For the RVer prospecting with a few simple hand tools and a gold pan, separating the last fine sands and gravels in the pan can be time-consuming and tedious work. It is not uncommon when working stream beds and shorelines to encounter a lot of very fine sands, and particularly heavy black sands when panning. The black sands, often magnetite and infused with other dense ferrous minerals, can be nearly as heavy as gold, and it isn’t easy to separate the gold from the sands. That’s where the Blue Bowl can be handy.
The Blue Bowl is a simple prospector tool that uses moving water to separate materials of disparate weights. You can find a video demonstration of the Blue Bowl in use here.
As you can see in the video demonstration, some prospectors go to elaborate lengths to set up the bowl using a recirculation pump to reuse the wash water. When using my Blue Bowl in camp while RVing, I do not always set up that whole system but simply level the bowl on a collection bucket and attach a city water connection. Simple.
Swirling water agitates the sand and gravel in the bowl. The result is that the materials lighter than gold, including black sands, flow up and out of the center drain. Gold (and other precious metals like platinum) will be separated and remain at the bottom of the bowl.
If you are discarding black sands from your panning out of frustration at the amount of time and effort it takes to recover fine gold, the Blue Bowl will enable you to recover gold even as fine as dust.