Jump to content
Nugget Shooter Forums
LukeJ

Opinion Poll: Do you see the difference ???

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone,

I wish I was writing this post under different circumstances...    :cry2:

Over three weeks ago I went to Treasures Custom Jewelers.  I wanted to have them braze a bail on the tip of the nugget and I also ordered a chain to go with it.

Some of you may be saying: What!?!?....  You didn't send it to Steve?    No, I didn't.  Not because he doesn't do fantastic work.  I've just never met him personally and he's not local.  I thought it would be good to patronize a local business and talk with someone face to face about what I was looking to have done.  Treasures Custom Jewelers has really great reviews on Google and Yelp so I figured it's a no-brainer.  They've been in business 25 years....

So I went in there and spoke with a gentleman and proceeded to convey what I was looking for.  Which was, to not polish or clean the nugget, I wanted it to look as close to how it did when I dug it up as it could.  I also understood that some level of cleaning would need to take place in order for the jeweler to do the brazing.  I expected that there would be some 'polishing' around the area of the brazed joint as well.  Since I had already washed the nugget with soap and water and then let it soak in muriatic acid overnight, I didn't think there would be a change unless something was done to the nugget by mechanical means.

So here are the pictures.  I'm kicking myself for not taking more detailed photos of the nugget before the work was done, but I never thought it would be necessary. 

....and what's done is done.  They can't put it back the way it was...    Maybe my eagle eyes and my 15 years experience as a precision machinist cause me to be more picky than the next guy, but the difference in the before and after seems really obvious to me.  Take a look and tell me what you think.

Thanks,

Luke

20160221_222610.jpg

20160507_121026.jpg

Edited by LukeJ
Made sure name of jeweler was correct.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's a couple more pictures of the other side.

Since I've never had this type of work done before I had no idea what to expect and no previous experiences to compare with.  Maybe what I got is totally normal...  ???

Fortunately, my wife still likes it.  It just bugs me when I see it...

I didn't do anything to 'enhance' these pictures other than cropping.  I took all the pictures with my Samsung Galaxy phone.

Thanks again for looking...

 

20160221_222510.jpg

20160509_122401.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It just looks even more heavily cleaned to me. Like all the dirt and mud is gone from the cracks.

However now it's a piece of jewelry so I wouldn't worry about it too much. I understand you wanted it to look similar to how it was when you found it, which is a cool idea.

But if it's to be worn on a chain as a pendant it might as well SHINE. Gold is so soft anyways its going to get beat up, scratched and polished just from normal wear.

Considering how much they cleaned it you can either a.) rub some clay on it from the area to get it's natural look back or b.) do the complete opposite and take a felt wheel or something to it with some jewelry polish and really shine it up. It's jewelry now.

I guess at the end of the day the only thing that matters is what the wearer thinks so if your wife likes it I'd say it's fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can always get out there and do some more prospecting and find an even bigger one too!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Might just be the lighting, but it looks like a cast reproduction to me. I see bumps on the after pic, that don't appear natural. check the carat.

Nice nugget by the way. Later...Jim P.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, Jim P. said:

Might just be the lighting, but it looks like a cast reproduction to me. I see bumps on the after pic, that don't appear natural. check the carat.

Nice nugget by the way. Later...Jim P.

I was going to mention that too but just figured it was from the heavy cleaning. That would be extremely shady if they just made a cast of your nugget and gave that back to you and kept the real one.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with you Luke that it looked better the natural way.  But that's you and me speaking.  Folks in the normal world prefer the shined up piece.  What's been done has been done so just ride with it, as long as your wife is thrilled then I would be too.  I think that the lighting is a little brighter on the after picture and doesn't quite show the beauty of the piece.  Great nugget Bro. 

   Old Tom

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it looks great before and after. I'd be stoked. Key words, "your wife likes it".

Looks like the same piece to me. No expert though.

