Gold vs Pyrite testing

So have seen a few videos on how to tell the two apart, just curious if anyone on here knows any good methods? Preferably not smashing with a hammer!
Was all found in the thames region. Not sure there’s any gold at all… but some possible pieces amongst the bunch.

Also for anyone who’s had gold from the area, has anyone found rusty looking gold?
This was my take from a day on the creek.


Does look like pyrite to me. Looks too sparkly & silvery to be gold. Gold doesn’t generally sparkle in the sun where as pyrite will. Pyrite wont scratch with a pin where as gold being soft will. Its weight should also give it away with pyrite being lighter not to mention the actual colour & look of it. The hitting with a hammer will shatter pyrite & gold being soft & mailable will just squash & flatten. Honestly once you know the difference between gold & pyrite you wont mistake the two.

Here are some Thames creeks samples of gold I have found.

thames speci

Close up of the above piece turned over. Quite a stunning piece

Feeder creek gold5a


Flip side of above piece

You will notice how course & rough the gold is. Despite being found in creeks it is reef gold that hasn’t traveled very far from its source.

Good luck out there.

JW :cowboy_hat_face:


Wow! Impressive samples mate! Thanks for sharing!
Kind of figured most of it would be… have some spec gold but can’t even process the material to get it out.

I’ve been going to the Tararu, have tried a number of different spots, (all bedrock and some with an inside bend). I know there’s been gold there as my research tells me it was one of the busier creeks in its day.
Would you reccomend any spots that could be a bit better JW?

I’ve kind of left myself thinking I’ve started the wrong time of year, maybe it’s been too long since the last flood and the deposits haven’t been filled in a while.
Ahhwell planning a trip to the south island soon, hope to see more proper colour down that way!

Thanks for the informative answer mate!

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Amazing. I was perving or lusting over some pieces the other day…those look as though they came out of the same mold. Love them.


Easiest way with pyrite is to shade it out of natural light it will lose it shine unlike gold also you can do a pacific gravity test just need scales some neutral radiator water and some string and a versile mr Google will tell you the rest eg gravity to weight = gold or not


I could but that would take away the the fun & self reward from you doing your own research & then hitting those creeks. You say you have done research. The history books scream out the better creeks for “alluvial” gold. The info is all there, honestly.
What I have shown is only a little bit from the immediate Thames area, there are other areas all over the Coro. Most of the fun is getting out there in the bush & up the creeks from your research & discovering for yourself. If I told you were to go then you have lost that self reward feeling of knowing you did it all yourself. When your research & adventures pay off it is very self satisfying. A lot more so than just being told what creeks to go up.
At the end of the day, no one told me but then I never asked. Wanting to find it for myself. True prospecting I guess.
No gold is easy gold though, but then the gold is just an excuse to get out into the beautiful outdoors.

It is there. Best of luck.

JW :cowboy_hat_face:


You are too completely right there mate. Sorry wasn’t trying to take any shortcuts. I guess I should probably take my research from the internet back to books. I see there are quite a few.
Would you recommend any good books on the area?
Happy to do the research and put in the time. I also realize that the name of a creek really doesn’t help that much unless you know what your looking at!
Appreciate the wisdom.
Thanks mate

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These should help you.

Historic Gold Trails of the Coromandel by Tony Nolan



Originally thaught this was pyrite, but it’s looking like gold now at home, thaughts? Thames finds.



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That is awesome pictures mate thanks for showing us all

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Yes you can find rusty gold. I have found dark brown and also blackish coloured gold and the only hint it was gold under the dark brown colour was it was heavy.

To check if it is gold or not scratch it - if it is pyrites tiny pieces will break off and if it is hit shatter but if it is gold it will only scratch or if you apply enough pressure to a poking out piece it will flatten - in other words it has the same characteristics as a lead sinker or block of lead.

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Check it closer with an eye loupe.
Coromandel gold is corse and shiny as mentioned…
This is gold I found recently from Tararu.
Some real nice pieces still to be found if you know where to look.
Dig deep…:call_me_hand: