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BIG NUGGETS REVISITED! - NEVADA GOLD!

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I like to revisit the big nugget finds and (re-post) the photos once in awhile, especially at this time of the year when cooler weather allows for extended treks to the gold fields. There was a time not that long ago, when disclosing the location of big nugget finds was frowned upon, and would likely get a flaming response from certain members of the Nugget Hunting Fraternity. I trust that's not the case here.  As a Newbie, I remember being inspired by first hand accounts of lunker type discoveries, and even rumors of a big nugget find would get my attention. I salivated over the possibility of such a find, however unlikely that might be. I read and re-read all of Jim Straight's publications, paying particular attention to discussions of secondary, (supergene) enrichment and wondering in fascination as to how a nugget could ever get that big, (under what geologic conditions) and where?, a nugget of this size might be found. The answer as exemplified by the attached photo, was Humboldt and Pershing Co. Nevada. More specifically, the Eugene Mts. S/W of Winnemuca, NV.  The 23 oz. nugget in the photograph was found by Richard (Dick) Bailey, of Imlay, NV, using a Whites Goldmaster. Hopefully, current and future gold hunters who aspire to discover big nuggets will continue to be inspired, (as much as I, and many others have been), by stories and photographs passed down from those who made these great finds and took the time to share their stories. Additional detailed posts and discussion to follow.

DICK BAILEY-  NUGGET.PNG

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I've heard about this find , I believe Dakota Slim has been around the area/story also.

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Quite a few members of our viewing community are familiar with the story of Dick Bailey's nugget. Some, but not all, would be considered the "Elder Statesmen" of Nugget Hunters. These senior members knew Dick around the time of discovery, (As I recall, it was the Spring of 1999), and were even in the general area at the time.  And, they know of the humorous and inevitable nickname that anyone named Dick who found a nugget weighing about 2 lbs, would be tagged with. A few folks who know the story, still hunt this area, (myself included) not only because of this particular nugget find, but also because other large, (20+ oz) nuggets were found in the same general area. Not to mention the fact that pounds and pounds of nuggets have been found in the Eugene's and surrounding areas. Many large, (sun baker) nuggets were found virtually on top of the ground!

I first met Dick shortly after he had sold the nugget. It was a chance encounter due to an unfortunate mechanical breakdown I had on the road to Burning Man late one morning. I didn't know it was the road to burning man until about 1,000 bikers zoomed past my disabled pickup headed West in a mile long choking cloud of dust. Coming the opposite direction was Dick Bailey and Ben Taylor who were returning from a nugget hunting trip. They towed me in to Ben's house in Imlay and invited me to join them that evening for Pizza and beer, after which, they showed me gold nuggets they had found in the area, including the ones they had found that day, (impressive)  Dick told me the story of his monster nugget find and showed me the attached  photograph. When he saw that my face resembled Adam's emoji, he gave me the photo, and invited me to hunt the area with him the following day! (To be Con't)

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Dick Bailey was a really good friend of mine. Spent hours hunting together and even more hours bs'ing in the truck stop at Mill City.

R.I.P. dear friend

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Dick Bailey Nugget Con't: When we got to the spot where Dick said he found the nugget, he pointed out several things that I found interesting. First, he mentioned that most of the other nugget hunters in the area had been detecting up too high and not down past the "toe of the slope" He showed me a topo map of the area and visually lined up a gold mine high up toward the crest of the ridge. With the mine as a guide over his shoulder, he had hunted down slope along that visual line beginning at the "toe", until he had reached a fairly flat area of sagebrush and several inches of alluvium, where he found the nugget at "about 8" or so deep." He also said there was a known "patch" up slope in the vicinity that had yielded several good sized (but not huge) nuggets in the past, and everybody had gotten used to detecting close to the known area. Because he had never seen anyone "further down", he decided to give it a shot and it paid off. To the tune of $15,000.00 cash, so he said, which he used to buy a mobile home that he lived in at the time. I asked Dick, that since he found the nugget with a White's detector (and 14" coil), and he was then using a Fisher's GB-2, why he had switched, and if he had contacted White's about a promotional sponsorship, including a complimentary new detector?. He showed some anger and replied that he had indeed contacted White's, told them about the find and discussed a sponsorship arraignment, similar to the one that Terry Bone previously had with them.  He said they had turned him down with the excuse that he wasn't a "professional" nugget hunter! He was genuinely indignant about it and swore he would never use another White's detector as long as he lived. When I saw him again a few years later, he was still using the Gold Bug -2.

