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Steve Herschbach

Moore Creek Specimen Cut in Half

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Hi,

This 1.5 oz Moore Creek specimen looked like a round rock with just a bit of gold showing. The weight made it obvious it contained a lot of gold, and so it was sliced in half. Revealed is a dense web of dendritic gold dispersed evenly throughout the interior of the specimen.

cutspec.jpg

The quartz is quite solid, and in fact I sold the piece to a gentlemen who sliced it up some more and polished it up. Although the quartz in not the pure white demanded by jewelers he made a very nice and unique pendant from the piece.

Here is another shot with the light reflecting off the gold:

cutspec2.jpg

It makes me wonder how this stuff was deposited. The recent article by Chris Ralph in the ICMJ talks about gold being deposited last and filling cavities left in the quartz. That certainly fits for most gold in quartz I've seen. But this stuff would have to have been remarkably porous quartz for that to be the case.

gold0002.jpg

Then there is George's spectacular specimen found at Moore Creek. It has more gold than quartz and the quartz is of a coarse "surgary" texture. Did the gold and quartz form at the same time?

It would be interesting to take something like this and dissolve the gold out. Would the quartz hold together or fall apart? Or conversely, if the quartz were dissolved out, would you end up with a gold sponge or discrete pieces of gold? Which is holding the other together? It might help reveal which came first.

Another one I'll have to try and get a picture of is a nugget a friend found at Ganes Creek. It was solid gold, with a few crystal clear beautifully formed quartz crystals imbedded in the gold. Almost like you had molten gold and tossed in a few crystals and stirred it up. It looks totally as if the crystals grew inside solid gold.

Heck if I know the answers but there is some complicated stuff going on inside the earth!

Steve Herschbach

Moore Creek Mining LLC

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Sure looks like the gold in upper nugget grew first and then the quartz grew surrounded it. Probably the same with George's nugget.

The gold being deposited last after the vast majority of the quartz has already been laid down is the norm, but there certainly are exceptions.

There is little question that Moore Creek has some unusual gold-quartz relationships as there is almost no vein quartz at all. Moore certainly is one of the lowest quartz gold deposits I have ever seen. The only ones I can think of with less quartz occur in limestone areas where there is no quartz or silica in the surrounding country rock either. The shale country rocks around the Moore Creek deposit has silica and quartz as does the granitic igneous intrusive rocks. Why there is so little vein quartz at Moore is a very interesting question and perhaps the coming exploration will give us some more answers.

Chris

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Hi Chris,

Yeah, about the only vein quartz I find at Moore Creek is attached to gold. All the rest I've found so far would fit in a 5 gallon bucket. At Ganes Creek you could fill a pickup bed full of big checks of quartz in an hour. But I have yet to ever have one go beep running my detector over it. Moore Creek is definitely unusual.

Here is another Moore Creek specimen. This one started out at just over 5 ounces. Again, gold was poorly exposed on the surface. I ground it down evenly until gold was exposed on all surfaces and got it halfway polished. Final weight is 2.8 oz (yes, I got a bunch of gold panned out of the grindings).

101990a.jpg

This piece is interesting since it is a rather clear, crystalline quartz instead of your normal opaque quartz. It gives the piece a unique translucence that lets you actually look into the quartz and see gold beneath the surface. And again, the typical Moore Creek dendritic type structure.

Steve Herschbach

www.moorecreek.com

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Those are some beautiful specimens and would make some great looking pendants. Thanks for sharing them with us.

Aloha,

Stan aka Kaimi

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Those are some beautiful specimens and would make some great looking pendants. Thanks for sharing them with us.

Aloha,

Stan aka Kaimi

Hi Steve,

some truly beautiful specimens you have there. None found lately with a Garrett Infinium I suppose? There is a bit of debate

on the Prospecting in Oz forum presently regarding the usefulness of the Garrett unit and your use of them for your tourists

to use. Care to make a comment there regarding, sensitivity, depth etc??? Cheers, Dwt

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No doubt, I could make some fine looking jewlery out of those fantastic pieces. Most of the gold quartz I work with is from the 16-1 and I have had a few pieces where the quartz was translucent. By far my most favorite. Its so cool to be able to look down into the stone and see more gold shining below the surface. If you can look at it under magnification it is even MOORE amazing. You should take that piece and bring it to a high polish.

