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harley & ryder

Unusual white cubes

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My partner harley and I located some unmined placer this pass March in the Mojave Desert. After sampling numerous parts on an inside bend We finally found the paystreak this pass week, its a foot layer of big-rocks on the bed rock. with a foot to three foot of over burden.

We use a Thomson leaf-blower dry-washer and screen the pannings to 1/8"-20mesh, 20mesh-50mesh and under 50mesh for the blue bowl.

What's interesting is that whenever gold shows in the pannings, irregular white cubes simular in size of the gold appear staying with the gold and black sand. The white cubes only appear when gold is present. Biggest nuggets so far are 1/8".

Could these white cubes be platinum ore? They are not sheelite because they do not fluorescence under a black-lite. Thanks, bob

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They appear simular to arsenopyrite crystals. We have no wireless service at Our claim. I camp out there in a tent from Sunday to Friday or Saturday. I have My camera battery charged and taking it with Me this evening so will post a picture this Friday, May 27th. Thanks for your interest, bob

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Yes indeed a photo would help...

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Here is a picture on the 50mesh and finer that I let dry, the other pictures did not turn out due to the reflection of water.

The next reply will be the two vials containing 3.6 grains each.

post-25445-0-72367100-1306447500_thumb.j

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Second picture showing the two vials with each having 3.6 grains, white cubes appear to have more volume. both vials contain 50mesh to 1/8" size, We leave the 50mesh and finer gold to the mercury and baked-potato recovery method. If the white cubes are platinum, they are easy to seperate from the black sand, at least the 50mesh to 1/8" are.

harley ran His metal detector over the two vials and both sounded the same wherever We located them on the ground, and same sound whether discriminate or metal mode on His detector.

We are both taking a few months off, harley taking His Wife to Washington State and Me visiting My eleven grand children in three different northern states.

Any ideas and/or sugestions? Thanks again for Your interest, bob

post-25445-0-02632500-1306449573_thumb.j

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I really doubt it's native platinum since it's very rare and even much rarer in a cubic form. On something so small, it may even be hard to tell the true color. ie- white, silver, light gray etc... Could be some subtle differences you can't distinguish in ordinary light..

Steve

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Bob, did the metal detector have discrimination abilities? One way to help determine what that

material is might be to see how a discriminating detector categorizes it. If it is something close to

gold it will come in near the nickel setting, but if it's lead it will react differently.

FWIW, there is a lot of natural lead in the material I've been working, and it shows as white

flakes that always end up in the bottom of the pan, and hang with the gold till it is removed.

Mike

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Bob, did the metal detector have discrimination abilities? One way to help determine what that

material is might be to see how a discriminating detector categorizes it. If it is something close to

gold it will come in near the nickel setting, but if it's lead it will react differently.

FWIW, there is a lot of natural lead in the material I've been working, and it shows as white

flakes that always end up in the bottom of the pan, and hang with the gold till it is removed.

Mike

hmmmm

found in the mojave..this is a very big area.....

In the rand area there is whie rock/crystals that are always in the pan...

they flouresce I think blue under ultraviolet.

Forget what it is called ask.....jim Straight...

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hmmmm

found in the mojave..this is a very big area.....

In the rand area there is whie rock/crystals that are always in the pan...

they flouresce I think blue under ultraviolet.

Forget what it is called ask.....jim Straight...

southern mojave, sheelite glows blue, Our white cubes do not and harley's detector does discriminate and the sound was the same on both vials, maybe try a torch? bob

post-25445-0-30997800-1306464712_thumb.j

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southern mojave, sheelite glows blue, Our white cubes do not and harley's detector does discriminate and the sound was the same on both vials, maybe try a torch? bob

The pictuye above is platinum placer. bob, running out daylight

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Platinum is very hard to ID in the field, if not impossible, you may want to try and find a Jeweler that has a electronic tester for precious metals they should be able to tell if it's Platinum, you could also do a streak test, it will help narrow down the field of possibilities.

Streak: grayish white..

http://webmineral.com/data/Platinum.shtml

Streak is steel-gray.

http://www.galleries.com/minerals/elements/platinum/platinum.htm

You could also do a specific gravity test, but pure Platinum from nature is rare and it's usually mixed with other metals that will lower Platinum's specific gravity of 21.5 to a much lower specific gravity.

Is it possible that this is gold with a mercury coating?

Skip

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southern mojave, sheelite glows blue, Our white cubes do not and harley's detector does discriminate and the sound was the same on both vials, maybe try a torch? bob

Why muck around? :stupidrb: Get it tested. If you found what you think you found, it would be a great discovery :thumbsupanim - and Terry wants to know! :arrowheadsmiley:

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My guesses: Those either are fine gold with amalgam or unicorn boogers ... Hard to tell apart... Cheers, Unc

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if you are pretty sure it is a metal..try to cupel it and see what happens

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Hi Bob,

Yes, it's possible that the whitish cubes are PGM (platinum group metals), but not very likely, because it is damned rare to occur in crystalline form. It's more likely to be galena (lead) which is common in a cubic form. A $20 assay will tell.