In memory of Richard Bailey who passed in 2011. Thanks Dick. R.I.P. 

 

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Some of us have found and others of us have pondered how it is possible for big nuggets to be found in the top layer of otherwise deeper soil, especially the "loner nuggets" where no other gold of any size in the immediate vicinity.  Gold definitely is where you find it.  But these relatively rare finds are the exceptions precisely because the greater percentage of nuggets do indeed follow better understood explanations.

Here are just a two thoughts I toss out regarding possible explanations for the puzzling loner nugget or small group of nuggets that are found in topsoil:

1. Earthquake activity can be a wildcard.  While in law school my property law professor, Richard Powell, told of his experience acting as the special master appointed by the President of the United States to help put the property lines of Alaska back together again after the humongous 1964 Anchorage quake.  He spoke of residents telling him of violently shaking and trembling ground that lasted for at least 5 continuous minutes during which roads, houses, fence lines and other normally permanent structures broke apart and then danced and moved a total of up to a quarter mile apart.  Some desert areas lie on major fault lines and over geologic time spans tens of thousands of earthquakes, some extremely large, have rattled and shaken the fabric of the land.  Strong vibrations can move solid objects a surprising distance.

2. Animal activity.  In the deserts we have tortoises, coyotes, ground squirrels, gophers and such that, over time, probably kick up to the surface an occasional nugget from a place deep down and beyond normal metal detecter range.

Thank you BMc for relating your personal story concerning those big nuggets.  I am always eager to hear such accounts that one rarely is privy to other than on this or related forums.

 

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Thank you for posting, I find these stories fascinating and motivating. Keep posting them. 

Chris

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Fascinating stuff ... enjoyed the read! :old:

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5 hours ago, Micro Nugget said:

Some of us have found and others of us have pondered how it is possible for big nuggets to be found in the top layer of otherwise deeper soil, especially the "loner nuggets" where no other gold of any size in the immediate vicinity.  Gold definitely is where you find it.  But these relatively rare finds are the exceptions precisely because the greater percentage of nuggets do indeed follow better understood explanations.

Here are just a two thoughts I toss out regarding possible explanations for the puzzling loner nugget or small group of nuggets that are found in topsoil:

1. Earthquake activity can be a wildcard.  While in law school my property law professor, Richard Powell, told of his experience acting as the special master appointed by the President of the United States to help put the property lines of Alaska back together again after the humongous 1964 Anchorage quake.  He spoke of residents telling him of violently shaking and trembling ground that lasted for at least 5 continuous minutes during which roads, houses, fence lines and other normally permanent structures broke apart and then danced and moved a total of up to a quarter mile apart.  Some desert areas lie on major fault lines and over geologic time spans tens of thousands of earthquakes, some extremely large, have rattled and shaken the fabric of the land.  Strong vibrations can move solid objects a surprising distance.

2. Animal activity.  In the deserts we have tortoises, coyotes, ground squirrels, gophers and such that, over time, probably kick up to the surface an occasional nugget from a place deep down and beyond normal metal detecter range.

Thank you BMc for relating your personal story concerning those big nuggets.  I am always eager to hear such accounts that one rarely is privy to other than on this or related forums.

