In the early days of Nova Scotian gold mining, prospectors used simple, labor intensive methods to search for gold. Gold panning was the most common technique used to search for placer gold deposits and with gold-bearing quartz vein deposits that were at or near the surface of the earth, or along shallow trenches dug with shovels, picks, and crowbars.

A gold pan looks like a big shallow bowl. Panning for gold uses water and gravity to separate gold flakes or nuggets from sand, gravel and soil. Prospectors shovel some gravel into the bottom of the pan and then swirl it around with some water until all of the lighter material is washed away and the gold, if there is any, is left in the bottom of the pan.

In Nova Scotia today there are a number of prospectors returning to the simple technology of the gold pan to try to strike it rich.
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Dian Day, Susan Sellers, Rita Wilson
1860 - 2013
Nova Scotia, CANADA
© 2013, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. All Rights Reserved.

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