For most prospectors, the most essential tool is the gold pan. Every year, somebody is designing a new pan with a new color, new riffle design, or even entirely new shapes. I must admit, that I have quite a collection mounting. At the end of the day, I've found that I have 3 go to pans that I use over and over. To be honest, one pan isn't always enough. You may want a larger pan with big riffles to quickly test a spot. Some pans have large bottoms others have small. A lot of miners like to have a smaller pan for clean-up. Here are my 3 favorites:
|15" Garret Super Sluice|
This was one of my first pans and I used it to teach myself how to pan. The HUGE bottom makes it easy to backwash and rinse back the black sands. The super deep riffles help keep more of the gold when your washing out material. The biggest downside is the fact is it's a very durable and heavy pan, so if your wrists get tired easily, you may have to take frequent breaks. Lol. Still number #1 pan that can be used for just about any purpose.
|Copper 10" Pan|
Authentic, spun copper gold pan. These pans are made from solid copper sheet right here in the USA. 10" diameter, heavy duty solid spun copper gold pan. Beautiful decorative piece, add some engraving for a handsome award or trophy or go panning for gold. This is real copper and will patina with time, about as authentic as it gets. The inside bottom diameter is just over 5.5" and the pan is roughly 1.75" deep.
After a couple of years panning experience and testing many other different pans, I decided to buy a real metal pan out of nostalgia. The first thing I had to was remove the manufacturing grease coating the pan with a good detergent. After that I decided to age the pan, using vinegar water. It turned out a beautiful beige/brown color. One thing you will notice is this pan does not contain any riffles. It's definitely for advanced panners, who are sure of their skills. As a general rule, you have to go slower, and wash out less material between steps. But, I tell you, there is nothing like holding a quality metal pan. The weight and balance is perfect. Now, to be honest, this is not a pan you would normally take out to pan a creek (unless it's all you have). But, I find it perfect for sitting down and doing my clean-ups, or just relaxing on a beautiful day panning out a bag of paydirt.
|10" Black Turbo Pan|
I was skeptical, I admit it. I also have the LARGE version, which I like as well. But this pan is amazing, fast, and gets the gold. Besides the copper pan for nostalgia, this is by far my favorite clean-up pan. It's super light weight, holds plenty of material, and the deep center concentrates and keeps the gold in the pan.