 

Micro Nugget: Thank you for the kind words. No doubt that through the various epics of the earth building process, and earth movement as defined in your dissertation, there may be causation factors that have something to do with the phenomenon of the "Lone Nugget", as you described.

 My theory is the following:  I mentioned secondary (supergene) enrichment in my original post. I subscribe to this theory as presented in the geology literature, and particularly, (but not exclusively), in the works of (Forum Member) Geologist Jim Straight, who explains this not uncommon geo/chemical occurrence quite succinctly in his excellent publication entitled, "A Short Course in Ore Deposition" . . .  (A primer on Prospecting and Detecting for Hardrock and Eluvial Gold Deposits) 

 I will attempt to explain the theory, in generalized and simplistic terms as I understand it:

 Throughout the Western U.S., much of the deposition of free milling gold has been a process whereby liquid gold solution was deposited into the relatively shallow vein systems of host rocks that were shattered, and re-shattered, during the earth building process over eons of time. The gold solution deposits, (for the most part), were sporadic, intermittent, and discontinuous. Throughout the passage of time, various erosional effects including chemical alteration/decomposition, resulted in the gold being freed from the depository chambers/vugs of the host rock and basically, end up on the ground. The host rock, such as quartz for example, often breaks up and erodes away over time. The nuggets, being inert, and heavy, may remain on the surface for a period of time, but eventually, (depending upon size and weight), and through repeated cycles of continuous erosion, either migrates and becomes concentrated as placer deposits or remains, "in-situ'', (in place) near where they were originally deposited. The nuggets that remain in place are, (in general), what comprises a ''Patch".  A large nugget possibly, may not sink or percolate downward due to it's size and mass.

Now the interesting part, pertaining to the origination of large nuggets; why they are large and why sometimes, but not always, they can be found in "the top layer of otherwise deeper soil", like the Dick Bailey nugget, the T-Bone nugget, and many, many others IN CERTAIN AREAS! Key Phrase. 

During the erosion of a hardrock vein, in areas where there is sodium-chloride, (salt), and commonplace manganese minerals,  the weathering process creates OXIDES.  Oxygen, and of course, there is exposure to water/rain. The end result can be a creation of an acidic solution which, not only weathers away the vein material, through chemical oxidation/rusting, but may dissolve the gold while in the vein. The dissolved gold, while in it's liquid state travels downward in the vein system, or becomes leached out into a liquid pool, sinking into the alluvium until it reaches an acidic neutralizer, such as an alkali wall rock or alkali soil composition.  It then becomes re - solidified into a "slug" of gold, consisting of the smaller precipitated gold nuggets from the vein system.

"This process of dissolving and later re-precipitation of gold, could repeat itself again and again during the geological time period involving the erosion of the vein. This would be nature's way of heap leaching gold; turning smaller particles of gold into solution, and later solidifying it into a large nugget" 

The Eugene Mts. area has all of these elements present, and the repeated finding of single large nuggets with no smaller ones nearby, would seemingly support the above theory. 

 


 

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17 hours ago, Micro Nugget said:

Some of us have found and others of us have pondered how it is possible for big nuggets to be found in the top layer of otherwise deeper soil, especially the "loner nuggets" where no other gold of any size in the immediate vicinity.  Gold definitely is where you find it.  But these relatively rare finds are the exceptions precisely because the greater percentage of nuggets do indeed follow better understood explanations.

Here are just a two thoughts I toss out regarding possible explanations for the puzzling loner nugget or small group of nuggets that are found in topsoil:

1. Earthquake activity can be a wildcard.  While in law school my property law professor, Richard Powell, told of his experience acting as the special master appointed by the President of the United States to help put the property lines of Alaska back together again after the humongous 1964 Anchorage quake.  He spoke of residents telling him of violently shaking and trembling ground that lasted for at least 5 continuous minutes during which roads, houses, fence lines and other normally permanent structures broke apart and then danced and moved a total of up to a quarter mile apart.  Some desert areas lie on major fault lines and over geologic time spans tens of thousands of earthquakes, some extremely large, have rattled and shaken the fabric of the land.  Strong vibrations can move solid objects a surprising distance.

