Odd day sniping, did I find a vein?
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Thread: Odd day sniping, did I find a vein?

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  1. #1

    Dec 2018
    62
    111 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Odd day sniping, did I find a vein?

    Went out even farther than usual to snipe for gold today, about another mile past where I usually snipe. I spent about 4 hours busting cracks and crevices that I thought were sure to have good gold. One of them was about 15' underwater at the lowest water level of the year. One spot had shale with a ton of cracks that looked like they would grab any gold that came by. I didn't find a single piece of gold.


    Then I came upon a big quartz vein eroded away by the river. It looked a little out of place. There was a pile of loose material on top with gold all over. I've never seen gold just laying around like that. None of it was big, but there was a bunch of it, and it was thicker than your average flake. I spent the next few hours sucking up the lose material and meticulously loosening up some packed in rocks here and there. A bunch of the gold seemed to be stuck in the quartz but wiggled out fine. Some of the gold looked like it was half gold and half lead/mercury(?)


    Is this possibly a gold vein? It was a giant quartz vein mixed in with chunks of oxidized iron with clay packed in pockets. Above water was a pretty large slab of vertical bedrock with tons of eroded quartz stringers as well. I didn't find any gold anywhere else in the area, which is unusual.


    I had a 2 hour hike out and had to call it a day because the sun was going down or I would have stayed and kept investigating. Possible source or just a random slot that happened to trap all the gold right on top...?
    et1955, BillA, arizau and 5 others like this.

  2. #2
    cr
    May 2005
    Drake, Costa Rica
    887
    1215 times
    sounds ideal, you may want to pulverize the quartz; look at the quartz contact face with a loupe

  3. #3
    us
    May 2014
    AZ
    Beach High Banker, Sweep Jig, Whippet Dry Washer, Lobo ST, 1/2 width 2 tray Gold Cube, numerous pans, rocker box, and home made fluid bed and stream sluices.
    2,071
    2979 times
    Prospecting
    Do not mix your finds if you suspect Mercury coats some of them since if they are they will contaminate the other gold.

    The way you describe having to wiggle gold loose from the quartz could be indication that it is a vein of rotten quartz that is eroding but it's more likely that the gold was just caught in a crack. I would think that if the gold that was wiggled loose is stream worn/rounded then it came from a different source upstream somewhere.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by arizau; Aug 20, 2019 at 09:46 AM.
    Underburden likes this.
    If it can't be grown, it must be mined!

  4. #4

    Dec 2018
    62
    111 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by arizau View Post
    Do not mix your finds if you suspect Mercury coats some of them since if they are they will contaminate the other gold.

    The way you describe having to wiggle gold loose from the quartz could be indication that it is a vein of rotten quartz that is eroding but it's more likely that the gold was just caught in a crack. I would think that if the gold that was wiggled loose is stream worn/rounded then it came from a different source upstream somewhere.

    Good luck.
    Contaminate how? Iím not sure what it is but it was shiny and looks like lead. The piece of gold is half gold and half whatever metal that is.

    Iíll try to put up a picture of what I got tonight. I know itís not a lot for most people but I got 3/4 of a gram out of this one quartz channel and was still pulling out more before I had to leave.

    I donít know much about prospecting but Iím really confused about why out of all the crevices and cracks I checked there was absolutely zero and then that much in one place. And why was there so much just laying on top? It was almost like somebody dumped out their container right there

    I didnít find any gold upstream or to the sides. Jackhammer time?

  5. #5
    cr
    May 2005
    Drake, Costa Rica
    887
    1215 times
    get a loupe, look at the gold bits - rounded or angular is the question
    mercury would imply worked gold from upstream, do separate any silvery pieces

    yes, you will be busting it out

    keep us posted
    arizau and Underburden like this.