This is a translucent stone from the 16-1

post-1252-1200670180_thumb.jpg

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Steve, I think with the dendritic growths, ther eis little doubt the gold had to grow first and the quartz later surround it.

On the other hand I've seen lots of gold from other locations where the gold seems to fill cracks and voids left between the quartz - that stuff seems to have had the gold laid down after the quartz was in place (however none of those pieces are from Moore Creek).

I agree with El Dorado Steve that with a good polish on the stone, that piece you ground on would make a real beautiful stone - very large, but attractive.

Chris

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Chris,

This may or may not relate to geology. In my goldsmith studies concerning casting I have learned that the crystal formation in gold relates to the speed at it cools or solidifies. The slower it cools, the smaller the crystal structure, and the faster it cools the larger the structure. It would make sense that the same hold true in a quartz vein. Dendritic crystal structure in gold while beautiful in specimens is bad in jewelry and is caused by way to rapid cooling after the gold is poured. Personally my take on gold like that is the gold solidified prior to the quartz and did it rapidly with the quarts solidifying after. Am I way off base here??????

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Hi Steve,

some truly beautiful specimens you have there. None found lately with a Garrett Infinium I suppose? There is a bit of debate

on the Prospecting in Oz forum presently regarding the usefulness of the Garrett unit and your use of them for your tourists

to use. Care to make a comment there regarding, sensitivity, depth etc??? Cheers, Dwt

Hi Pennyweight,

I saw the posts on the Oz forum. I'd respond over there but frankly I find the Minelab bashing there to be tiresome. That, and the bashing of the Minelab bashers!

People choose to not get what the Infinium is all about. It is a fine little machine in its own right. It has performance roughly on par with a Minelab SD2100 with a stock 11" round DD coil. The claim that it will not pick up a .22 bullet is not true for an Infinium that is working properly. I say that as I trust the poster who felt otherwise so I surmise his machine was not working properly. An Infinium will hit gold as small as 5 grains or 1/3 gram. I detected plenty of .22 bullets with mine!

The problem with the Infinium is it has no larger coils, and so although it is roughly on par with the SD2100 running the stock 11" DD coil the SD easily pulls ahead on depth simply by running larger coils. I do think the Minelabs overall are better units. But that said you can buy a brand new Infinium for half the price of a brand new SD2100 and gold can be found with them. I think the key is simply how much a place has been detected. If I'm first over the ground with an Infinium I will get the majority of the gold. And then if I go back with a Minelab I will get that smaller percentage of super deep gold the Infinium misses. On the flip side, if the ground has been thoroughly hunted with a Minelab first there is not much chance the Infinium will turn up gold the Minelabs miss.

So we can take Infiniums out at Moore Creek and find gold with them simply by being the first over the gold. This whole nutty idea that just because one machine gets 10" of depth and another gets 12" of depth that the unit that gets 10" is absolutely worthless baffles me. I'm not trying to toot my own horn but give me an Infinium and give the average Joe a Minelab and turn us both loose on an area for 12 hours and I'm betting that more often than not I'll get more gold. Not because the Infinium is great but because I'm a darn hard working prospector with a real nose for gold, plain and simple. One thing hosting a couple hundred people at Moore Creek has hammered home for me is just how much skill is involved in detecting. I can hand a GPX-4000 to a novice and I can take a Tesoro Lobo out and probably get more gold. 10% of the people that visit Moore Creek find 90% of the gold, and it sure is not the detectors making the difference in most cases. The truth is I've only ever met a handful of people that are truly good at metal detecting for gold. Others I've never met but sure know by reputation on the Internet. I don't need to name them; we all know who they are. It's a pretty small club. Most of them do use Minelab units because that is the best machine for where lots of people hunt. But I know those guys could find gold with an old original Gold Bug if that was all they had to work with.

In the end my biggest disappointment with the Infiniums was that I had the impression that as a simple waterproof unit they would be somewhat bulletproof. The fact is we suffered a pretty high failure rate on both Infinium control boxes and coils at Moore Creek. After seeing plenty of them in action over the years I've come to feel their quality is not what I would have expected.

