Gold Panning & Prospecting

Is that paydirt in this gold pan? Who knows... experience the thrill of discovery in prospecting!, Image Credit: AFMS

(See more about this image below)

Gold has been highly valued throughout human history as a precious metal. This unit will teach you why. You can learn about gold as a mineral, its uses and history, and even how to become a prospector to find a gold flake or nugget of your own.

In addition to gold, search for other valuables! Modern-day prospectors use metal detectors to find not just gold but also coins, artifacts, and other metal objects.

Badge 12 - Gold Panning and Prospecting.pdf

Although exploring the world of gold can be a great part of this badge, note that it can be completed without procuring actual gold panning supplies and equipment. Check it out.

With good organization, this badge might be completed in one 60-90 minute session, or more sessions if planned with a field trip.

<--Click on upper right to open the manual page and see the Requirement options (Activities) offered.

Once opened, you will see the option to print or download this section on your screen.


The materials below illustrate how some leaders taught this badge, using 3-4 requirements they chose for their groups. See the Badge manual for other requirement activities you may like better.

About the image on this page

Gold panning hasn't changed much since those early Gold Rush days. The special pan swirls gravel from the stream, letting the lighter rocks wash over the edge. Gold has such a high density - specific gravity of 19.2 - that even small particles sink to the bottom of the pan and remain after the other material is gone. For comparison, the quartz in this pan has a specific gravity of 2.5-2.8. Granite about the same, and even heavy Galena (a Lead ore) is only 7.6.

Image Credit: AFMS