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I've spent the last 35 or so years of my life concentrating on learning about gold, gold indicators and prospects, yet I don't know anything about silver and silver ore...I don't know what it looks like or its occurrences... I'd like to learn about it because the area around here is sort of famous for silver ... I'm certain that I've passed right over some significant silver deposits and float but, lacking knowledge, I've scootered right on past it ... I'm sure there are guys and gals here on the forum who have that knowledge and even pictures of raw silver and silver ore ... Sure would appreciate sharing knowledge and pix of such ... Thanks in advance ... Cheers, Unc

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I've done a little looking around the Tip Top area, and on Silver Mountain and in Silver Creek between here and Crown King. Geology by all appearances is similar to the gold areas, but from what I've researched and found out, it's very rare to find silver nuggets. Most silver ore in this area from what I've learned is locked in galena and has a blackish grayish appearance. At least that's what some of the tailings I found looked like. And oh yea... it tastes like s**t.

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Ron, there are many ores that can contain silver here's a link to Mindat's photo data base of Arizona raw silver and ores containing silver, there are 49 photos of specimens with about 10 photos on each page you can click on a photo and it will enlarge and then you can use your scroll wheel on your mouse to make it smaller or even larger, click the back arrow in your browser to return to the original page of photos.

If your not familiar with Mindat, you can also use the search function to get info and photos for hundreds of other minerals, if you want just photos make sure to select that option when doing a search, or you can get all data concerning a mineral which will have a link to the photos, for some minerals they have hundreds of photos, Mindat is an awesome mineral research tool!!

http://www.mindat.org/photosearch.php?frm_id=mls&cform_is_valid=1&minname=Silver+&cf_mls_page=1&region=Arizona&text=&phototype=M&mtype=0&stype=0&otype=0&potd=0&sort=&submit_mls=Search&pid=

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Ron almost all indicators for gold can be used for silver.While tracking a vein in the bradshaws near crownking in the early 80's i had 9 different veins assayed all showed silver from 1 to 7 oz per ton one was 40 opt and one 200 opt they all showed lots of gelena and cholcopyrite.Here's some silver from some ore,the yellow ones are not cleaned at all so the ore oxidized them that color.the grey ones have been cleaned some in limeaway post-26859-0-34346400-1425780733_thumb.jpost-26859-0-10422000-1425780858_thumb.j post-26859-0-37135500-1425781100_thumb.j these are from cochise county

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I’m curious about silver also. I figure with it being a fraction the cost of gold and much more plentiful, it has to be out there and I’m tripping over it or throwing it away in the tailings pile. Unfortunately, the pictures off the Nevada Outback Gems page look like all the rock throw away when I go digging. The gold is so easy to distinguish when you see it at the bottom of the pan.

That silver ore to me looks like any of the dark or rust colored rocks that I throw in the tailings pile. To me my shovel is full of silver looking ores anywhere I go. I’m sure its Leverite I’m throwing out and not silver ore.

I figured if I found a silver vein, for me as a small miner, it’d need to be really rich to be worth digging out. One gram per ton for gold in easily diggable dirt would be great, but for silver on a hard rock claim, it’d be a lot higher than that. I would think it would have to be several ounces per ton, maybe even pounds of silver, on a hard rock claim to make digging silver worth it.

Edited by chrisski
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I figured if I found a silver vein, for me as a small miner, it’d need to be really rich to be worth digging out. One gram per ton for gold in easily diggable dirt would be great, but for silver on a hard rock claim, it’d be a lot higher than that. I would think it would have to be several ounces per ton, maybe even pounds of silver, on a hard rock claim to make digging silver worth it.

That's the catch-22. I thought about going after silver myself one time. Trouble is, the places I know where there is abundant silver are fairly inaccessible by normal means. If I was to play that game, not only would I have to invest many thousands of dollars in equipment, I'd also have to doze me out some nice smooth roads to get to the mine(s) to make it somewhat feasible to even transport the ore to a main dump site. Nevermind all the red tape and environmental permitting BS I'd have to wade through. Then on top of all that, I'd have to pay to transport the ore from the dump site to the refiner, in addition to the refinery fees. Not worth it in this day and age... at least for me anyways. :idunno:

Edited by azblackbird
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Economic viability always nixed my silver thirst. Just gotta do a lotta work for 2 little cash and raising 4 kids through college myself mandated MUCH $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ as no help from their MFmothers-John

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Reno Chris,

Silver sure has a lot of different look's. I was look'n at your web page and thought to myself, I bet most prospectors threw it away not knowing. You remember that dude on Steve's old message board? The one that posted all those beautiful pictures of the silver he found? I believe those chunks must have been 10-15 lbs each. Veinlett's running every where in those fine specimen. I'm sure they were cleaned up, but man were they beautiful.

Rim

Edited by Rimshot
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Hi Ron,

I don't know if it will help, but I've got some silver ore from the Red Mountain Mines near Ouray, Colorado.

it is a carbonate type ore that was formed in vertical "pipes", and ran about 66 opt silver, half that again in copper,

and less than a half an ounce in gold. It was consistent at several of the area mines, and was easily detectable

with a White's GMT. Some pieces have silver nuggets in them. I can't tell which, without an X-Ray machine.

You are welcome to a piece if you like.

Ben

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Silver sure has a lot of different looks.

No question there are a whole lot more silver minerals than gold minerals. Gold is almost always 1) metallic gold, 2) tellurides, or 3) tiny particles in pyrite or arsenopyrite. As prospectors we are almost always only interested metallic gold, though mining companies are interested in the other forms too. There are many dozens of silver bearing minerals with various appearances and it also can be found as a part of many other sulfides like galena. Metallic, native silver is more rare, but does occur, though not as commonly as gold or the various silver minerals. Some of the silver minerals like the chlorides and bromides are not sulfides and look very different being waxy and pastel colors. A lot of times an assay is what is needed to confirm the presence of silver in significant amounts - its just not obvious like visible gold. A number of big silver finds in both Nevada and and California were ignored by thousands of prospectors and only eventually found by fire assay of the rock (maybe in Arizona too, I just don't know of any such stories off the top of my head).

Edited by Reno Chris
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I've mined a lot of silver in Colorado and one thing for sure, you don't know if it has silver unless you analyze it, with the exception of wire silver. If the ore in one area has silver than most likely all the ore in that area will have silver, but you won't see it. It is mixed in with other minerals, mostly galena. What I have noticed however is that if the galena cleavage planes are curved and not flat most likely there is good silver in the galena.

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