Getting down to business. You can catch all kinds of rocks, trash, and coarse sand, but you're only interested in one thing. Getting your gold all comes down to the way you move your pan in the water. Move slow and steady, keeping your eyes on the inside of your pan watching for gold. Gold isn't easy to spot in some locations. The color of gold changes from region to region. In the Piedmont, it's not as brilliant as one would hope and it can be mistaken for mica or even mud.