What have I found?
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  1. #1

    Jun 2018
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    4 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    What have I found?

    I went out for a weekend and panned several different spots and in one place I found a little pale looking nugget of some kind. It was very heavy, as heavy as anything in the pan. It is clearly not gold as it a pale grey color. I went back to the same spot later and found another piece. I've attached an image of it next to a quarter for a size comparison.

    I'm wondering if anyone has found something similar and has thoughts about what it is. It was found in silver territory but I've heard silver nuggets are exceedingly rare. It may even be something artificial. Maybe some very old bird shot(though it is more of an oblong shape)? Its meaningless to me right now without knowing what it is but I kept it because it was heavy.
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  2. #2
    Charter Member
    us
    papa

    Feb 2017
    Georgetown, SC
    Fisher F75
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    You are likely right it being bird shot. I don't know if people find platinum pickers. Is it a soft metal? Try cutting it with a knife, or smashing with a hammer. Lead has a low melting temp of 621 deg. F, while platinum needs over 3200 deg. F, so hit it with a torch and see what happens.


    "And so the population was gradually led into the demoralising temptations of arcades, baths, and sumptuous banquets. The unsuspecting Britons spoke of such novelties as 'civilisation', when in fact they were only a feature of their enslavement." Tacitus, Roman Senator and Historian, written AD 98.

  3. #3
    us
    Mar 2013
    Excalibur II
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    It may be gold coated in mercury. If you torch it don't inhale the fumes!
    RTR, arizau, benny and 2 others like this.

  4. #4
    us
    Mar 2018
    Northern CA
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    Prospecting
    Probably lead, I've found lots in the river and creeks I've prospected in so far. The shot gets deformed when fired out of the gun and again if it hits something hard in flight.

    Finding it does tell you that you're panning technique is good though, at least that's something!

  5. #5
    us
    Apr 2015
    Oshkosh, WI
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Try squashing one with a pair of pliers, or cutting with a pair of dikes.

  6. #6

    Jun 2018
    2
    4 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    After doing a bit research and more tests I think its lead. I dont have a blow torch readily at my disposal but i did test it on a magnet and with clippers. It is not magnetic and tends to crumble with clippers. Seems like most likely lead. Thanks for the feedback everyone!

  7. #7
    us
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    Lead is Malleable it doesn't crumble. Mercury can cause gold to crumble.

    https://www.google.com/search?client...hvbUYx7lqHU%3D
    Last edited by chlsbrns; Jun 18, 2018 at 07:52 PM.

  8. #8
    Charter Member
    us
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
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    Ammunition grade lead when it's exposed to water most often forms Lead Carbonate - a heavy whitish crumbly mineral. The Lead Carbonate (Lead oxide carbonate PbO.PbCO3) is still about 84% lead by weight which explains the heaviness in the pan. In some areas most lead shot is converted to Lead Carbonate rather quickly in the ground.

    In my experience the Lead Carbonate increases the original volume of the relatively pure lead by about 2.5 times when fully converted. From the size of your white rocks I'd think you have found two birdshot pellets that have converted to Lead Carbonate in a wet carbonate rich environment.

    Heavy Pans

  9. #9
    us
    Mar 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clay Diggins View Post
    Ammunition grade lead when it's exposed to water most often forms Lead Carbonate - a heavy whitish crumbly mineral. The Lead Carbonate (Lead oxide carbonate PbO.PbCO3) is still about 84% lead by weight which explains the heaviness in the pan. In some areas most lead shot is converted to Lead Carbonate rather quickly in the ground.

    In my experience the Lead Carbonate increases the original volume of the relatively pure lead by about 2.5 times when fully converted. From the size of your white rocks I'd think you have found two birdshot pellets that have converted to Lead Carbonate in a wet carbonate rich environment.

    Heavy Pans
    https://chemiday.com/en/reaction/3-1-0-9657

    The thermal decomposition of lead(II) carbonate to produce oxide lead(II) and carbon dioxide. This reaction takes place at a temperature of over 315C.

    I can't find any ammunition grade lead? I tried to search for it but can't find any?

    https://www.google.com/search?q=ammu...&ie=UTF-8#ip=1
    Last edited by chlsbrns; Jun 18, 2018 at 11:45 PM.

