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History & Geology

Natural Gold Alloys

Natural gold is never 100% pure; all natural nuggets contain at least some impurities. We're going to take a look at just what some of those impurities might be.

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Calcite and Limestone


The other distinguishing feature of calcite has to do with its chemistry. Geologists sometimes take a small bottle of dilute hydrochloric acid out into the field with them because calcite reacts with acids to make a bubbly foam.

Gold Geochemistry: Where Does Gold Come From?


Prospectors often wonder why gold deposits in veins like it does. Why is one vein rich while another is barren, even though they are only a few hundred feet apart?

The Rush to Treasure Hill


There were some exceptional times in the far-flung history of the West. Rich finds of minerals that set men’s souls ablaze. From the rich gold fields of California, men who arrived too late to find riches went searching in every direction. The trail that we will follow leads east, past the shining silver district of the Comstock Lode.

All About Minerals


There are several common ways that new mineral crystals form and grow. Perhaps the simplest is when minerals form through the cooling of molten rock and the atoms bond together into mineral crystals.

Know Your District


We have to remember that the earliest miners were not geologists, but came from a variety of backgrounds. Their survival depended on finding enough gold so they worked hard and adapted to whatever challenges these new areas presented.

What About Palladium?


Palladium may well be an underexplored element and therefore an opportunity for prospectors and geologists. This is because they are often less than obvious and other than the native metals, a chemical analysis of samples is required to identify PGM-enriched rocks.

The Significance of Nuggets in Placers


Chances are better that both types of gold did not come from the same source. Let's look at the probable conditions to cause two types of gold in a placer.

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