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Found in a chunk of quartz

Hi,
We found a big piece of quartz while out and about and there was some gold lines visible in it. So it ended up crushed and this is what came out of it. Any idea what this might be? A jeweler told us its not gold but it is soft and will flatten with a hammer…

Cheers,
Mark

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Is it heavy? could you work out the volume so you get an SG…?

Interesting. Wont be pyrites if it flattens with a hammer. Where abouts was the quartz from? I don’t mean an exact location but general. Like Coromandel, Otago, West Coast…etc. Maybe the jeweller was hoping you would leave it with him as “rubbish” Looks awfully like gold to me in the picture & the fact it flattens with a hammer…Does it scratch easily? By that I mean if you get a nail or knife point & scratch it down the surface does it leave an indent scratch mark easily with no splintering or resisting? Bit like if you did it on a piece of soft lead as gold is soft too. Other wise you could do an acid test. Look up on google for that procedure. I guess if the jeweller said it wasn’t gold then he should know.

JW :slight_smile:

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Try a different jeweller if you can’t do an acid test to be sure like JW was saying, Gold can be found in Quartz, it’s a heavy metal ore. The chance is higher if found near a hydrothermal active area. Nice find if it’s gold :slight_smile: Fingers crossed for you.

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NZGator, if you want to send me a tiny piece I would be happy to test if for you. I do a fair amount of Gold refining, should be trivial to prove / disprove.

It came from Otago not far from an area known for gold historically. I’m going to try the acid test and see what happens…

Well The daughter put some in a jar of battery acid and it cleaned really well but left the gold stuff. I am going to use some muratic acid and see what happens with it.

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Wow…!!

Bloody beautiful…!!

Give me the exact location now and I can tell you if it’s gold or not :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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And the outcome was…???

JW :slight_smile:

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The fact that it flattens is interesting but does any of it shatter. I have seen many nuggets which have been broken out of quartz and none of it looks like that. Unless it was protruding from quartz and thus river worn I would not expect the rounded profiles

The top right hand piece especially looks too angular to me.

You have a number of options - Acid tests - NOT battery acid. It is not strong enough. I use battery acid to clean native copper and it can sit on the copper for hours and not dissolve any of it and you have to scrub it to remove the patina and show the copper shining underneath. Scratch test - will it just get a groove in it if you scratch it or do filings/particles crumble/break off. Hitting a bit and if it totally flattens and is highly maeable then it could well be gold, specific gravity. All these tests you can do yourself.

You best bet is to take it to several jewellers and get a number of appraisals and if still in doubt the Geology department, University of Otago


Specific gravity test could give you an indication. Put a cup of water on kitchen scales & rezero (tare), then hang your piece of mystery metal by a string into the cup of water - not touching the cup in anyway, note the weight.
Now minus that from the weight of your nugget. Then divide the original weight by this value.
Eg nugget 12g, water weigh 7g
12 - 7 = 5g
12 / 5 = 2.4g your specific gravity.

Pyrite can be hammered, but it tends to go crumbly & dull.
I think you might have a Nickel alloy, it can have a yellowish tinge & be found near gold deposits (as we have seen recently in Kimbadala).
Nickel is magnetic, gold responds differently - see video.