for Gold

A Beginners Guide

6th September 2022

When you stay with Highland Holidays, you’re never far from the action. Our Tyndrum Holiday Park is nestled within stunning Scottish scenery – in an area famous for its ancient mountains, vast lochs, whisky, and wildlife!

With part of our local area being developed into Scotland’s only gold mine, experts suggest that there may be more untapped reserves of gold waiting to be discovered. Visitors have the chance to try their luck panning for gold in the river running through our park, and from the nearby mountains. Keep the family entertained without having to stray far from the comfort of your caravan – enjoy going gold-prospecting from the river just a few steps away from your caravan or pod doorstep!

Step by step guide:

  1. Using a small spade or trowel, fill your gold pan half full of sediment (gravel, pebbles) from the riverbed. You can also use a classifier, which is a type of sieve that allows you to filter out larger pieces of debris, and sits on top of the pan.
  2. Now submerge your gold pan completely under water, and break up any large clumps of dirt or clay using your hands. Remove any floating vegetation and large pieces of rock. If you are using a classifier, this should remove them for you and all you then have to do is remove the classifier from the pan, discarding the debris!
  3. Lift the pan above the water and swirl the contents so that it moves like a liquid. Be sure to use plenty of water in the pan, and either shake from side to side or use a vigorous circular motion.
  4. Then, while still moving the pan around or side to side, lower it back into the river so that the sediment is just below the surface of the water. Make sure your pan is slightly tilted forward, with the ridges (“riffles”) facing forwards. Swirl the contents round and round, up and down, and back and forth to create a strong movement of water. The water should flow over the sides of the pan with all the lightest material flowing out with it – gold is heavier, so will remain in the pan. The trick is to ensure that the sediment comes out gradually over the edge of the pan, while ensuring there is enough turbulence to “lift” the lighter material. Repeat this step at least four times, and every time you have finished, refill the pan with water.
  5. At this stage, you should have about a cup full of sediment left in the pan. Repeat step 4, but this time, you should ideally use a second gold pan, which is placed underneath the first, to catch the material washing out of the pan. This is because when you get down to smaller amounts of material, there is a chance some gold could escape. The second pan acts as your safety net, and any material collected can then be put to one side to be included in the next batch of sediment.
  6. The remaining sediment is likely to contain black sands, which tend to be heavier than other sediments and are hard to get rid of. To remove these, shake the sieve slightly while sieving. The shaking needs to create vibration. This is the key to this stage. Vibrations are better than vigorously swirling the sediment around, because you want the sand to jump up the riddles. Once this is removed, the gold is at a much lower risk of being accidently discarded, as it can no longer stick onto the grains of sand!
  7. Repeat steps 2 to 5 as many times as needed, so that you end up with just a tablespoon of material. Add one cup of water to the pan and tilt the pan gently back so the material is on the higher side, and then gently shake and swirl the material in the bottom of the pan to space it out. At this point, you should be able to see most of gold! For the smaller gold fragments and flakes, move the pan around, tapping the sides to shake around the sediment.
  8. Finally, you can use either tweezers or a large wide pipette to remove the gold flakes. You can also use a sniffer bottle to squeeze and suck them up followed by a little additional water, and place the flakes into a vial. The perfect keepsake souvenir from your holiday!

Why not pop into our onsite shop and get yourself kitted out with all the necessary tools for your gold-prospecting? With the Cononish gold and silver mine nestled in the hills behind Tyndrum – you never know what you might find!

Gold Panning Equipment

Starter Pack
A special kit containing Two x 14″ Estwing Gold Pans, a classifier (special sieve for removing larger fragments and breaking down silt/clay lumps), a magnifying loupe for looking at the gold, tweezers, a stainless-steel digging trowel, and two vials for storing your gold! The set also includes a simple guide to gold panning.

Single Pans
High quality strong plastic from Estwing, perfect for gold panning. These gold pans are in Black, with creases for separation and ridges for catching different size gold particles. Our pans come in a variety of sizes from 10″ to 16.

Why not book your next adventure at Tyndrum Holiday Park, the perfect spot for gold panning!