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02:30:22 Fri
Jan 6 2012

1 posts
bucket of gold???


I'm new to the forum and really had a question.

I recently dug a large hole for a 150' tall cell tower foundation on my brother-in-laws proprety. As I was digging, I found a clay/ rock shelf with several deposits of a sparkly gold colored material intermixed with the clay siting on top of rock.

With the discovery gold rush show going on, I got excited.

How can I tell if its gold, and how can I seperate it from the clay? It is small flecks- but ALOT of them. The larger ones are thin and are soft but are for sure a metal of some kind as I could bend them.

Any help would be much appreciated!

06:40:37 Fri
Jan 6 2012

1384 posts

Re: bucket of gold???

Well, Mung, welcome! :welcome:

You have done all the right things so far. One question we always have to ask is what area did you find this mysterious metal? No specifics, but rather a general location. In the US? Western Canada? Maybe even a state or province?

We have a world wide 'population' here and sometimes we forget that.

Pictures are always a good thing to share when trying to puzzle out a mystery like this.

Physical properties are a necessity, too. You mentioned bending of the metal - that's great! If you take a single bit of the mystery metal and put it on a hard surface and hit it with a hammer does it flatten out a lot? Holding a flat flake in the flame of a cigarette lighter - does it melt?

One "trick" is to use the knowledge of another miner. If you live in the US there are many local mining clubs that you could visit and learn from. Identifying Gold is rather easy if you have learned what to look for.

Keep us 'up' on what you have found out.


Wiser Mining Through Endless Personal Mistakes
09:11:13 Fri
Jan 6 2012

15 posts

Re: bucket of gold???

The gold-seeker's handbook

This PDF book holds some great information. If you want to down load the book click the below link then click the PDF indicator to download. Cheers 

The gold-seeker's handbook intended to be used in the detection of gold, silver, copper, and other metals found in the Dominion of Canada, United States, and British Columbia, so simplified as to be understood by any man of ordinary capacity.



This little work does not claim to rank high as a scientific production. It is indebted for its origin to the recent discoveries of various minerals, and especially gold, in different parts of the Dominion of Canada, now added to the splendid developments of California and British Columbia, and is intended chiefly for the use of those not deeply read in the lore of our colleges. But whilst it shall be the constant aim of the author to state all facts in the plainest admissible terms, yet he trusts that he will not be suspected of a desire to ignore or despise the learning of the scientific. Far from this; inasmuch as it is said that " simplicity is the perfection of art." He hopes that this unpretending work will be found to be based upon true science, although clothed in a plain and simple garb. 
Whilst it is the design of the author to furnish to the public a safe and reliable guide as to the searching for, and detection of, minerals, he does not profess to establish any new theories. His only merit, if such there be, consists in presenting in a cheap and accessible there be, consists in presenting in a cheap and accessible form what otherwise could only be got from books of much cost and deep research. 
It is by no means the intention of this work to supersede the labours of the analytical chemist, whose researches often call for an amount of scientific training, as well as of manual dexterity and costly apparatus, much exceeding the means of those for whom this work is intended. It is hoped, however, that through its means the public will be able to form a tolerably correct idea as to the prevalence, in paying quantities, of valuable metals in certain localities, so that, should they be doomed in some cases to disappointment as regards a " golden future," they may, at least, be spared the unavailing sacrifice of valuable time and means ; whilst those to whom the prospects seem brighter may be encouraged to persevere in more extended and complete examinations. 
Should this work be the means either of aiding in the development of our hidden mineral wealth, or of preserving unsuspecting men from certain ruin, through a want of knowledge in searching for mineral treasure, the object of the author, as well as of the Publisher, will have been amply attained. 



16:07:22 Fri
Jan 6 2012

163 posts
Re: bucket of gold???

It could even be mica. Pan the material out and if it is gold the higher specific gravity should make it obvious.

18:35:21 Fri
Jan 6 2012

879 posts
Re: bucket of gold???

I agree with all the above replies. Like Aumbre suggested, I also would pan the material out to see what you end up with. It will help to separate out the clay if you crumble the material in your fingers as you pan.
If it is gold, then one characteristic is it is highly conductive electrically. You could take one of the larger flakes, put test leads on either side of it, and see if it conducts when you have your multi-tester set on ohms. The reading will be VERY low, like less than one ohm.
Also, take another piece, set it on an anvil, and hammer it. Gold will just smash flat without shattering or breaking apart. Many look-alikes, like fools gold, will shatter apart to little pieces.
Of course, there are many other tests, but these two are fairly simple and a good place to start.

Good luck!

22:44:07 Fri
Jan 6 2012

1433 posts
Re: bucket of gold???

Mung stated he could bend the small flakes.He didn't say how far,to be really picky,and you'd have to be. A flake of mica would probably show up as obviously mica under a glass.Lacking a glass,it would break when bent and that would answer that.

I have not hammered on a "picker" at any time.I have to much reverence for them I guess.I have hammered on "beads" however.After melting gold,I have poured off into a bucket of water.The point was to see if a nugget shape would form.It does not.A bunch small,separated spheres will form.It is probably due to the gold contracting into the smallest form possible which was that of a sphere.
I placed one of the larger spheres on an anvil and hammered it thinking it would be maleable and flatten into a foil or small disc.It did not.It crumbled.
This was disappointing but I wondered if the shock of the water had changed its makeup over gold which would cool gradually if placed in a mold.The gold assayed at .87 with the majority of impurity as silver and a touch of copper as I recall.


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