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Hello! Thank you so much for allowing me to join this forum! I am typically not a forum type of person, but I have sooo many questions, and none of my facebook friends are very knowledgable about rocks, gems and the sort....

I live in GA, in the gold belt from the crazy gold rush days. I have always enjoyed collecting the quartz on nature walks, but I never had any clue about the rich history here...

My family and I went to Sedona recently, and there were a ton of stores selling quartz, and turning mad profit, and so I told my husband, you know, we have a ton of that in our backyard! He didn't believe me, so I took him around our land, and he was astonished at all of the rocks we found, and how easy it was to do so. Many of them were right at the surface, some in front of trees-buried.

We brought the rocks home, and I also gathered various samples that I have found... So many rocks, and we aren't even scratching the surface here.

So we started cleaning up the rocks, and found that we had quite a bit of what appears to be gold... We also have geodes, and other fun stuff.

Now don't get me wrong, I get that pyrite and mica can be deceptive... However, if anything, my gut is telling me that what we have is pyrite, gold and quartz...

So my questions are... What do we do now? Can we turn a profit? Where do we go from here? Also, what is the deal with the black tarry/resiny stuff that seems to cover a lot of the gold?

Any help would be wonderful, and thank you again, so much, for existing!











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Welcome to the forum!

I have looked at your photos, and I don't see anything that maybe gold except for in the last 2 photos, but it's still hard to tell for sure, the photo of the smaller piece of quartz is out of focus and with the larger piece the lighting isn't the best, what I'm seeing could be Pyrite, Chalcopryrite, mica, or gold, my best guess is Chalcopyrite, pyrite or possible gold.

It's is best to take specimen photos in natural light, but in the shade, another good way to get very good images is with a copier/scanner.

I would suggest that you get someone from your area that is familiar with gold to look at the specimens in person, you could take them to a reputable jeweler, they should be able to test these pieces with an electronic gold tester to let you know for sure if it's gold, a simple preliminary test you can try yourself is to poke the "gold" with a needle or knife, if the "gold" indents it warrants further testing, if the "gold" breaks or crumbles it's not gold but a form of pyrite or mica.

If you find that it is gold then we can help with the "what to do now" question.

Not know exactly where in the Georgia gold belt you're located, it hard to determine if gold has been found in your immediate area, portions of the gold belt could go right through your yard or be miles away even though it is close to you.

That being said the some of the quartz in your pictures looks promising, most of what I see is very mineralized (black and red coloration inside the quartz) and could very well contain gold within the quartz, if if is determined that there's gold in some of your specimens, I would crush some of the quartz that isn't showing any "gold" or showing just a few very fine specks and pan out the material, quartz is very hard so a good hammer and a very hard surface is required to crush the quartz into a fine powder, please wear safety glasses and heavy gloves to avoid cut and getting anything in your eyes if you do attempt to crush some of the quartz, if you crush the quartz and find some gold, I can instruct you on how to make a simple rock crusher out of pipe and pipe fittings that will make the job a little easier and safer.

I'm not sure about the "black tarry/resiny" substance, I'm not seeing anything from your photos that fits that description, except maybe in the 1st, 3rd and 4th photos, which is just a outer coating of iron staining and or mineralization.

I can put you in touch with a gentleman in the North Georgia area that can answer all of these questions if you would like, he is a gold prospector, builder of gold mining equipment but also collects all gemstones while prospecting for gold, he very often at the Gold and Gem Grubbin Mine in Cleveland Ga..


