Found a jar of Mercury while out hunting
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  1. #1
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    Found a jar of Mercury while out hunting

    I found a jar of Mercury while out detecting at a mine. I put it back in the ground. I was curious, if there could be gold in the Mercury. What do you all think.
    SEEK AND YEE SHALL FIND

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    The chances are it might contain some but it is really hard to tell,what type of container was it in and how much was there.Mercury needs to be handled very carefully with great respect.
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    It was in a glass jar with metal screw top but had a little leak in top. It had probably 8 oz of Mercury. Very heavy
    SEEK AND YEE SHALL FIND

  4. #4

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    room temp. mercury is safe, we used to play with it in grade school.
    when heated the vapors must be avoided.
    the jar could be loaded with gold.
    Two rules in life: Don't sweat the small stuff.

    It's all small stuff.

  5. #5
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    I would have brought it home and disposed it properly. It DOES NOT belong in the ground like that. I sometimes prospect downstream from old 1800's gold mining operation in VT. Some of the gold has mercury on it. It goes in it's own little jar. I have on occasion had raw mercury rolling around in my pan. Can't justify dumping it back in the stream.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capt.E View Post
    I found a jar of Mercury while out detecting at a mine. I put it back in the ground. I was curious, if there could be gold in the Mercury. What do you all think.
    If it's in a jar, then I'm sure its been used. If it had lumps in it then you buried thousands of dollars... Mercury isn't dangerous unless your trying to heat it up. We used it for years for making accurate steam gauges, it's the perfect solution for thermometers and switches, it is a natural element.

  7. #7
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    Mercury can be an issue. Be careful. My mother gave me an old thermometer, which when I took it out of the container the change in temperature in the house caused the small breaks in the glass to bust into pieces. Don't ask me why.

    As chance would have it, I was standing over the commode and the entire thing fell apart and into the commode except for the small piece in my hand. The glass was easy to get out but the mercury was not easy at all.

    I tried googling how to get it removed since I could not get it out with any means. Tried all sorts of things. Drained the water and tried using an eye dropper. Nothing worked. Called the 800 line and that actually started a hazmat episode. It was crazy.

    The state agency even were called by this national number to come out and evaluate that no contamination resulted. I could hardly believe it.

    What started as a nice thing to do for my elderly mom who does not throw anything away, resulted in a multi day pain.

    My suggestion would be to submit the location to some state agency anonymously, so the state agency can safely dispose of it.
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  8. #8
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    Mercury is a metallic element. You can't "dispose" of it because you can't destroy elements.

    Mercury at room temperature in a glass container is not dangerous. If the top is "leaking" then some simple disposable gloves would be a wise precaution. Most metals are poisonous to humans when concentrated in the body.

    Mercury isn't the most dangerous metal but it's probably the most feared by the public. Other metals like Lead, Arsenic and Uranium are much more dangerous in smaller quantities than Mercury.

    The key to handling dangerous metals is to prevent build up of the metal in your body tissues. With Mercury that's best accomplished by not breathing the fumes. Mercury vaporizes very slowly at room temperature. That's why mercury is stored in glass with a layer of water on top to prevent any mercury vapor from escaping. I'm guessing that's why Capt. E. thought the mercury he found in a glass jar was leaking - because of the water in the jar.

    Pure metallic Mercury, when stored correctly, really isn't dangerous to humans. If you like science you can watch this video of scientists explaining how little health danger metallic Mercury has while submerging their body parts in liquid room temperature Mercury.




    Where Mercury gets it's bad reputation is from when little bacteria process the metallic mercury into methylmercury an organic (carbon) compound. Methylmercury is really dangerous to human health. The creation of methylmercury from native mercury is a natural ongoing process that has nothing to do with mining or human activity. It's found in waterways wherever there are natural Mercury deposits.

    You encounter Mercury every day as you go about your life. Besides the obvious mercury florescent light bulbs now being used everywhere to save the environment Mercury is also found in your water pipes (PVC contains mercury) many pigments in paints, cosmetics and plastics, explosives and many medicines. I doubt there is any way you could ever stop being exposed to mercury.

    That little jar of Mercury has some real value. It likely has some gold amalgam as well as the value of the Mercury itself. Mercury sells for about a dollar a gram. Many people will tell you it's been banned but the only restriction on Mercury is that it can't be transported by air.