Steve

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe its the lighting but I agree with Jim. At face value, this appears to be a reproduction. What is the before/after weight difference, if any? I've cleaned nuggets with everything from water to ultrasonic cleaners to acid, never seen one grow bumps before.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's the bumps...  where did they come from?  Did they grow, or was material removed and leave 'high spots'?    I know for a fact they weren't there before, whether they show in the picture or not.  I had spent quite a bit of time looking at it under magnification and I'm certain they weren't there before.

It never occurred to me that they could have cast it...     :th:

I really appreciate the thoughtful opinions given so far.  It's nice to know that people see what I do, even when a jeweler stood there and told me he couldn't see a difference.

Can't wait to see what the others will say....  Stay tuned

Luke

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been a jeweler for a long time , I looked at these pictures and (before I read the replys) my first thought was that it looked like a cast repro. as mentioned, it is hard to tell though from the pictures and that would be a very low down thing to do so I cant imagine a reputable jeweler would do that . The "bumps" are what really is strange , I cant think of what would cause that accept plating which could easily be identified. If you ever have a project like that in the future try to find someone with a laser welder , that way they dont have to heat the whole nugget . well the good side is that the wife is happy , thats what matters anyway.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just thought of something else , I dont have any experience with working with nuggets but it could be that there are voids or impurities in the nugget below the surface that when heated caused them to slightly bubble out ?? just a thought

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It may be a cast but thats alot of trouble for a little bit of gold-another possibility when they brazed the hoop on maybe some of it splattered on the nugget :idunno: either way moma is happy and thats all that matters :thumbsupanim Mike C...:200: 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got a friend here in Mariposa, took a nugget in to the local jewler to be mounted, and when he got it back, it looked silver in color, Took it to another jewler and found out it was silver, not his gold nugget, The guy made a casting, and tried to rip him off, it didn't work, he already had an expert look at it before he took it to the Guy. He did get his real nugget back, and filed charges against the jewler. Grubstake

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yes, I agree with Mike C...that appears to be splatter...

it is hard to hide anything from a good machinist!

 

fred

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good idea on the "splatter" theory but I have never seen or heard of gold solder splattering like that . Also while it would be relatively easy to make a mold and cast a nugget like that , I seriously doubt any jeweler ( at least in the US ) would put there 20 year reputation on the line for something like that. My best guess would still be that there was some small voids near the surface that bulged out when subject to the heat,  hard to tell without looking at it closely , but again I have never worked with heating gold nuggets. It does look like they did a good overall job on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The weight still seems interesting to me. The finding (chain mount) and the solder weigh a little and that's easy to determine with an unused finding (same kind) and a scale but if the weight is off significantly that would be a big red flag. I've seen Steve's (made for a friend) and other's work up close and never seen a splatter mess like that. If it's fake (cast) it's not only an ethics problem it's also a legal issue in my opinion. Maybe I'm a hardass or my satisfaction expectations are too high but, I'd determine if it's real or fake. That outcome would determine next steps. Either way the jeweler at the very least ignored your wishes and failed to communicate with you. Horrible work quality just based on the pics, terrible. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, LukeJ said:

It's the bumps...  where did they come from?  Did they grow, or was material removed and leave 'high spots'?    I know for a fact they weren't there before, whether they show in the picture or not.  I had spent quite a bit of time looking at it under magnification and I'm certain they weren't there before.

It never occurred to me that they could have cast it...     :th:

I really appreciate the thoughtful opinions given so far.  It's nice to know that people see what I do, even when a jeweler stood there and told me he couldn't see a difference.

Can't wait to see what the others will say....  Stay tuned

Luke

 Luke I can't offer an opinion without seeing the before and after nugget in person, I do think the "bumps" are suspicious and can't think of how they could of been formed by just soldering a loop on the nugget and I agree that you need to determine if it's the real nugget or a cast replica first and foremost and then determine what course of action, if any, you take.

 That being said it's been recommended that you weight it and compare to what it weighted before, that would determine if the weight is way off and definitely put up a red flag.

