Ways to Extract Gold from Paydirt

A collection of small rocks in a gold pan

Sometimes, panning for gold has been much more popular than traditionally mining it in large amounts. Why? Well because of how relatively easy and inexpensive it is to do so. There are a few different ways to extract gold from paydirt, both of which can be followed whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced.

Very little equipment is required too, making it very accessible to people of all ages, and with the right patience and mindset, you may start to see flakes. Plus, the Earth’s supply of gold is seemingly inexhaustible.

Finding a Stream

To begin, you need to pick the right stream in order to find the gold. You can either go to public streams in which you would often see others panning or if it is in a private location make sure you get permission from the owner otherwise you will be trespassing.

Irwin’s Paydirt often suggests going for streams that other people seem to frequent, or around places that have some gold mines.

Typical Panning

Start by getting your pan and filling it with gravel, roughly three-quarters full. Then, you want to submerge the pan in some water. At the river, sink it around the water just slightly and shake the pan around from side to side. Do not do this too roughly because you may end up losing some material.

Next, you need to slow down the rapid shakes and begin to swirl around in a clockwise and anticlockwise direction. Make sure with this you have a reasonable amount of the pan in the water, more so than when you first submerged it.

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Afterward, start picking out large rocks with your hand. This should be very easy and is just a way to get out the most unnecessary chunks. Now fully submerge the pan in the water, which will filter out light gravel and sand. Swirl this around extra carefully and repeat a few more times.

Eventually, you will need to keep repeating this process, submerging to filter out the finer matter until you eventually start to notice the gold. Be patient though.

Hose Method

Start by getting a clear glass container, try to get something in a cylindrical shape that is about 12 inches tall and 4 inches in diameter. Then add about a quarter of a cup of “Jetdry” – this makes the tiny little bits of gold not float around. Connect a hose to water and fill up the container that has the paydirt in it. This will then lift out all the muck from the container, making the gold easier to find a sink low.


Extracting gold from paydirt is a task that can be done in a couple of ways, and is relatively straightforward. The price to pay with this though is the fact it is often very rare to come across gold.

For those who are looking for more fun and hands-on approach, maybe go with traditional gold panning; you get to hang around rivers and be in the great outdoors. If you want a more scientific approach that focuses on extracting gold in a quicker manner, then consider the hose method. Either way, you choose, the excitement of seeing the bright gold is going to be the same.

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Read more: Investing in Gold: Is it Still Cost-effective?

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