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 Post subject: Photos Of Gold When Discovered?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:14 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:51 pm
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Jim, do you or anyone else have any Photos of what gold looks like out in the field when it's first discovered? It is my understanding that it doesn't really look like the shiny stuff that everyone thinks of when they think gold. Heck, for all I know I could be stepping on it and never know it.


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 Post subject: Re: Photos Of Gold When Discovered?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:27 pm 
Greg,

There are only Two exceptions I know of where real gold does not look like gold. One is Black Hills Gold, that comes from the Black Hills of South Dakota. Which is often less than 10K Pure but is still referred to as gold. (Don't ask me why)

The other is Peg leg's gold which was supposed to be covered with some kind of black desert varnish. If you scrape the varnish off, it is gold in color underneath it.

The only way way gold can be any other color than gold, is if it is alloyed with other metals. In order to be considered as gold, it needs to be at least 10K pure. If it is that pure, it will look like the gold you see in 10K jewelery. If it is less pure, it is not considered to be gold until the impurities are removed.

Most gold found in Arizona is 18-20K in purity, whether it comes from a Hard Rock Vein or panned out of a wash as Placer.

EXAMPLES:

24K Gold = 100% Pure Gold
12K Gold = 50% Pure Gold
10K Gold is Less than 50% Pure Gold but is still gold in color.

I am including a photo below of some placer gold panned out of a wash here in Arizona. What you see in the photo is exactly like it was found. It has not even been cleaned.


Image


Here is a photo of what gold looks like in quartz.

Image

Now, Here's the catch. It is often said (and rightfully so) that it takes a trained eye to tell real Real Gold from Fool's Gold. With the exceptions above. Real Gold ALWAYS looks like gold. The problem is that there are other things that can look like gold to the untrained eye. ie: Iron Pyrite and Mica Pyrite (both aka; Fool's Gold) fool a lot of people.

Hope that answers your question,

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Photos Of Gold When Discovered?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:44 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:35 pm
Posts: 880
You asked: Gold always looks like gold in it's natural state when found, nuggets, veins, or in a matrix (like quartz).

There are exceptions to this: The gold Linda and I just found near La Guirta Station was left over from a process called amalgamation. This is where the finders use mercury to extract the gold from the matrix it was found in. In this state it still had mercury on the gold and looked like lead. When using a metal detector to find gold you'll run into HOT ROCKS which will read like gold but are not and are usually black and you'll find a lot of lead from bullets, and shotgun pellets. These won't look like pellets from a gun because of them being carried down a wash and being beat up. The following photo is gold (look at where we scraped it). It still has mercury on it:

Image

If you find gold nuggets in the ground here in the desert they will probably look like this. Almost as shiny as your jewelry but not quite the high polish the jeweler put on it:

Image

This is why the gold coins they find on ship wrecks still look like the day they were minted. Some exceptions here also; they could have laid next to an iron bar that discolored them, but is easy to clean to like new condition.

What Jim said about iron pyrite is correct it is called fools gold. It is however easy to tell the difference. If you take a knife and scrap the suspected mineral here's what happens. If it's gold you'll scrape it and see it'll look gold like the example above of the mercury coated gold. If it's pyrite -- when you scrape it it will flake away in pieces and you'll know immediately that it's not gold. Pyrite is almost always very shiny too; almost reflective.

Now there is one other thing that will throw you off when looking for gold or a seam in a rock. Look at this example:

Image

The above looks to be a vein of gold running thru the rock. It's not! It's chalcopyrite (probably spelled wrong) and it sometimes looks exactly like a vein of gold in a host rock; this is a good example of that.

Also the Pegleg gold that's written up here like Jim said had a black coating on it. It was manganese. And it will hide the gold and probably would get thrown down as a hot rock. It would be called a Leaverrite rock -- as in Leave her rite were you found it!

Hope this helps, it's from 16 years of dredging in Ca. and prospecting off and on for another 6 years in AZ.

Don...


Last edited by Desert Cruiser on Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Photos Of Gold When Discovered?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:21 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:35 pm
Posts: 880
One other thing you want to look out for when prospecting. Is the gold all rounded or is it course? Sometimes it'll even have some of the quartz matrix still attached. So what that tells you is if your near the source. The vein or pocket could be really close if it's course gold.

