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flake gold


JOHNM

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my first post ever i said gold floats.  i should have asked if gold suspends.  i had what was flake gold and it would not sink under the black sand. i know it was gold because an experienced man was with me and it smeared gold in the bottom of the pan. i brought it home and used the 22 carat gold testing solution on it and was dissolved.  it really was a pain to try to separate it from sand.   is this the way gold flake usually acts in a pan? any suggestions on a better way to separate it?  

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Most always you can get the fines to go to the bottom or separate by using the "tapping" method. Use a magnet so you are just working with as little black sand as possible. Use a drop or two of Jet Dry to break the surface tension. A little "tapping" and a sucker bottle usually gets it done.

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Gold is a metal and will not "smear" on the bottom of your pan, I have never seen pyrite smear either, crumble and break into pieces yes which usually takes a good bit of pressure because pyrite is harder than common steel but it is rather brittle, now mica on the other hand will smear in the bottom of your pan, so I question your "experienced" man's knowledge on gold if he's identifying it as gold, get another opinion, but I can assure you it's not gold if it's "smearing".

Fine flake gold will sink below blacksand if the material is liquefied properly and with the correct agitating actions, now it is sometimes hard to pan out the blacksand without some of the fine gold trying to come along but if you re-settle the gold often it can be done fairly easily though it can be a slow process.

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Sounds like we need a hammer test! Hit a piece with a hammer ... if it just flattens into a larger flake ... more likely is gold ... however if it shatters into many pieces ... sorry not gold and likely iron pyrite aka fool's gold.

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  they are so small for a hammer.  I used my fingernail on most of them and they would not split into layers like mica. they would not even break into sand like material like fools gold. they would bend. the test solution dissolved it.  gold paper leaf will not smear ?  this "stuff" was found in washington in a known gold producing creek.   thanks for the replies gents.  back to the dry washes in  az.

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Smaller gold can be tested with a needle to see if it will crush or bend.

 

I was panning at Lynx Creek where there is very little water and the water I was using was very very muddy and I noticed some of the smallest flakes would float.  I have always wondered what the specific density of muddy water is.  Only other time I saw gold float was on the top of water for the smallest flakes I could see.  Usually a little bit of dishwashing liquid or jet dry will let that gold sink to the bottom.

 

In my experience, the smaller gold may not be worth going after for gravity recovery.  I spent hours getting this gold, but when I put the gold in the picture on the scale, it would not even weigh.01 grams (40 cents or so) which is the least my scale can weigh.  Chasing the small gold can be good for a hobby, but not too economical for gravity recovery methods.

 

I did look at chemical extraction, but not enough of the small stuff for me to start playing with chemicals.  I've got nothing against it done right, just never found gold worth recovering chemically.  Chemical recovery is where most of the gold in the world comes from.

Wickenburg gold-4.jpg

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What Skip said; (and I'm positive GeoJack meant mica but said pyrite..)

Since millable and chemically-locked Au can be found located together I can't doubt some of what you have could be raw gold.. For sure, however, it was not gold that smeared in the pan.. The gentleman is in error if he was saying it's the gold that's being smeared, as gold doesn't smear; it can be construed his being correct if he was truly meaning an indicator mineral was being smeared.. Gold leaf will not smear either.. Almost assuredly what smeared is mica..

Swamp
 

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As Al stated gold leaf will not smear, now one may think that gold leaf does smear because gold leaf is extremely thin and as such it will easily break into very tiny pieces if even touched by your finger and would appear to be smearing because of all the tiny pieces, that's why when working with gold leaf they use very, very soft bristle brushes to work the gold leaf onto a surface that has a special adhesive applied to it and if you aren't careful even these brushes can tear the gold leaf, gold leaf is so thin that you can blow it apart without even blowing very hard, gold leaf is usually 0.1 micron to 0.125 microns thick, to give you an idea how thin that is.... if you stacked 1000 sheets of gold leaf on top of each other they would be about the same thickness as a sheet of printer paper!! :WOW:

http://www.chemicool.com/elements/gold-facts.html

"Gold is also the most malleable of all metals, meaning it can be beaten into thinner sheets than any other metal. Gold can be beaten without any special difficulty to a thickness of 0.1 micron. A stack of one thousand sheets of 0.1 micron gold leaf is the same thickness as a typical piece of printer paper."

Here's a photo of a piece of gold leaf that was hammered out from a piece of gold that was 5mm (just a little larger than 3/16") in diameter, the gold leaf is 1/2 meter square. or approimately 19 5/8" X 19 5/8", if you look at the bottom of the photo you will see a little nugget that is the same size as what was used to create the sheet of gold leaf.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_leaf

800px-Small_gold_nugget_5mm_dia_and_corr

I also agree with Al that you may very well could of had some gold in your pan but it wasn't what smeared in your pan. 

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11 hours ago, adam said:

A truly experienced man would be able to say yes or no emmediately.  No smearing, no guessing, no nothing..

 Agree here too...if it floats...sits on top of black sand, smears, dissolves with a test solution, in all likelihood it's leverite...

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