Thursday, July 28, 2011

Natural Gold Nuggets and Specimens

For those interested in seeing what natural gold nuggets and specimens really look like, here is a fine collection of photos. The gold in all of these nuggets and specimens is in the same forms the gold had when it was dug from the ground, but some of the gold quartz specimen pieces have had the quartz material around the gold is removed so you can see the gold that was inside better. On the nugget pieces, these gold pieces are just as they came out of the ground, only washed with water, that's it.
Do be careful about staring too long and hard at these photos. That kind of thing has been known to give a person a terrible case of gold fever. If you contract a case of gold fever here, don't say you weren't warned! For those with slow internet connections, this page may take a while for all the photos to load up, but its worth the wait.   HERE ARE SOME MORE CRYSTAL GOLD NUGGET PHOTOS (PAGE 2)
Mariposa County California Gold Nugget
This spectacular gold nugget weighs 5.17 ounces and was recovered in late April of 2007 in Mariposa County, California. The gentleman who found it was using a metal detector to look for gold nuggets. It was covered by about one foot of soil. The finder valued the piece at approximately $10,000 because of its beautiful specimen quality. Only a few weeks before another large nugget, weighing in at over three ounces, was recovered about 50 feet away.   
Two Large Containers of Arizona Gold Nuggets
Montana Bob Dansie assembled this fantastic collection placer of gold using various Minelab metal detectors. He dug each flake, one nugget at a time. Most if this placer material is from Arizona, but it also includes some gold from other locations. The upside down jar with the small gold contains several pounds of small flakes and pieces placer gold.
7.5 ounce Gold Nugget, Sierra County, California
This is a fine 7.5 ounce nugget taken from the north Fork of the Yuba River in Sierra County , California by some friends of mine in 2004. The Yuba river is famous as a gold producer and has been producing gold for more than 150 years. The specimen value of this piece is likely more than $10,000.

The Author's Waterworn Gold Nuggets
River rounded placer gold looks like these nuggets. These specimens show the smoothing effects of being transported in a stream where rocks and gravel pound the gold into rounded shapes. Most of the placer gold recovered by miners is of this type. These are from the Mother Lode country in California and were recovered by the author from the Yuba River and nearby streams.
Residual Hillside Gold Nuggets
These angular pieces of gold have not been shaped by the flows of a stream. They were mined on the hilltop near the rocks in which they were formed. They are from California and were also recovered by the author.
Crystal Gold, Mad Mutha Mine Nevada
 I have known of gold specimens being sold around the western USA for a number of years that are marketed as coming from the "Mad Mutha" mine in Nevada. Well, I finally got to meet Mr. "Mad Mutha" himself at a recent mining conference in Sparks, Nevada. He uses a GP Extreme and and a Gold Bug II metal detectors to find gold. The gold he produces is very spongy, the kind of stuff that PI detectors sometimes have a bit of trouble with sometimes. The photo at left shows some of the gold he markets from the Mad Mutha claim.
Crystal Gold, Lost W mine
The photo at left shows some more of the gold he markets, but this specimen is not from the Mad Mutha claim, its from the Lost W which is another of his claims. It is however of the same type with small gold crystals and a spongy texture. The crystals are small, and for crystal gold it is cheap for crystalline material, only about $1240 per ounce!
Eagle's Nest Mine, Crystal Gold, California
I had a chance to see some gold quartz specimens offered for sale at a conference of mining folks. I wanted to post these so you all could see how expensive nice crystal gold is going for.

The next 3 photos are from the Eagle's Nest mine in Placer County. The specimens are made by treating high grade gold quartz with Hydrfluoric acid to etch away the quartz. The price on No. 3 was a bargain $4,500. I would estimate it contains about 3/4 or an ounce of gold. No. 4 is $1500 and probably has about 2 dwt of gold - I saw that it did sell at the conference. The specimen in No. 5 has a spray of gold around 3 inches tall, and probably does have 2.5 to 3 ounces of gold. It was for sale at the bargain price of $14,000.
Crystal Gold, Eagles Nest Mine, Michigan Bluff, CA
Another fine specimen from the Eagle's Nest mine in Placer County, California. It can be seen that nice crystalline gold specimens and the specimens that can be created out of higrade gold-quartz by those with tools, talent and a few quarts of Hydro Fluoric acid. Just a disclaimer: HF acid can be very dangerous if mishandled.
Crystalline Gold, Eagle's Nest Mine, Placer County Here is another fine specimen from the Eagle's Nest mine in Placer County, California.
Crystal Gold Nugget, Rye Patch Placers, Nevada
Photo no. 6 is a nice but small piece of Crystalline Chevron placer gold from Rye Patch. Its a nice specimen, but I've seen better. Likely this piece of placer gold was recovered with a metal detector. I'd estimate it at around 3 to 3.5 dwt. The $850 price works out to just around $5000 per ounce. IT SOLD at the conference. Dang, if I could get $5000 per ounce, I'd probably sell my gold, too.
Round Mountain, Nevada Crystaline Gold
Photo 7 is a small piece from the big mine at Round Mountain. It has little quartz, is mostly gold and weighs in 8.8 grams. The gold is high in silver probably not more than about 80% gold by weight. Price per ounce for this little crystal nugget is a measly $4400 per ounce.  
Crystal Gold, Round Mtn, Nye Co. Nevada
Photo 8 is a piece from the big mine at Round Mountain. I'd guess it has less than a quarter ounce of gold, the rest is rock. Total weight is 28 grams. Price, as you can see is $2500, so you are talking about roughly $10,000 per ounce. Again, I'd happily sell all my gold for $10,000 per ounce!
crystal Gold, Butte County, CA
This fine crystalline gold specimen is from Butte County at the northern end of the mother lode region in California.
Gold Nuggets, Breckenridge, Colorado
The state of Colorado has produced quite a bit of gold, including these fine natural specimens.
Ramshorn Gold, Gilman, Colorado
Wire gold specimens like this one are actually quite rare. Curved horn shaped wires like the specimen at left are actually more common in silver as it is not unusual that native silver will grow in this sort of "rams horn" pattern.
Wire Gold, Breckenridge, Colorado
The Breckenridge District of Colorado is well known for fine wire crystal gold specimens. The area was very rich in the early days and many fine specimens like this one were melted down for their bullion.
Large Australian Gold Nuggets Australia is well known for producing some gigantic gold nuggets. The larger piece here weighs in at more than 5 pounds, and is roughly a foot long.
Gold Pan of Crystal Gold, Nye County, Nevada

The vast majority of gold mined in Nevada is tiny - microscopic in size. However a small percentage is large and here is an example of a pan full of gold taken from the Round Mountain Mine in Nye County. Only about 3% of their total production is coarse like this, but even 3 % of all their gold is a large quantity. The round Mountain Mine is operated by Kinross and is located North of Tonopah in Nye county.   Check out this web page if you want to learn more about Nevada's Rich Micron Gold deposits.

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