 I have a suggestion, after I looked at the before and after photos I see that some of the dirt/host rock. etc. may still remain within a couple of the deeper crevices,  pits, etc, you stated that you examined the before nugget for some time under magnification, look at it again under magnification and see if the remaining little bit of possible original dirt/host rock is possibly the same as what you witnessed on it when you examined it before, or is what I'm seeing some kind of buffing compound, etc.

 Also look for seams, where a sprue was grounded off, etc.                                

 Hopefully you can determine if it's the original piece or a replica.

 I hope it's the real deal and the jeweler messed up somehow causing the bumps and tried to correct his blunder and in the process of doing so the nugget got "cleaned" far beyond what you expected and ask him to do!

Skip

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are some 'new pics'...   I photographed the nugget and bail under the same conditions as the 'before' pictures were taken.  Which is, in my kitchen, under fluorescent lights.

The nugget weighed 3.21g before and 3.34g now.  I don't know the weight of the bail alone. 

As far as the splatter, I also thought that might be the case.  However, when you look at it under 10x magnification, the bumps looks like part of the parent material.  If they did somehow manage to fuse like that, the whole nugget must have been so hot that it was right on the verge of becoming a molten puddle.

The whole thing is weird, and not at all what I was looking for.  Sure learned a lot though...     :idunno:

Luke 

 

20160221_222610.jpg

20160509_143514.jpg

20160221_222510.jpg

20160509_143713.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The before and after still look funky IMHO. All that really matters is that you and your wife are happy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sorry to hear about this, Luke.  I think you'll just have to chalk this one up to a learning experience.  I have thought of taking some of my pieces to a jeweler as well.  This definitely gives me some things to think about before doing so.  Other than that, it's just a hunk of rock.  You'll find more and better.   I'm sure it only took a trip or two, or if you're like me ...  maybe four ....   Errr....   umm...

 

What the heck am I talking about.  Let's get the posse together and GET A ROPE.  This  guy has got to go DOWN.   LOOK WHAT HE DID TO THAT GOLD FOR CHRIST SAKES!!!  IT'S A SIN!!!  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that I look at it more I think that the jeweler overheated it.  The character has definitely been floated out of that nugget.  The metal value would still be there but the patina and character has been lost.  Fighting for compensation would be very costly and time consuming.  You could do it and probably win if done right, but in the end you would lose.  Time, court costs, expert witness, all this takes a toll on you.  I have gone through this myself with an expensive piece of fur and it ain't worth the grind.  Shine it up, make it beautiful and enjoy.  There is more out there just waiting for you (and me).

   Old Tom  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LukeJ

I've been making jewelry out of nuggets for years. the bubbles or tits as we call them are from gases trying to escape from within the nugget as it heats up. nuggets can and often will encapsulate other minerals as they roll and ball up in their erosion process. or it can be from natural minerals associated with the nugget when it formed, gassing, (iron oxide). etc.  what usually causes the blisters is heating the nugget too quick for the gasses to escape when trying to gold solder it into jewelry or add a bail, post etc.. Ive had them jump out of tongs (third hand) across and off my jewelry desk when a piece of internal quartz explodes, trust me to have a 1300 to 1500 degree nugget drop in your lap is exciting. :D many city bench jewelers just dont know how to deal with natural placer gold. AzNuggetBob

Edited by AzNuggetBob
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see new hills (bumps), I see recently exposed valleys..

IMHO, the nugget was run through an ultrasonic cleaner prior to affixing (and possibly again afterwards..) The freshly exposed depressions (and hidden outward 'bumps') now super exaggerate what had been surface level and outward portions of the nugget..

The jeweler is guilty of nothing more than cleaning your nugget, transforming it from a piece of Mother Nature's artwork into jewelry.. I see no indication of polishing other than probable secondary at attachment points; ultrasonic cleaning only to my eyes..

Your wife has good reason to be pleased..

Swamp

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Luke:
 Can you bring it today...I will share my thoughts after I see it.
Tks

Tom

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×