2. Animal activity.  In the deserts we have tortoises, coyotes, ground squirrels, gophers and such that, over time, probably kick up to the surface an occasional nugget from a place deep down and beyond normal metal detecter range.

Thank you BMc for relating your personal story concerning those big nuggets.  I am always eager to hear such accounts that one rarely is privy to other than on this or related forums.

 

I can attest to two of the above mentioned Earth movers.

I was just miles from the epicenter of the 6.8 Nisqually Quake in '01. I was outdoors looking west at the time across the Ft Lewis tank range; a prarie, basically. I saw far distant pines swaying and new something was up. A second later I watched the earth moving out in ripples like a stone thrown into a pond. The prarie looked like a giant had picked the country side up and shook it like a rug. Next thing I know I'm knocked off my feet and riding the ground like being in the surf in a storm surge.  

Easy for me to understand how gold from deep underground can be thrust to the surface in a moment.

Next I own two large Sulcatta tortoises, and they are digging machines, little shelled bulldozers..

I'm truly impressed with the amount of dirt these guys can move in a day.

I see a desert tortoise often near my claim west of Stanton. I oughtta give him a lift to my spot and put him to work.

 

Edited by Edge
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7 hours ago, BMc said:

Micro Nugget: Thank you for the kind words. No doubt that through the various epics of the earth building process, and earth movement as defined in your dissertation, there may be causation factors that have something to do with the phenomenon of the "Lone Nugget", as you described.

 My theory is the following:  I mentioned secondary (supergene) enrichment in my original post. I subscribe to this theory as presented in the geology literature, and particularly, (but not exclusively), in the works of (Forum Member) Geologist Jim Straight, who explains this not uncommon geo/chemical occurrence quite succinctly in his excellent publication entitled, "A Short Course in Ore Deposition" . . .  (A primer on Prospecting and Detecting for Hardrock and Eluvial Gold Deposits) 

 I will attempt to explain the theory, in generalized and simplistic terms as I understand it:

 Throughout the Western U.S., much of the deposition of free milling gold has been a process whereby liquid gold solution was deposited into the relatively shallow vein systems of host rocks that were shattered, and re-shattered, during the earth building process over eons of time. The gold solution deposits, (for the most part), were sporadic, intermittent, and discontinuous. Throughout the passage of time, various erosional effects including chemical alteration/decomposition, resulted in the gold being freed from the depository chambers/vugs of the host rock and basically, end up on the ground. The host rock, such as quartz for example, often breaks up and erodes away over time. The nuggets, being inert, and heavy, may remain on the surface for a period of time, but eventually, (depending upon size and weight), and through repeated cycles of continuous erosion, either migrates and becomes concentrated as placer deposits or remains, "in-situ'', (in place) near where they were originally deposited. The nuggets that remain in place are, (in general), what comprises a ''Patch".  A large nugget possibly, may not sink or percolate downward due to it's size and mass.

Now the interesting part, pertaining to the origination of large nuggets; why they are large and why sometimes, but not always, they can be found in "the top layer of otherwise deeper soil", like the Dick Bailey nugget, the T-Bone nugget, and many, many others IN CERTAIN AREAS! Key Phrase. 

During the erosion of a hardrock vein, in areas where there is sodium-chloride, (salt), and commonplace manganese minerals,  the weathering process creates OXIDES.  Oxygen, and of course, there is exposure to water/rain. The end result can be a creation of an acidic solution which, not only weathers away the vein material, through chemical oxidation/rusting, but may dissolve the gold while in the vein. The dissolved gold, while in it's liquid state travels downward in the vein system, or becomes leached out into a liquid pool, sinking into the alluvium until it reaches an acidic neutralizer, such as an alkali wall rock or alkali soil composition.  It then becomes re - solidified into a "slug" of gold, consisting of the smaller precipitated gold nuggets from the vein system.