Good Luck, Ben

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Thanks for all the responses, I am in Michigan right now and today was the first time to check for responses. Harley will be checking with some jewerly people in Washington State.

Where can I get an assay for platinum for $20? Assayerors I know want $125.00 for the PLG.

I am already homesick for the desert, I may cut My visit short and get back to the Desert, cannot handle the humidity up here. Again thanks, bob

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If'n it is platinum it will be slightly attracted to a magnet and mercury will not amalgamate with it. If'n it is mercury coated gold a little heat will drive off the mercury or a little nitric will dissolve it.

Pt placer is very rare. dang rare. Just like a meteorite a fellow must be skeptical.

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Hi All

Bob you have to quit buying cheap jewelry :nono: . Pt is not magnetic at all :whaaaa: . There are only 3 metals that are or can be magnetic and PT ain't one of them :shrug: . Do you know the 3 metals :hmmmmm: ??? Happy Huntin John B.

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Hi All

Bob you have to quit buying cheap jewelry :nono: . Pt is not magnetic at all :whaaaa: . There are only 3 metals that are or can be magnetic and PT ain't one of them :shrug: . Do you know the 3 metals :hmmmmm: ??? Happy Huntin John B.

I,N,C :P

Are those white cubes soft...can you squish them in a pair of pliers without them crumbling?

Jim\

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Hi All

Bob you have to quit buying cheap jewelry :nono: . Pt is not magnetic at all :whaaaa: . There are only 3 metals that are or can be magnetic and PT ain't one of them :shrug: . Do you know the 3 metals :hmmmmm: ??? Happy Huntin John B.

You better go back to the books on that one John. Platinum ore is usually slightly magnetic. :hahaha:

..."The presence of these other metals tends

to lower the density of platinum from a pure metal specific gravity of 21.5 to as low as 14 and very

rarely any higher than 19 in natural specimens. Few of these rarer metals form significant deposits on

their own and thus platinum becomes the primary ore of many of these metals. The presence of iron

can lead to a slight magnetism in platinum nuggets and is a common enough property to be

considered diagnostic." :WOW:

http://homepage.mac.com/mrlaurie/btcfolder/elementpages2002/Period%205/Platinum.html

In the case of pure refined platinum you are 100% corect. But in the case of Pt and PGM ores they are almost ALWAYS slightly magnetic. Do you know which ores these are? :shrug:

And there are actually four ferromagnetic elements at room temperature; Iron, nickel, cobalt and gadolinium (sp) which is ferromagetic at temps below 60 degrees and paramagnetic at temps above 60 degrees. There are many more as you take the elements through temperature changes. And then we have to talk about nickel too dont we? :hmmmmm:

Happy Huntin'

Bedrock Bob

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Hi All

Bob you have to quit buying cheap jewelry :nono: . Pt is not magnetic at all :whaaaa: . There are only 3 metals that are or can be magnetic and PT ain't one of them :shrug: . Do you know the 3 metals :hmmmmm: ??? Happy Huntin John B.

John B ... If I remember correctly nickel, iron and cobalt .... that is really racking my brain. I don't remember PT as being magnetic in its pure form ...PT would only be slightly magnetic in an UNpure form containing one or more of those three ... again trying to rack my brain from 45 years ago in High School.

Mike F.

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I guess I should have read the rest of the thread rather than just try to answer John B's question ... Oh well! :) Mike F

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I guess I should have read the rest of the thread rather than just try to answer John B's question ... Oh well! :) Mike F

Well you bring up the key point here Mike! We are not talking about identifying a metal in a ring we are talking about an ore. And just like a clue to an iron meteorite having nickel so is a clue to platinum a slight magnetic attraction beacause that ore is a sponge for iron. Just like gold is for copper and silver is for lead and bismuth.

John,

I dont wear jewelry and I am keenly aware that Pt is not a magnetic element. That is elementary. But I have prospected for platinum and I do know a bit about identification of the ore. If it is slightly magnetic it is a darn good sign. The material I recovered looked like tiny white slug nuggets and not like the crystal structures above. All their little heads followed a magnet across a petri dish just like the wave at the superbowl. It was 84% Pt and the balance was iron.

H&R;

You need to speak to Abe Gundlier at NMIMT in Socorro. He can tell you exactly what you need to know about evaluating the ore for Pt. He may refer you to someone but it will get done. They will accept New Mexico ore samples for free and do a great job. I bet they will do your sample if you can sing the State song in Spanish. Anyhoo, if'n I had ore that looked like that I would suspect it to be argentine gold or some freak of sylvanite or electrum. But that is where I would take it to identify it. Just my two cents.

Dr. Ibrahim (Abe) Gundlier, his email is gundiler at gis dot nmt dot ed. 575-835-5730 is his advertised number.

And the one with the deep tan asked a great question. If it is brittle it would rule a lot of ores out. If'n that stuff mashes before it splits there is darn sure something good there. Even if it is arsenopyrite if it is in a gold rich vein it could be loaded with gold.

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This morning I pinched a few white cubes with a pliers and they broke down to smaller cubes. Under a microspope, flecks of gold and silver appear. When I get back I,ll try some mercury, also send some to an assayer.

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