Steve Herschbach

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El Dorado Steve:

You seem to by thinking along a line that the two are molten and one solidified and then the other. They are never molten. The gold and quartz are in a water solution and always many hundreds of degrees below their melting point. Solutions which are rich in gold flow in the system and deposit gold - sometimes solutions poor in gold but rich in quartz deposit silica quartz. In most cases in vein deposits, the earlier fluids are the ones richer in quartz, and the later ones are those richer in gold and sulfides. It is not always that way, but that tends to be the normal situation.

Chris

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Chris, thanks

Steve, sorry to steal your thread

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Hi El Dorado,

It's not my thread! Heck, the only reason I posted the photos is everyone likes looking at gold and to maybe get some discussion going. Thanks for posting!!

Steve Herschbach

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Hi Steve very nice gold :headphones: one of these years I'll make it up there-its on my list :innocent0009: -Mike C... :ph34r2:

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Yea Steve,

Some really sweet nuggets to look at :whoopie: or should I say, great "eye candy" for us prospectors. Thanks for sharing.

Bob

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Hi Steve, many thanks for the reply. You have just confirmed to me that a large number of Infiniums are very good for sensitivity and depth. The 2 that I used were hopeless. One would barely hear .22 bullet on the surface and the other was very similar. But both were US versions supposedly 'upgraded' to the Australian standard. I was told years ago that the LS was similar in performance to the SD2200. Once I got one, I felt cheated....obviously all due to an unhelpful seller and a poorly modded unit. Thanks again! Cheers, Dwt

Hi Pennyweight,

I saw the posts on the Oz forum. I'd respond over there but frankly I find the Minelab bashing there to be tiresome. That, and the bashing of the Minelab bashers!

People choose to not get what the Infinium is all about. It is a fine little machine in its own right. It has performance roughly on par with a Minelab SD2100 with a stock 11" round DD coil. The claim that it will not pick up a .22 bullet is not true for an Infinium that is working properly. I say that as I trust the poster who felt otherwise so I surmise his machine was not working properly. An Infinium will hit gold as small as 5 grains or 1/3 gram. I detected plenty of .22 bullets with mine!

The problem with the Infinium is it has no larger coils, and so although it is roughly on par with the SD2100 running the stock 11" DD coil the SD easily pulls ahead on depth simply by running larger coils. I do think the Minelabs overall are better units. But that said you can buy a brand new Infinium for half the price of a brand new SD2100 and gold can be found with them. I think the key is simply how much a place has been detected. If I'm first over the ground with an Infinium I will get the majority of the gold. And then if I go back with a Minelab I will get that smaller percentage of super deep gold the Infinium misses. On the flip side, if the ground has been thoroughly hunted with a Minelab first there is not much chance the Infinium will turn up gold the Minelabs miss.

So we can take Infiniums out at Moore Creek and find gold with them simply by being the first over the gold. This whole nutty idea that just because one machine gets 10" of depth and another gets 12" of depth that the unit that gets 10" is absolutely worthless baffles me. I'm not trying to toot my own horn but give me an Infinium and give the average Joe a Minelab and turn us both loose on an area for 12 hours and I'm betting that more often than not I'll get more gold. Not because the Infinium is great but because I'm a darn hard working prospector with a real nose for gold, plain and simple. One thing hosting a couple hundred people at Moore Creek has hammered home for me is just how much skill is involved in detecting. I can hand a GPX-4000 to a novice and I can take a Tesoro Lobo out and probably get more gold. 10% of the people that visit Moore Creek find 90% of the gold, and it sure is not the detectors making the difference in most cases. The truth is I've only ever met a handful of people that are truly good at metal detecting for gold. Others I've never met but sure know by reputation on the Internet. I don't need to name them; we all know who they are. It's a pretty small club. Most of them do use Minelab units because that is the best machine for where lots of people hunt. But I know those guys could find gold with an old original Gold Bug if that was all they had to work with.

In the end my biggest disappointment with the Infiniums was that I had the impression that as a simple waterproof unit they would be somewhat bulletproof. The fact is we suffered a pretty high failure rate on both Infinium control boxes and coils at Moore Creek. After seeing plenty of them in action over the years I've come to feel their quality is not what I would have expected.

Steve Herschbach

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