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Run don't walk to your local gem/mineral--mining or detecting club as all are fulla knowledgeable retired folks like me just waiting to help a newbie along the rugged learning curve. Georgia is where the phrase"There's gold in them thar hills" originated and there is a whole lot more mineral wise there also. Have fun-John

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I don't know a whole lot about minerals and rocks. I just look for gold. Sometimes it's hard to tell from pics on here but I didn't see any rocks in your pics that had visible gold in them. If hunting for and selling minerals is as tough as gold mining then I'd say you have your work cut out for you. Most stones of significant value are rare and tricky to find, unless you are in the right area and know your stuff. There are literally thousands of really neat looking quartz rocks, and other stones out here in the desert and unfortunately alot of them aren't worth much except maybe as personal peices with sentimental value. There may be some valuable rocks on your property, you might try taking some of your best pieces to that rock shop and see if they are worth anything just to get an idea. I imagine with the gold rush back east that your area was hit pretty hard by prospectors already. It's unlikely you would find much of value on the surface if old miners have already combed that area. But, you never know so take some of those rocks to a professional to find out what you've got.

Edited by King
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Hello, and thank you all so much for taking the time to reply to me! So kind of you!

I have another question... If I was to wash these with a pressure washer, do you think it would wash away the gold?

We have been using a pressure washer to clean these. I was feeling that if there was gold it would probably stick to the rock, but what do you think?

Boulder Dash, I would love to know why you feel it is a Mica schist and what that means exactly. I feel that the geodes are mica bearing, but am not seeing a connection with the rest. Also, I have never panned for gold, as we live up on a hill, and there is no stream where I found these (except for when it rains ;) Thank you for the advice!

Skip, you are right, it could really be any of those things. I think I am feeling like it isn't pyrite because it does not have the squared off look that pyrite has, although I have a lot of potential pyrite in many of these other rocks. I certainly don't think that all of the rocks that we have found have gold in them, but I find them all intriguing and beautiful in their own way. For that reason, I am not excited about pounding into them, however, last night I took the piece in the second to the last picture, which I suspect is gold, and pounded through, only to find more and more gold veins, as well as some pieces of pyrite within it. I put some of the flakes in water, and it went down. I imprinted some with my thumbnail. It is all pliant. Some might flake off because it is attached to a flake of quartz. The larger rock on the table... Well that one is whispering gold to me, and has a few golden areas that are winking. The second picture sets my metal detector off like crazy, but I just got it, and am not sure how to work it, so admittably don't know what I am doing, or what that means. I can definitely try taking the piece I was monkeying with to a jeweler.

I live on a hill in the Paulding County area. I am in Paulding County, close to Powder Springs, Villa Ricca, Kennesaw, etc. Northwest GA. I would love to connect with your friend!

Thank you, John, I was looking into a mineral club just the other day :)

King, I have been thinking about bringing them to a crystal shop, as well.

Thank you all soo much!

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I think everyone finds ounces of gold the first time they go out. I did, but my ounces of gold turned out to be a whole bunch of gold colored mica. Also the few grains of that mica I found came nowhere near an ounce of mica. When I showed my peers at work the gold before I realized it was mica, they got a kick out of it. That’s when they showed me how to pan and all the other basics. I’ve since realized I’m not going to make a living off it, but I love getting in the outdoors.

I’ve also thought about selling the chunks of quartz on my claim. Once I started looking at the stuff that was being sold, it was much bigger, cleaner, whiter, and less fractured than the quartz that was on my claim. Most of the stuff I see being sold has been worked into some sort of lamp or dish. All the stuff I get lying on my claim, the side that’s in the dirt is stained brown of has green moss growing on it and I don’t know how to clean it.

As far as gold in Quartz, I haven’t found any in the dirty red-stained stuff out here in AZ it’s supposed to be found in. I find it in the nearly white pieces with a slight black streak running through it. Also, when crushing it, I’ve spent hours crushing rock samples to end up with about five specks of gold that is worth less than a penny. Also, anything I thought was visible gold in the rock turned out not to be gold. The few specks I found I didn’t see the gold until I crushed and panned it.

I don’t know what the black tarry substance is, but if you did crush any of the quartz with it, You would be able to take a magnet and get a black sands on it, but not as much black sands as there is tarry stuff.

