Here's me regretfully admitting that the little flakes and bits I have found so fare are (with a 99% probability) no gold. I have been fooled. What brings me to this conclusion are several things, which you always hear, but which I as a rookie panner still never quite believed. But I am wiser now:
- Real gold is heavy. That means, it stays at the back of the pan, when you wash the black sand away. It maybe moves just ever so slightly, but it is significantly heavier than all the sand - and it behaves like it, too. You find it at the back of the pan near the rim. If you have to pick it out between corns of sand from a pile of stuff in the middle of the pan, it isn't gold.
- Gold ist a golden yellow colour. If you have a bigger piece, you can see a subtle, shimmer to all that yellowness... but if it glitters and sparkles and changes its colour in the light, then throw it away. It is just useless mica flocks.
Above, you can see a "fake" piece of gold. Note the different colours, the flimsy, thin appearance and the texture. Also, it did float around in my pan and not stay put. I did poke a hole into it to prove that it is soft enough and that it is gold, but fact is, that a thin piece of glimmery mica, will also take a pinch without breaking. If it was gold, it would be quite awesome, as it is 5mm and got me really excited, but alas, false alarm.