pan for

pan for (something)

To attempt to find mineral deposits of precious metals (especially gold) by using a pan to separate them from the sand or stones in a river- or streambed. I heard he struck it rich panning for gold in the Rocky Mountains.
See also: pan

pan for something

to search for a precious metal, usually gold, by using a pan to locate the bits of metal in sand and gravel in a stream bed. When I was in Alaska, I panned for gold in a little stream set aside for tourists. The old prospector spent many hours panning for gold.
See also: pan
References in periodicals archive ?
Beware that the dotted area of the handle (an ill-advised design feature) gets hot if you use the pan for a long time.