Gold panning in France




Did you think that gold panning and searching for gold was only possible in countries like Africa? Think again! Gold panning in France is fun! And yes, you can find real, pure gold as well as gem stones. I admit, you won’t get rich. But it’s a lot of fun, especially for kids.


You can find gold and gem stones in the French rivers, such as the river Gard, Ardèche and Dordogne.  This is a really fun activity to do with children. They’ll be busy all day with their gold pans. 

I was about 14 years old when we went on an excursion ‘chercher de l’or’. My sister and I saw and advertisement on the door of the toilet block with the text: “Who wants to go looking for gold?” Of course we were over enthousiastic and ran like some crazy girls back to our caravan in the hope our parents would agree. And yes! A few days later we went into the forest with two other families to meet a French gentleman who would take care of the excursion.

He met us in his yellow raincoat and hooded boots. Of course we couldn’t speak a word of French, but luckily our company could (Belgian family), so they translated everything for us.

First we were given an explanation of where gold comes from and what you should pay attention to in order to find it. You have to look at certain colors in the rocks and also the current of the river is important.



After the explanation (it was very educational and interesting, but we wanted gold !!!) we started to work with our pans. We received a special gold pan in which ground was scooped. Then we had to put water in the pan and make rotating movements and always “throw” some sand out of the pan. Gold is in fact very heavy and will naturally lie at the bottom of the pan. After almost all the sand is gone you have a kind of black sand. This black sand is also very heavy and is an indication that gold is present. The sand is magnetic  and with a strong magnet it was removed from the pan.
Finally the pan was tilted a bit and with a little water we sprinkled away the last bit of sand and the beautiful, shiny gold appeared.




Do you think you will go gold panning in France?



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