Floating Gold

Colorado has an abundance of fine flour gold and this tutorial will help you keep all of it in your gold pan!

You always hear people saying that you should add jet-dri or some de-greasing agent/soap to your pan when you are doing your cleanups or working with your concentrates.  I know some people that don’t believe gold will float………but here I have a nice example of a floating piece of 20-25 mesh gold.

Surface tension is a property of the surface of a liquid that allows it to resist an external force.  It is revealed, for example, in floating of some objects on the surface of water, even though they are denser than water.   The surface of the water behaves like an elastic film and is strengthened by the addition of oils.
A surfactant, in this case jet-dri or dish soap breaks up the bonds between the oils in the water and decreases the natural surface tension of the water by 3 times.

So when doing clean ups, add 1-3 drops of jet-dri or soap to your pan to minimize surface tension and floating gold.   Too much soap can also be bad…..if the water you are panning in is all bubbly/sudsy, small gold can attach to the bubbles surface and float out of your pan.