  10. #10
    us
    May 2009
    Sailor Flat, Ca.
    SDC2300, Gold Bug 2 Burlap, fish oil, ACME handbook for TRUE prospectors (unread)
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    It's lead. after small bits like that oxidize for a while they will get crumbly. You may not get an actual lead core even. Bigger stuff will just get a coating.

    The lead that is used for shot is higher in tin and antimony than say a .22 bullet or split shot fishing weight. They are mostly lead.

    Modern shot has more tin and antimony to make the shot harder. It oxidizes differently than older shot will..

    All lead needs to form a carbonate coating is contact with acid and co2.The other metals in the alloy affect the way it will oxidize.

    That can even happen to old bullets sitting on a shelf in a garage. Because of the acid in the packaging..humidity and time.

    It happens in the ground easily as there is almost always some acidity.

    Anyone who relic hunts or reloads knows this stuff. Relic hunters because they find old bullets.

    Hand loaders because you can't just melt any lead and pour bullets. The amount of tin and antimony affects the casting and bullets final specs and performance.

  11. #11
    us
    Mar 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldwasher View Post
    It's lead. after small bits like that oxidize for a while they will get crumbly. You may not get an actual lead core even. Bigger stuff will just get a coating.

    The lead that is used for shot is higher in tin and antimony than say a .22 bullet or split shot fishing weight. They are mostly lead.

    Modern shot has more tin and antimony to make the shot harder. It oxidizes differently than older shot will..

    All lead needs to form a carbonate coating is contact with acid and co2.The other metals in the alloy affect the way it will oxidize.

    That can even happen to old bullets sitting on a shelf in a garage. Because of the acid in the packaging..humidity and time.

    It happens in the ground easily as there is almost always some acidity.

    Anyone who relic hunts or reloads knows this stuff. Relic hunters because they find old bullets.

    Hand loaders because you can't just melt any lead and pour bullets. The amount of tin and antimony affects the casting and bullets final specs and performance.
    I don't know what he found because I don't have it in hand to find out.

    I'm not going to waste much time explaining why you are so wrong!

    Most bird shot has about 5% tin and or antimony to stop deformation. The main use of lead tin antimony is to make lead-acid batteries because it makes the lead more resistant to battery acid and stops it from corroding.

    virtually all lead alloy consumption is supplied from recycled lead, primarily used lead–acid batteries.

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/...0416180514.a01
    Last edited by chlsbrns; Jun 19, 2018 at 11:20 AM.

  12. #12
    us
    May 2009
    Sailor Flat, Ca.
    SDC2300, Gold Bug 2 Burlap, fish oil, ACME handbook for TRUE prospectors (unread)
    5,505
    11988 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    been pouring bullets for years... and you avoid battery core at all costs.

    not for home use.

    a lot of guys who cast their own bullets use old tire weights and what we find at yard sales in tackle boxes.

    commercial production is a totally different animal.

    he has lead... mercury on gold never looks like that.

    if it isn't shiny silver it is off green or black when it is old.

    lead is never those colors from oxidization.

    I used to do SASS shoots... I've scavenged a lot of lead for making bullets.
    Last edited by Goldwasher; Jun 19, 2018 at 12:25 PM.

  13. #13
    Charter Member
    us
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
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    Quote Originally Posted by Goldwasher View Post
    been pouring bullrts for years... and you avoid battery core at all costs.

    not for home use.

    a lot of guys ho cast their on bullets use tire eights and hat e find at yard sales.

    commercial production is a totally different animal.

    he has lead... mercury on gold never looks like that.

    if it isn't shiny silver it is off green or black hen it is old.

    lead is never that color.

    I used to do SASS shoots... I've scavenged a lot of lead for making bullets.
    Has anyone got a "W"?

    How about this-
    a lot of guys who cast their own bullets use tire weights and what we find at yard sales.

    Lets pass the hat and get Goldwasher a real keyboard!

    Heavy Pans

  14. #14
    us
    May 2009
    Sailor Flat, Ca.
    SDC2300, Gold Bug 2 Burlap, fish oil, ACME handbook for TRUE prospectors (unread)
    5,505
    11988 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (1)
    Give me a break I went back and fixed it...

    I have a wireless keyboard I just hadn't grabbed it.

    It's the laptop keys that are crap.. but the pc is fine

    Thanks for the help though

  15. #15

    Jul 2019
    1
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    squashing one with a pair of pliers, or cutting with a pair of dikes.
    Sorry, but only paying supporting vendors can post link to businesses.

 

 
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