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Best size sifting screen for gold panning? Answered

What is the best size sifting pan for general gold panning?? Im not doing fines or anything like that just panning out in the woods. I got by with a homemade one last year but if I wanted to buy just one for this season what is the best size?? Will a 1/4 inch work well?? 

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mpilchfamily
mpilchfamily

Best Answer 6 years ago

All depends on the material your working with. Use whatever size screen you need to get larger rocks out of the way so you can get at the fine sediments that will hold the gold. Be sure to wash the material through your screen so any gold stuck to the rocks wash threw to the pan able material. 1/4" seems rather large and will leave you with a lot of gravel that will be in the way of panning. Key is to wash your material through a somewhat fine screen.

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camping crazy
camping crazy

Answer 5 years ago

Thank you!! I will probably try smaller than that but what size should I try??

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mpilchfamily
mpilchfamily

Answer 5 years ago

Like i said that is up to you based on the material your wanting to sift. Anything that is large enough to not easily wash out of the pan is the size you want to remove with the screen.

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camping crazy
camping crazy

Answer 5 years ago

Alright... Thank you for the help!! I think Ill give 1/8 a shot but we have really fine to really rocky material around this area so Ill probably buy three sifters throughout the season. Wish this stuff wasnt so damn expensive

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CloudRayne
CloudRayne

10 months ago

It also depends on what is more common in your area, in the southeast usa, the gold here is flour fine, so you can go down to 1/16 inch and not really loose anything. But if you are panning for volume good luck. It's much easier with a highbanker.

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iceng
iceng

6 years ago

I would leave my house and move to the end of the world for 1/4" gold nuggets !

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minador
minador

Reply 10 months ago

come to Southern Arizona, though Alaska or Australia would be a better choice :)

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camping crazy
camping crazy

Answer 5 years ago

Hahaha true enough!! Any recommendations for a size??

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minador
minador

10 months ago

The key good recovery is classification. Gold is much heavier than the typical minerals it occurs with. So if your material is the same size as the gold, you will easily wash the lighter stuff away while keeping the gold. But if your gold is small and your material is large, the larger material can force out some of the gold. So you need to classify the material down.

We generally screen everything to 1/4" (4 mesh, 4 holes per inch). It's a good compromise between good recovery and the time it takes to screen material down to a small size.

This is especially true when sluicing material. A good sluice will be able to handle 1/4" without losing fine gold. If you are hand panning, and most of your gold is rather small, screen to 1/8".

With a metal detector, you can screen the oversize and easily find a larger piece of gold. I know a prospector who has recently found 8 nuggets in his oversize with a White's 24k. We don't go prospecting as much as him, but most of the nuggets we have detected have been located in screen piles. Gold is often covered with clay and dirt, and inspecting the screen by eye usually doesn't reveal a nugget. You can't fool a detector.

If you can only afford 1 sieve, get a 4 mesh (1/4 inch). It will handle larger rock and will last you many years.

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camping crazy
camping crazy

Answer 5 years ago

Ill read through some of those!! Thanks!!

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rickharris
rickharris

6 years ago

AFAIK you use a solid pan, not a seive, much like a shallow pie dish or a small wok. Swirling the sediment round until the gold settles to the bottom.

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camping crazy
camping crazy

Answer 5 years ago

You use a sieve to classify material down into a more pannable size and to pick out big nuggets.