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clay last won the day on November 10 2018

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    On the Gold Trail

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  1. The State won't let you take anything from the land even if you get the rec pass. The area where most of the meteorites have been found is owned by Debra Gentry. I doubt she is up there this time of year but she lives in Phoenix and might give you permission to hunt for her meteorites on her land. If you PM me I could give you her contact information.
  2. The Holbrook fall is located on private land north of the railroad tracks and west of Sun Valley road and on State Trust land south of the tracks and east of the road.
  3. You can see at least a portion of the tea caddy gold on display at the Smithsonian. The original half gram nugget discovery by James Marshall at Sutter's Mill was in the tea caddy and is now in the Smithsonian collection. I'm not sure where the remainder of the tea caddy gold ended up. Perhaps the Smithsonian holds more? I'm sure a letter to the collections manager would answer the question. I suspect there may be several nice nuggets displayed privately in the homes of Washington's ruling families from the caddy.
  4. The Secretary of the Army sent the chest to the mint for the gold to be assayed, smelted and poured into bars and planchets to be turned into medals for the military. A small amount of the more interesting "lumps and scales" were kept in the war office for the President as examples of the different forms of gold being found. You can read the full accounting in U. S. Gov. Docs, 30th cong. 2d sess., H. Ex. Doc. 1, no. 37, 56-64.
  5. Saguaros rarely live more than 150 years. It's been 200 years since the Spanish left Arizona. Cutting off the top of a Saguaro usually results in a rapid death for the cactus. I think your "old timer" was telling tales chrisski.
  6. The "horn" appears to be brass. That and the mouthpiece shape would place it in the industrial age. Probably post 1850. You say it appears to be like "granite" but it's not magnetic? Copper when exposed to the elements for a long time will produce the green oxidation that's obvious on the surface of your object. Zinc becomes a swollen friable gray crystalline mass when weathered. Copper and zinc are the components of brass. When brass corrodes the process is known as dezincification. Dezincification in brass always results in a failure of the metal to the point of pitting and eventually losses of larger portions of metal, like the hole and green eroded area on your object. The end result of dezincification is commonly a mass of gray, rust red and green corroded metal. It doesn't resemble what we commonly perceive as brass in the later stages of this erosion process. Here's an example of dezincification in process on a solid brass plug. You can see why brass when undergoing dezincification is often mistaken for ferrous metals. It could theoretically be bronze which could date much earlier than brass objects but the mouthpiece design only dates back to the mid 18th century or later so you are still looking at a piece that's no more than 180 or so years old. Bronze can also decompose under the right circumstances but it will look nothing like brass corrosion. Obviously the "horn" was not designed to produce music, the body is much too thick to amplify or even react to a blown note. The forward hole is located in the same position as a hunting horn swivel. My guess is it was designed and produced as a hanging wall decoration.
  7. Yeah they are still around Bill. When they blew all their claims a few years back they kept going as a social club but they now have claims. Their Big Wash claim is worth the $10 membership fee in my opinion. All that being said there is quite a bit of open producing areas this season. I just finished mapping the claims last month.
  8. Nugget Wranglers club might be a good choice too. They've got two claims nearby and at $10 a year they are the budget alternative.
  9. It's Mica. A fairly common silicate that takes many forms.
  10. Malachite on copper ore (left). Sodalite (right).
  11. I think everyone who mines in Arizona should have a copy of ARIZONA MINING SCAMS AND UNASSAYABLE ORE PROJECTS OF THE LATE 20TH CENTURY from the Arizona Department of Mines and Mineral Resources. If nothing else it has some very interesting recent history about Little San Domingo, Rich Hill and Skull Valley. Platinum is also mentioned. Use a reputable fire assay like Copper State and I think your "Platinum" will be shown as an entirely different metal.
  12. We only have a picture to guess what you present here. Going on the visuals and what you have told us about you tests your "rock" looks very much like the residue from a house fire. The layering of the melted debris and the purple tinted glass are defining characteristics of house fire debris. The grid pattern on the back of the base "rock" is familiar. I've seen virtually identical debris from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. All things being equal I'll have to go with fire debris before I buy into "cataclysmic activity with plasma bursts and electrostatic air" in 1811 in what would 50 years later become Kansas - unless that's how they described house fires in 1811. Occams razor - the simplest answer is most often the correct answer. Spinel? Really? If you are working the area south of Woodson the OFR Geographic report on those deposits would be a good place to start any research for what you might find there. You won't find any spinel or opal in those drill reports but you will find coal and highly decomposed lampriolite being mined for agriculture. Coal could be described as a "soft diamond" by some readers.
  13. We've been considering some additions to the map tools on Land Matters and would like user's feedback. Land area locations in the U.S. are typically described by their legal land description (PLSS). This is the only system that has been physically surveyed and has actual physical markers on the ground. That's why it's the system for legally describing land parcels. All the Land Matters maps have the PLSS included as a possible display item but a lot of people (military) have been trained to use a grid to describe actual ground locations. Graticules are very much like grids but they have the advantage of following the earth's curvature, unlike grid maps. Digital graticules are capable of increasing in resolution as you zoom in to an area. These are advantages of a graticule but the use of a graticule is just like using a grid. It's possible to use both the PLSS and a graticule when mapping so we thought we would see if some people would like the option of using a grid type mapping system. To that end I have included graticule layers on our historic places and ghost towns map to let folks try out this system and see if they would like these layers included on other Land Matters maps. If you have an interest give it a try at the Historic Places Map. You can read more about grids, graticules and their uses on our New Projects page. Let us know if you would like this feature added to the maps. It's a bunch of work to make those changes so we'll have to see some demand before we add these in. Barry
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