic pans.