On the trail of the precious metal
Panning for gold in Alb – courses are offered for this. Who is coming, what are the expectations of the people, what do the gold panthers find? We ask.
A gold rush? In any case, at the end of the summer holidays, not only children but also adults were drawn to Bad Herrenalb to “pan for gold in the Alb”. They tried their luck on the outskirts of the city of seven valleys as eager gold diggers.
“This is a subject that has interested me for a long time,” says Andreas Holstein from Sindelfingen, who traveled an hour to attend Michael Leopold’s “Gold Panning Course”. Even the name Gold rings in the ears.
Together with the approximately 20 present, Holstein listens devoutly to the explanations of the Durlach geologist, who knows how to tell about fairy tales and legends as well as the origin of the rare precious metal in the Alps.
Gold in Bad Herrenalb comes from the Alps
“We don’t actually wash Black Forest gold here, but Rhine gold,” explains Leopold. He explains that the gold comes from the Alps. The precious metal, which is washed into the rivers by rain and ground into small plates between sand and gravel, has been deposited in the Rhine Valley for centuries.
“Paths are graveled with rhingus, and banks of gravel were also dipped into the Alb,” says Leopold, who explains: “The Alb has about two grams of gold per ton of water.” Together with his son Linus, he provides the necessary equipment for the amateur prospector.
“Paning for gold is density fractionation,” explains the twenty-year-old, who pushes a wooden sluice into the Jura and demonstrates how the river current washes away the accumulated material.
With the triad of shovels, digging up and rinsing, the gold diggers, equipped with rubber boots, then go to work in the Alb river bed. Jonas from Ettlingen is there with his grandfather Hans Joachim Prinz and has already chosen a suitable place to carefully separate the rough from the fine on the lock.
We read about it in BNN and just managed to get the last two places.
Heike Bukowski on the “Gold Panning Course”
The remaining material goes into the wash pan. “The gold glitter can be seen with the naked eye,” reports Julius (10) from Schluttenbach, sitting in the meadow with his brother Mattis (8) and his mother Heike, looking for glittering gold particles between the grooves of the sink. forehead.
“We read about it in BNN and just got the last two spots,” says Heike Bukowski, who sucks up a piece of gold glitter with a pipette and mixes it with water and sand particles in Mattis’s test tube. “You need a lot of patience, but despite wet feet, the hunt for the precious metal is a lot of fun.”
So far, two hours have passed and Johannes Lang from Balingen, who uses the course as a subject teacher during the summer holidays, is also enjoying the gold-digging atmosphere. “I’ll stay as long as I can, but I don’t think you can weigh what you’ve gathered.”
At this statement, a smile crosses the face of Michael Leopold, who is happy to confirm that a successful goldsmith can take home ten to fifteen gold glitter, but a scoop of ice cream requires about 200 gold glitter.
Panning for gold leaves a lasting memory. What remains is the joy of looking for gold and the experience that it involves a lot of work.
Dates and course registration