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Black coated gold nuggets, Salton Sea area?


Red_desert

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Recently, I was digging out old reseach material, published back before metal detectors went to being micro-processor controlled. I happen to mention these black nuggets to some shipwreck salvor treasure hunters, because they discovered 3 articles online, about a story of a Spanish galleon wreck in the desert.

Has anyone ever found or at least tried searching for these nuggets? Here is what I gave them, as for info.

I got the book out, to get accurate details of the story. I'll leave the names of preople out, but this story comes from the author's own personal experience (who had been highly respected by the treasure hunting community). He was visiting a prospector (single loner that never married) in the Salton Sea area. The guy placed in his wife's hand a black coated gold nugget the size of a walnut. She leaned forward from the weight of it.

The nugget was found (along with several more black nuggets) when the prospector with a buddy went duck hunting in the Salton Sea area. On their trip back home, near Octillo Wells, a strong wind they called The Chubasco blew over the desert. Soon as the winds hit, the canvas top of the old Model T Ford blew off. The men spent the night in the bend of a deep creek bed. In the morning they saw how 1 1/2 feet of roots were exposed on the desert plants. Black heavy rocks were scattered around the desert floor at this point of the creek bend.

Later the author treasure hunter, went to the spot with his new prospecting friend. He used his metal detector not finding any, but the prospector recovered a couple when off by himself digging without a metal detector. The location where they pulled over to leave the highway...Mountain Springs Grade. Then a little across the desert to reach that deep creek bend.

Maybe I should give the author credit here, the name is George Mroczkowski, curator of the San Luis Rey Mission Museum. Back in the "Good Ole Days" of treasure hunting, a few of those museum owners also went out searching for artifacts themselves to put up museum displays (and hunt treasure).

Edited by Red_desert
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Not familiar with the story but I hear gold can turn black with cyanide.  Supposedly black covered nuggets can be found.  I wouldn't believe the Spanish Galleon in the desert, but the original conquistadors came through the Southwest, and I would not put it past there being some lost plunder out there.  I do remember a story of the journeys of Coronado and somewhere along his journey losing a chest of pearls.

I enjoy the treasure stories.

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Red Desert,

 

I see you read desert magazine as well. I doubt the shipwreck story though.

http://dezertmagazine.com/mine/1946DM11/index.html        (see pg.8)

Edited by Desertpilot
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That story solved at least one mystery for me.  Never knew why the Salton sea was called that.  I guess prior to the canal busting that built it, looks like there was the town of Salton located there.

Nice article.  I'd love to take three months to locate a claim.

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I've heard several stories of black nuggets in the Ocotillo Wells area, all of them different. Mainly "Peglegs" black nuggets. I think some people have gone as far as painting nuggets black and claiming they found them in Ocotillo wells. Its probably all a big story to keep people away from an area close by that has the actual nuggets. I bet the real gold is on the Military/Government controlled land like the Chocolate Mountains which are right by the Salton Sea on the other side from Ocotillo Wells.

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Black nuggets are colored by oxidized manganese... Nitric acid will clean them up very well ... Our big placer mine in N. CA produced a lot of them and most cleaned up really well after a few days treatment ...They came out of the Klamath Mine up Eddy Gulch and were quite common...The ore displayed lots of manganese ...Cheers, Unc

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Somewhere someone showed a bunch of half black nuggets said they recovered them from out that way . Said they cleaned them out pretty well back when gold was low down on price .

Edited by H-2 Charlie
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7 hours ago, Alwaysdirty said:

I've heard several stories of black nuggets in the Ocotillo Wells area, all of them different. Mainly "Peglegs" black nuggets. I think some people have gone as far as painting nuggets black and claiming they found them in Ocotillo wells. Its probably all a big story to keep people away from an area close by that has the actual nuggets. I bet the real gold is on the Military/Government controlled land like the Chocolate Mountains which are right by the Salton Sea on the other side from Ocotillo Wells.

I too,  associate Pegleg with black gold nuggets. I think in most cases manganese is the main  reason for the black color which should give one some idea of the geology where they were found... But only if the story is true.

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From what I'd read about them, not all stories were the same location, meaning they must be a natural gold nuggget. In the old days of treasure hunting, there was a person who identified themself as Mr. X, Supposedly, he either sent photos or samples, maybe both to Desert Magazine at times. Pegleg is the most common story, the region is hot or other times windy, then flash flooding also.

I'm sure in recent times there could be people dishonest enough to color them black just to make an extra buck

Edited by Red_desert
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23 minutes ago, Red_desert said:

In the old days of treasure hunting, there was a person who identified themself as Mr. X, Supposedly, he either sent photos or samples, maybe both to Desert Magazine at times.

 

I remember that. It's been probably 25 or 30 years ago when I read an article along with pictures. I think he sent the same pictures to other prominent treasure magazines at the time. 

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