Do You Have What it Takes ... Panning for Gold

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

As gold prices continue to rise, so does the excitement of panning for gold. While it's not the best get-rich-quick scheme, getting your hands dirty in Alaska's streams can provide hours of family fun -- if you're the patient type. Take this quiz to see if you have what it takes.

During what decade was gold first found in Alaska?

The first sign of gold was found in Sitka in 1872, and the first big strike was in Juneau in 1880.

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How can you tell fool's gold from regular gold?

Pyrite, aka fool's gold, has many physical similarities to gold, but it's much harder and a good bit smellier.

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What are the two types of gold deposits?

Getting at gold deposits involves streams and tunneling, but the deposits are called lode and placer deposits. Lode deposits involve hard rock mining underground, and placer deposits are mined on the surface in rivers and streams.

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True or false: Gold is one of the softest metals.

Gold is one of the softest, most malleable metals. It can be hammered into a sheet so thin you can see light through it.

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In what form is naturally occurring gold pulled from the earth?

Gold from the ground is rarely more than 90 percent pure and is usually mixed with silver, copper and other metals.

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True or false: There is no more gold left in Alaska.

Mining and panning for gold are still part of the Alaska experience, though more gold pans are sold as souvenirs than for actual use.

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What is the main danger in panning for gold in Alaska?

The extreme weather conditions in Alaska took many lives during the gold rush.

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What kind of mining technique was outlawed in 1884?

Because it took such a toll on the local ecosystem, hydraulic mining was outlawed in 1884. With this technique, pressurized blasts of water eroded the sides of mountains to expose gold.

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How much gold is in the largest Alaskan gold lode?

More than 30 million ounces of Alaskan gold was found in a lode near Donlin Creek, 235 miles (378 kilometers) from Anchorage.

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True or false: The largest gold nugget was found in Alaska.

The record gold nugget wasn't found in Alaska, but in California in 1854. It weighed 195 pounds (90 kilograms) and was valued at $43,534 in the currency of the day.

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