    If you were to call your local authorities to alert them to the presence of this natural metal they would ultimately, after all the drama and paperwork, process and recover the Mercury in the same way the miner who buried the jar would. They would use a retort to recover the mercury and gold and sell them into the market. It is after all is said and done a useful natural element that's a lot less dangerous to humanity than automobiles or chain saws or the flu.

    Heavy Pans
    Last edited by Clay Diggins; Nov 22, 2020 at 11:20 AM.
    U.B., DDancer, arizau and 8 others like this.

  9. #9

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    Best bet is to get the assistance of a miner experienced in handling and retorting mercury.

    The fact that it was buried leads me to believe someone thought there was some value there.

    Depending on what you consider far north...I may be able to take it off your hands and dispose of it properly ; )

    How old does the mason jar look? Does it have a galvanized lid?
    Last edited by IMAUDIGGER; Nov 22, 2020 at 09:19 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Very interesting thread. I read yesterday the Florida wildlife folks are warning folks about eating the invasive pythons there because of high levels of mercury in them. They eat the fish, the fish have the mercury in them and on and on it goes.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokeythecat View Post
    Very interesting thread. I read yesterday the Florida wildlife folks are warning folks about eating the invasive pythons there because of high levels of mercury in them. They eat the fish, the fish have the mercury in them and on and on it goes.
    Well heck. What a loss!

    We'll have to replace Tuesday's Exotic Python meatball special with something less toxic. That's OK we were almost out of Florida Python steaks anyway.

    I wonder how much mercury Colombian sand fleas have? I heard they were cheap this time of year.

    Heavy Metals

  12. #12
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    I'm in Shasta County. It's not a mason jar, it's just a bottle with a metal screw on top.
    SEEK AND YEE SHALL FIND

  13. #13
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    steve andermatt

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    Quote Originally Posted by Capt.E View Post
    I found a jar of Mercury while out detecting at a mine. I put it back in the ground. I was curious, if there could be gold in the Mercury. What do you all think.
    I think you need to PM some of these guys that are close to you and work out a deal if they can process the mercury for you, Work out a split on the Gold if there is any and if not it is a bust and their time was free (word that into the deal) if no Gold from the processing of the mercury and you will also have removed it from the environment thus cleaning up the land. I think it would be a fair proposition to offer up. Some might not.
    minerjosh and PetesPockets55 like this.
    back of the boat

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by dognose View Post
    Mercury can be an issue. Be careful. My mother gave me an old thermometer, which when I took it out of the container the change in temperature in the house caused the small breaks in the glass to bust into pieces. Don't ask me why.

    As chance would have it, I was standing over the commode and the entire thing fell apart and into the commode except for the small piece in my hand. The glass was easy to get out but the mercury was not easy at all.

    I tried googling how to get it removed since I could not get it out with any means. Tried all sorts of things. Drained the water and tried using an eye dropper. Nothing worked. Called the 800 line and that actually started a hazmat episode. It was crazy.

    The state agency even were called by this national number to come out and evaluate that no contamination resulted. I could hardly believe it.

    What started as a nice thing to do for my elderly mom who does not throw anything away, resulted in a multi day pain.

    My suggestion would be to submit the location to some state agency anonymously, so the state agency can safely dispose of it.
    Maybe a sniffer bottle they use to suck up flour gold.
    PetesPockets55 likes this.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by No gold in NY View Post
    I would have brought it home and disposed it properly. It DOES NOT belong in the ground like that. I sometimes prospect downstream from old 1800's gold mining operation in VT. Some of the gold has mercury on it. It goes in it's own little jar. I have on occasion had raw mercury rolling around in my pan. Can't justify dumping it back in the stream.
    Trying to remember how to get out the gold--seems like they would strain it through chamois cloth, just wrap it up and squeeze out the mercury just to see if there is ay gold in it. The have a professional retort it for you. The old timers would hollow out a potato and cook it over a fire outdoors. Terribly poisionous fumes and probably totally illegal now.
    Last edited by signal_line; Yesterday at 08:36 AM.
    PetesPockets55 likes this.
    Love transcends this world we live in to Heaven.
    I'll leave it to you to figure out where the opposite goes.

    If your heart is in it you will find a thousand ways to achieve your goal.
    If your heart is not in it you will find a thousand excuses.

    Ouija Board and map dowsing , one and the same. Just tape a map onto the Ouija Board and you have map dowsing.
    Works great if you like wild goose chases and snipe hunts!

    L-rods are obsolete.

    May you never take one single breath for granted.

 

 
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