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Gold bearing quartz in Illinois


Jim K

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Hi Guys,

My first post in the gold prospecting forum. I hunt meteorites and I've found a couple of quartzy stones with some very small flakes of what I think is gold. At first I thought it might be fools gold but that's yellow and these flakes are gold color. Strange for Illinois were I have'nt heard of anyone finding gold here. Is there an easy way of getting the tiny flakes out of the rock or do I just start beating them with a hammer? Maybe I should start panning the creeks here.

Cheers,

Jim

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Jim-

The only gold I know of in Illinois comes from glaciers (placer) and not lode. Chances you have a sulphide like pyrite,etc. I would try to get a little of the golden colored mineral onto a streak plate using a nail and smear it with your thumb. Gold will not smear. A sulphide will. it could also be something else. I just don't think it's gold. Sorry.

Steve

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Hi Steve,

I also suspect that these are glacier deposited stones. I'll try to get some of the grains of material out of the stone for testing.

Thanks for the reply.

Jim K

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A hammer and a hard, uncontaminated surface will do to reduce the stone to powder. Add some Jet Dry to water and pan out. If it's gold it will be the last thing remaining in the pan. You should be able to observe the tiny particles closely under a magnifier and perhaps even perform some ductility tests. Most likely, though, it's pyrite in the quartz. Pyrite will be jostled easily by the water as you pan.

BTW, where in Northern Illinois are you located?

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I don't have a proper gold pan. Will a pie pan work? I've never done it but seen it done on TV.

Jim

Yes a pie pan will work, not quite as good for a beginner as a real pan, but even with a real pan there is a learning curve, go to YouTube and search for "How to Pan for gold", "gold panning", gold panning techniques", etc., there are a lot of good panning videos on YouTube and the videos will be a better help for you than seeing it done on TV a few times!!!

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For the small amount of crushed powder you will create by hammering the stone, a pie pan will do just fine. In fact, if you have a small flour sifter to go with that pie pan, you first could run your ground up stone through the sieve. That will enable you to reduce the amount you have to pan and will make panning much easier by achieving uniformity of size (the smallest stuff that goes through the sifter). Get yourself a magnifying glass and watch the action of the gold colored specks as you gently swirl the water in the pan. You may have to carefully pour off the first batch or two of water to get rid of the murk and clarify the water to where you can see clearly. If they are easily moved by the water relative to the other stuff, then most likely you'll be looking at pyrite. However, if the yellow stuff tends to stay in one place relative to the other particles, it may be time to uncork that bottle of Jack Daniels you've been saving for a worthy moment. Best of luck.

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I took the rocks to work this morning and crushed them with a 30 ton hydraulic press. I thought a hammer would be too messy. Panned out the crushed rocks and didn't see any gold. Dried the dirt that was left in the pan and took a close look at it with my loupe. Saw that the gold colored grains were still stuck to the tiny pebbles. Found one sliver of metal that was free from the stone and put a magnet to it. It stuck, so it's certainly not gold.

The online panning video's were very helpfull and it was a fun project for me. Maybe some day I'll get out west and try panning for some real gold.

Cheers,

Jim K

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