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Strange Metal Found in Fresh Clay

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With a metal detector, I scanned an area with a rich clay surface and found a strange specimen of shiny metal embedded in a clump of clay.

Note, my father cut about 8 feet of clay off of this site years ago, so the piece was discovered 8 feet below the original surface. It is silver

in color; looks pure. When heated, the specimen was less conductive than equal masses of led and aluminum. It took much longer for the

specimen's thermal emission to become visible, and it took a much more significant amount of time for the emission level to become

no longer visible. Also, as it was cooling, small shinny liquid state bubbles protruded from a few pores that were not previously

recognized by the naked eye. The specimen is harder than lead but lighter. lastly, when the bubbles began to form during cooling, and even

after the piece had reached equilibrium with the room temperature, there was a strong odor similar to sulfur.

If anyone has a clue what this could be, I would appreciate your input.



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Sorta sounds like pyrite, can the "metal" be crush/shattered by striking it with a hammer, or does it flatten when struck?

Also the general area this was found could be a clue as well, what state and portion of the state, S.E.,N.E., etc?

A picture would also help.


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Thanks everyone. The piece was found in N.E. AL. The bubbles solidified. I am in central AL at the moment, but I will have photos uploaded as soon as possible.

It is very light, non-ferrous, and fits nicely in the palm of my hand. I know the visual description is vague but photos are coming.

And another note: when cooling, that is when the bubbles began protruding through some pores, the outer shell remained the same- still shiny like Al

but of course oxidized a bit, then the bubbles solidified.

Thanks everyone!

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  • 3 weeks later...

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