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How to Pan for Gold in Arizona

Updated on May 2, 2011

Prospecting is a hobby to some and a source of income for others.  As of early 2011, gold was selling at $1500 an ounce.  As gold prices continue to rise, more people are learning how to gold pan.  Most prospectors don't get rich in Northern Arizona but gold can be found in small amounts of glitter and larger nuggets.

Contact the Bureau of Land Management or the United States Geological Survey.  Obtain maps of documented gold-producing areas in Northern Arizona.  Search for gold-producing locations.

Join a local gold panning club.  Ask for guidance on how to pan, the best locations and the proper equipment to purchase.

Pan for gold.  Immerse the pan in water.  Shake the pan side to side.  Lift the pan out of the water.  Tilt the pan back and forth in the water allowing the water to wash over the pan like a wave.  The water will wash the dirt or lighter material out of the pan.  The gold will sink to the bottom of the pan.

Clean the gold.  Pan down to the gold.  Use a snuffer bottle, a plastic bottle with a tube on the end, to suck the gold out of the pan.  Transfer the gold from the snuffer bottle to a clear glass or plastic vial.


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