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Copper Nuggets - Mono County


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It looks to be some kind of slag from some kind of smelting process,There was a lot of gold silver and copper veins out there in the local area,Was there any crucibles near those?

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Didn't see any crucibles, it was actually found in obsidian... One day I was out collecting obsidian and when I got home I threw some of it into a rock tumbler. After a week or so I took some of the obsidian out of the tumbler and noticed that there were very small pieces of copper inside the of it. I eventually got back on that side of the mountains and did some metal detecting and thats when I found the pieces in the photo's. The piece that has the round bubble looking shape is actually a very thin layer of copper. This piece make some kinda copper sandwich with two thin layer of copper for the bread and some unknown black/grey material in the middle. Not sure what this material is or if it has anything to do with the other pieces having the bluish/black color on them. Hopefully somebody knows something. Maybe there could possibly be a small amount of gold in these pieces? I wish!

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Well I just smacked a piece a good twenty times or so with a hammer and it didn't seem to crack or break. It pretty much just flatten out some. I've tried a 10k acid test and the results were negative. You think there could be a small percent of gold in some of this copper, and how would I really know for sure?

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It looks to be some kind of slag from some kind of smelting process,There was a lot of gold silver and copper veins out there in the local area,Was there any crucibles near those?

I have to agree the blue/black looks like flux

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It does look like flux but I don't know. Any idea how it got into the obsidian, I mean the copper is completely inside of the obsidian. I was thinking that the obsidian when molten must of have rolled through some kind of ore body and collected the copper. Its a strange one for sure.

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Mariposagoldbag, I believe it is possible that there is cooper inside the obsidian. I saw a piece of basalt at Chris Porters house that he had detected,and broke open inside of it was a gold nugget. There is a story about a young man that worked at a assay office in Calico Ca. He was hired to take a photographer or a artist into the Cady Mountains. One night they camped by a small valley with igneous out crops. He wandered around picking up rock samples. In a obsidian flow he found some that looked like there was gold inside. When they got back from there expedition he returned to work at the assay office he mentioned the find to his boss, his boss laughed at him and said it was not possible. He brought the pieces into the office and showed the boss. It turned out it was gold inside the obsidian and extremely rich. As the story goes his boss and him made many trips into the Cady's but could not find the little valley and the obsidian again. There is a theory that the gold was picked up in the obsidian as it flowed up out of the ground possibly from the lost old blue channel. Who knows? Bob

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Interesting info, thanks! Got me wondering if I should go back and metal detect it all out, there's still a lot there.

Oh, I forgot one very interesting and important fact! Most of these copper pieces are some what magnet, I completely forgot about that! I was originally thinking that the bluish/grey/metallic looking stuff could be the reason that they are magnetic. Hmmmm, who knows what we're looking at here, anyone?

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I was going to ask if magnetic but one thing at a time, it could be some kind of gouge material,I had herd of the obsidian gold and as i said lot,s of multiple ores up there,It could have been a camp sample and old flux from the old site and with the bubbleing i still lean toward that. What was the ground like were it was found, was it in the old momo site or dogtown placers?

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I tried to find the Mono Diggings one day and couldn't, thats not where I found the copper and the ground was all Obsidian. How could I find out if there is any gold in these pieces? Nitric? Who knows where to get some?

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Dolly it up to a fine powder and pan it out ,that should tell you if it is gold,

That said if it is visible i would not destroy a possibly valuable specimen

If you dolly it up, be sure to wear a mask and stay outside, fine obsidian powder would wreak havoc on the lungs, a small amount of inhalation might not be noticed, but it would be permanently stuck in your lungs and keep abrading.

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Whats is Dolly it up? lol I got a little Jaw Crusher from the guy off ebay, can't remember his name but they work great! You mean crush up some of the Obsidian and see if there is free milling gold? I could try that, though everything I've seen has looked like pure copper. I guess the real question is...

Assuming the Obsidian was molten and flowed through a lode deposit of copper. Is it possible in a Copper Lode to have gold as a by-product? Thats what I want to know, I'ma go look it up. What do you guys think?

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Ok, I went back and looked through all the pieces of Obsidian that I had originally put through the rock tumbler. I found a small piece that had a piece of copper showing, crushed it and panned it. What I found was one small perfectly round piece of copper with half of it covered in some kind of silvery metallic looking stuff. I took the piece and put a 14k acid test on it and watch the ball danced around until all the copper was gone. Interestingly it left behind the silvery shell that was covering half of it but it was no longer silvery, it turned a dark ocean blue type of color. Could this blue stuff actually be silver? I guess I should try the 14k acid on some silver and see if it turns the same color.

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Sounds like that is Silver, Silver and copper and lead run together quite a bit and also with gold some of the old silver mines would run 112 oz silver per ton 25 oz copper and 5 oz gold , Boy that would be a nice find these days ,The Obsidian would have only needed to pass up a load,vent and even could have metals in the mix, there is a lot we do not know and i have seen some weird ores/crystals and Basalts that kind of break the book so to say.

Most of the Obsiian found in the east coast indian village,s was from that mono area, I guess it was a heck of a trade item,

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