  6. #6
    us
    May 2014
    AZ
    Beach High Banker, Sweep Jig, Whippet Dry Washer, Lobo ST, 1/2 width 2 tray Gold Cube, numerous pans, rocker box, and home made fluid bed and stream sluices.
    2,071
    2979 times
    Prospecting
    Silvery bits could be pieces of amalgamated (mercury coated) gold. Mercury is considered a hazardous material and it easily amalgamates with gold just by contact making it contaminated. Amalgamation/mercury usage was an accepted way to recover gold back in the day so many waterways have some residual amalgam and mercury lost in the old processes and many prospectors are still finding it today...maybe even you(?).
    Last edited by arizau; Aug 20, 2019 at 10:48 AM.
    BillA and Underburden like this.
    If it can't be grown, it must be mined!

  7. #7
    us
    Feb 2015
    Moses Lake WA & Provo UT
    421
    591 times
    Prospecting
    Contaminate as in the mercury if it is on a piece of gold and then gets put with clean gold, the mercury will spread out and try to attach to any other clean gold it is touching.
    et1955 likes this.

  8. #8
    us
    Feb 2015
    Moses Lake WA & Provo UT
    421
    591 times
    Prospecting
    Sounds like a really cool find. Just a thought, maybe the other bedrock was softer and breaks off during floods and that might be a reason why it didnít trap gold? I hope you got a piece of that quartz to crush and pan it.

  9. #9

    Dec 2018
    62
    111 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by OwenT View Post
    Contaminate as in the mercury if it is on a piece of gold and then gets put with clean gold, the mercury will spread out and try to attach to any other clean gold it is touching.
    And then what? Sorry I donít understand whatís so bad, does it ruin the gold or just attach to more pieces?



    So ideally if it was near the source it would not be rounded, but the pieces would look blunt and broken off?


    Not sure when Iíll get back out there. Iím kind of torn. Long treacherous hike, and outside of the one crack I found nothing. Although that is the most gold Iíve found in one day so I should probably go back. You never know
    OwenT likes this.

  10. #10
    cr
    May 2005
    Drake, Costa Rica
    887
    1215 times
    mercury is today a moderately toxic contaminant which you do not want messing up your other bits
    it is most commonly removed from the gold by heating and 'evaporating'
    -> and the fumes are toxic, beware (get someone experienced), and the gold is discolored

    you won't know what is there w/o busting it out
    take a buddy, camp for a couple of days

  11. #11

    Dec 2018
    62
    111 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by BillA View Post
    mercury is today a moderately toxic contaminant which you do not want messing up your other bits
    it is most commonly removed from the gold by heating and 'evaporating'
    -> and the fumes are toxic, beware (get someone experienced), and the gold is discolored

    you won't know what is there w/o busting it out
    take a buddy, camp for a couple of days
    Heating it up?? Uh oh. I do that on the stove at home to dry it out. Did I gas my kitchen with deadly mercury?

  12. #12
    us
    May 2014
    AZ
    Beach High Banker, Sweep Jig, Whippet Dry Washer, Lobo ST, 1/2 width 2 tray Gold Cube, numerous pans, rocker box, and home made fluid bed and stream sluices.
    2,071
    2979 times
    Prospecting
    Gold found in or near it's source will resemble the gold in this video. Pocket Gold - a little gold porn for motavation. Edges are mostly angular.

    Gold buyers often will not buy mercury contaminated gold. Yes, if you mix mercury coated/amalgam pieces with clean gold it will likely contaminate/coat or partially coat the clean gold.
    If it can't be grown, it must be mined!

  13. #13
    us
    May 2014
    AZ
    Beach High Banker, Sweep Jig, Whippet Dry Washer, Lobo ST, 1/2 width 2 tray Gold Cube, numerous pans, rocker box, and home made fluid bed and stream sluices.
    2,071
    2979 times
    Prospecting
    Mercury vaporizes above 670 something degrees Fahrenheit so maybe but by only a small amount if your description was accurate and there was mercury to begin with.
    Last edited by arizau; Aug 20, 2019 at 04:13 PM.
    If it can't be grown, it must be mined!

  14. #14
    us
    Feb 2015
    Moses Lake WA & Provo UT
    421
    591 times
    Prospecting
    If thereís merc on the gold itís not as shiny

  15. #15

    Dec 2018
    62
    111 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Oh ok. I’m not concerned with it not being shiny right now. Eventually I can clean it up, purify it, and melt it into something right? I’m never going to sell it.

 

 
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