Don....


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 Post subject: Re: Photos Of Gold When Discovered?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:37 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:51 pm
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Thanks Jim and Don, that answered my question. I hope others found this interesting as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Photos Of Gold When Discovered?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:49 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:35 pm
Posts: 880
For others: There are quite a few different kinds of gold to be found out there: For those that need to know.

Fine Gold: This can be so fine that the wind will blow it away. It's probably accounts for the majority of the gold produced in the world today. Big mining companies can refine it with acid and then pour bars. You may not ever be able to see the gold in the ground where it comes from because it's so fine. Miners used acid to get the fines, but very often they didn't bother with it because at $35 an ounce or less it wasn't worth messing with. Many miners died breathing the fumes from the acid. It's deadly, I've used it many times.

Nuggets: Everyone wants nuggets, and they're still out there. They are the product of tumbling down washes, creeks, and rivers and being pounded into a smooth rounded appearance. Some nuggets (one in Angels Camp, Ca.) can wiegh almost a half ton.

Course Gold: This is usually associated with hard rock mining or the product of it. If it's very course; then where it's been found is probably very close to it's source. It's often found in it's matrix like the sample posted above by Jim.

Wire Gold: This is fairly rare, and is often seen in it's matrix. Miners and jewelers will often use acid to eat away the matrix (which is most likely quartz) to expose the wire gold. It looks exactly like it sounds. Sometimes almost like spider webs.

Crystalline Gold: The rarest form of gold. Years ago we had 3 really nice specimens of it. It came from a mine in Placerville, Ca. and was highgraded (stolen) from the mine by one of the miners. He died and I was lucky enough to meet his wife and bought the samples from her. The one's I owned had crytals 1/2 inch thick and some of them were over 1 inch tall. Each cluster of them weighed in at 2 ounces. We sold them. They are very rare and quite beautiful.

Hope this helpful to anyone just getting into the prospecting game.

Don...


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 Post subject: Re: Photos Of Gold When Discovered?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 4:19 am 

Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:42 am
Posts: 83
Great topic-highly informative. Now to just find something that looks like that.......!


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 Post subject: Re: Photos Of Gold When Discovered?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:36 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:35 pm
Posts: 880
roward: Good luck, that's about 50% of it (luck). But the rest is fun! And I should have put this in for anyone else reading this. About the Crystalline Gold: I did a search on the internet for it and what I came up with was a rip-off. Be careful. The sample Jim posted here above of the gold in the quarts? Well what this people have done is to acid bath a sample like that till all the quarts is gone and then call it Crystalline Gold. It's not, so be careful. It looks like crystals.

Don....


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 Post subject: Re: Photos Of Gold When Discovered?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:33 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:40 pm
Posts: 1
Concerning Greg's post:

"There are only Two exceptions I know of where real gold does not look like gold. One is Black Hills Gold, that comes from the Black Hills of South Dakota. Which is often less than 10K Pure but is still referred to as gold. (Don't ask me why)"

Black Hills Gold looks like any other yellow gold. Originally, the reason it was called Black Hills Gold is simply that it was mined in the Black Hills area of western South Dakota. The Black Hills were referred to as such because their higher elevation made the forests look black from the eastern plains. Out of the 1870's gold rush there came a style of jewelry featuring grapes and leaves, actually pink leaves and green leaves made by alloying copper and silver with 12K gold.

Modern Black Hills Gold jewelry is made with regular gold, mostly 10K (with 12K leaves) because of its better wear charcteristics. But it looks just like any other gold, except for the alloyed 12K leaves. For jewelry to be called Black Hills Gold, it must be made in the Black Hills, but the gold needn't be mined there.

For a great description and excellent video of the jewelry-making process, visit Black Hills Gold Jewelry blog.


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 Post subject: Re: Photos Of Gold When Discovered?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:00 pm 
Thanks Mamato, Very informative post.
Looks like I stand corrected on the issue of Black hills Gold. :oops:

Jim Hatt


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