I think selling the quartz can work, but would probably be quite a bit of work. Sedona’s quartz is supposed have some value because Sedona is one of the world’s five mystic / harmonious points. I don’t necessarily believe that, but plenty of people do. Who knows, Georgia could be the undiscovered sixth.

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The gold belt does indeed run through the lower middle and southern portion of Paulding County, I know for a fact that gold has been found in and around Kennesaw Mountain, Dallas, Vila Ricca, etc., the gold belt continues due southwest of your area into Alabama.

The gentleman I spoke of unfortunately lives up near Cleveland Ga., which is about 75 miles from your area, so I don't know if it would he would be able to come down and check your specimens, but if you're possibly going up toward Cleveland/Dahlonega area I,m sure he would be able to help ID any of your specimens.


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We might do that :). I think some more excavating is in order,first! :) I'm glad to know that he is close-ish ;). We don't mind traveling, considering we spent thirty hours last weekend driving home fromSedona ;). I will let you know, and be posting as I find things out :). I really appreciate all of you, and your food for thought!

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Thank you, klunker! I agree! i so wish that I knew more about IDing these. I have found a holy ton at this point. I have some crystal that I can see through... I have some purples and reds mixed into my quartz. I don't know if that means that I have some garnet and amethyst, or what. I also know for sure that I found a fun lil mica nugget! What a shiny fun piece that was, and IT DIDN'T FOOL ME! :D I still feel like that piece above is gold, but I haven't taken to time to head to a jeweler. I will prob post again this weekend, with new pictures and such after I go to a jeweler and get it IDed.

Question for you guys... What is the best non-acid way to clean crystals and rocks?

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Soap and water and gently brush to start with and then maybe a vinegar/water solution to soak a small sample to how it reacts. There are many other methods but some are very aggressive. Google is your friend. Safety glasses are a must around any chems. Lived in the ATL area 35 years. Chamblee, Norcross, Doraville, Duluth, and Cumming for a bit.

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Thank you so much! I am not discouraged AT ALL! I am now finding gold flakes IN MY CLAY!!! Not even kidding! With brushing the rocks, I worry that I am brushing gold off. I feel like I am wasting it :( Right now I have a ton on my back porch sitting out in the rain, and covered in dirt, and a cup of GA clay with gold flecks all through it. It is just all through this one little area. So pretty. Also, and this may be just a weird coincidence, but I find the biggest/prettiest crystals near the tree trunks. :) I seriously need to take pictures, I just haven't found the time!

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Iron pyrite often is mistaken for gold. To test your gold flakes, try three things:

1. Press down on the flake with a knife point, nail or even a piece of quartz. If it shatters into brittle, tiny pieces it is pyrite. If it is malleable (like solder or lead) it likely is gold.

2. Switch the flake from direct sunlight to shade. Compare the colors. Pyrite tends to lose its luster in shade. If you have a piece of gold jewelry try the same experiment. Gold is not affected as much as pyrite in this regard.

3. Select some of your golden flakes with tweezers and place in a saucer. Add some metal shavings (like what accumulates around a bench grinder or under a hacksaw). Add some clear water, but nothing else. If the golden flakes can more easily be made to go with the flow of gently swirled water than the metallic particles, then it likely is pyrite. If the metal particles move more easily relative to the flakes, then don't even tell your priest!

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More pics :)

Now obviously some of these are mica and pyrite! I have found plenty of both, but if you look closely in the crystals, you can see the golden smears. Also, the pics of dirt were taken in the backyard. They are both the same gold color, but one is easier to see because it is in complete sunlight, and one is in the shadows.











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Thank you, micro! I do need help, though! Seriously! I have written with the gold, and it writes in gold, not brown... Also, it is definitely malleable. You should feel it in the clay! That said, I do have mica and pyrite. I have researched it obsessively! Pyrite looks very geometrical, very squared, and it has more of a flat tone. Mica just flakes away, but the mica that I have found tends to be much more brown than gold...

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