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Yo All...I found this unusual stuff setting in an old camp that was apparently used around 1900 +/- .... One of the old timers had taken a hammer to it then just left it lay ... It's very heavy ... Total amount shown in the group is 14.16 ounces troy ... I just figured it might be galena but saw something on one of the forums recently that made me reassess and research more ... Now I'm pretty well convinced it is Acanthite or Argentite ... From Wikipedia: Acanthite, Ag2S, crystallizes in the monoclinic system and is the stable form of silver sulfide below 173 °C. Argentite is the stable form above that temperature. As argentite cools below that temperature its cubic form is distorted to the monoclinic form of acanthite. Below 173 °C acanthite forms directly.[1][4] Acanthite is the only stable form in normal air temperature.

According to what I can find, Acanthite is around 87% silver ...

Anyone have an opinion on this? I wonder if I could smelt it and recover the silver? Cheers, Unc

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Yo All...I found this unusual stuff setting in an old camp that was apparently used around 1900 +/- .... One of the old timers had taken a hammer to it then just left it lay ... It's very heavy ... Total amount shown in the group is 14.16 ounces troy ... I just figured it might be galena but saw something on one of the forums recently that made me reassess and research more ... Now I'm pretty well convinced it is Acanthite or Argentite ... From Wikipedia: Acanthite, Ag2S, crystallizes in the monoclinic system and is the stable form of silver sulfide below 173 °C. Argentite is the stable form above that temperature. As argentite cools below that temperature its cubic form is distorted to the monoclinic form of acanthite. Below 173 °C acanthite forms directly.[1][4] Acanthite is the only stable form in normal air temperature.

According to what I can find, Acanthite is around 87% silver ...

Anyone have an opinion on this? I wonder if I could smelt it and recover the silver? Cheers, Unc

Looks just like it to me. There are other ores that are similar but if a crushed sample turns blue in hydrochloric it is silver. If it is milky blue there is some lead with it and that is normal. The ore I saw was probably blacker and the crystals were smaller. But it looked like it was earthy with small galena crystals in places. And heavy as hell.

I beleive all it takes is crushing and precipitation from a solution. Fire is straightforward and should work too. The sulphur should burn right off and the result will be nearly pure silver. A small electrolytic process is cheap, scalable and you can use it on most ores.

There is a LOT of silver laying around out there. The only reason that guys arent recovering it is that it is not bright yellow.

Even galena is a very valuable ore of silver. Here galena runs over 200 opt in some areas. Dont just write off any base metal ore in silver country becasue silver gets into any non ferrous ore (lead, zinc, bismuth) and makes trash ore worth a mint!

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I think that even "galena" that runs silver has minute crystals of argentite that hold the silver. Yes, those minerals are all found in a mix generally. The earthy material I was taught was argentite and the cubic crystals were "galena" but that is probably more home spun knowledge than geological definition.

The charcoal black ore with cubic crystals is generally a payday at any rate. This is as long as you have enough to ship and a buyer to ship it to. Ore that has lead is a tough commodity to sell in the US and Canada is usually the best bet. The shipping by freight car generally eats up any profit that a miner may make.

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Yo All...Reno Chris put me onto some new research on it and I'm 99% convinced what I have is polybasite... I've found really nice thumbnail sized specimens on the internet going for over $12,000 !!!! While mine is not as perfect as those that sold for that price, it is every bit as nice a some that have gone for between $1,200 to $6,200 for a tiny little 2 to 3 cm square bit ... I've just had it sitting on my "interesting rocks" shelf for a couple years ... Today I started moving interesting rocks around on the shelf and uncovered a couple of arrowheads and some other goodies I've picked up over the years that just got buried under other cool finds ... Anyhow, here's a couple more pix I took today ... Cheers, Unc

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