From UO Evolution
Gold panning is a unique system to earn gold.
In order to create gold pans, you need to have sufficient training in Tinkering, Fishing, and Begging. (Hey, you’re bargaining with fish for gold!) You can also purchase gold pans from other players and vendors.
High Fishing skill and Luck are recommended for best results.
To use a gold pan, go to any shallow water (For some reason even puddles work!) double-click the gold pan in your pack, and then target the water. There will be a short delay and then the gold pan in your pack will become “filled”, then double click the filled gold pan to retrieve the contents. You will get small, medium or large nuggets, as well as a chance at soggy boots, large gems (e.g Perfect Emerald) Messages in a Bottle, and even Crystalline Blackrock.
The nuggets can be sold for GOLD at the Nugget Trader on the docks in Britain.