"This process of dissolving and later re-precipitation of gold, could repeat itself again and again during the geological time period involving the erosion of the vein. This would be nature's way of heap leaching gold; turning smaller particles of gold into solution, and later solidifying it into a large nugget" 

The Eugene Mts. area has all of these elements present, and the repeated finding of single large nuggets with no smaller ones nearby, would seemingly support the above theory. 

 

BMc I like your geologic analogy of the area and I agree with it. 
but I have to say, I was there too in the time frame your talking about and knew all the people you are referring too. but I still cant figure out who you are?:)
AzNuggetBob

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1 hour ago, Edge said:

I can attest to two of the above mentioned Earth movers.

I was just miles from the epicenter of the 6.8 Nisqually Quake in '01. I was outdoors looking west at the time across the Ft Lewis tank range; a prarie, basically. I saw far distant pines swaying and new something was up. Asecond later I watched the earth moving out in ripples like a pond. The prarie looked like a giant had picked the country side up and shook it like a rug. Next thing I know I'm knocked off my feet and riding the ground like being in the surf in a storm surge.  

Easy for me to understand how gold from deep underground can be thrust to the surface in a moment.

Next I ownt two large Sulcatta tortoises, and they are digging machines, little shelled bulldozers..:miner:

I see a desert tortoise often near my claim west of Stanton. I oughtta give him a lift to my spot and put him to work.

 

Down in West Texas, we used Armadillos for that type of work. Around here in NM, Badgers usually get the assignment . . . :)

Edge, man, I do sympathize with your earthquake ordeal. I went through many mild and a few moderate ones during my 30 years in California, but I was living in Northridge at the epi-center of the Northridge Quake, in '94 and it was pretty unbelievable.I thought a freight train had derailed and hit the building at first. :ROFL:Then, it just picked the bed up and slammed us down violently, hammering us for what seemed like 3-4 minutes but probably less than that.  A 7.1 on the scale as I recall, apartment buildings and freeway collapses, lots of death and destruction. I had a ground floor condo at the time, with two stand up freezers on the patio, full of deer meat, wild pig, many pounds of freshly caught tuna, salmon and yellow tail, along with the usual domestic fare; steaks, chops, ham, bacon etc. We didn't have elect.or natural gas for 3 days, but I had a grill, with several bottles of propane, along with my 2 camper propane bottles, and a gas generator, with a 40 gal.tank of gas.  We could get ice, and man did we party! :oregonian_winesmiley:Between neighbor rescue missions and looter patrols, we had a continuous block party the whole time. Kinda sorry when it was over, and back to work, but oh, well!  :miner:

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Mother Nature can sure put things in perspective for you in an instant. I've ridden out 40' foot seas in AK on a little fishing boat and nearly died from hypothermia in a Superstitions ice storm but nothing made me feel so small as did that earthquake.

I'm off to my claim!!!

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41 minutes ago, AzNuggetBob said:

BMc I like your geological analogy of the area and I agree with it. 
but I have to say, I was there too in the time frame your talking about and knew all the people you are referring too and I still cant figure out who you are?:)
AzNuggetBob

Thanks AzNuggetBob, I consider your comments an honor. While I was up in that area, I didn't hang out much, although I would run into different guys here and there and say howdy, and that was about it. I usually hunted with guys that I met in the field and hit it off with. I ran into Smokey a few times; once out towards the Tungsten mine, I think it was, and a time or two at his laundry in Lovelock.  I passed through the Lunker Hill area occasionally, and I had met Jim Malone a couple of times, once briefly, on site at his operation where you guys were, and again later, at the BLM office in Winnemucca, when he came in to file a claim, I believe he said. I was admiring the chevron gold in the display case that he had donated to them, when he walked in. Somebody had asked me once if I was interested in doing some of the percentage work at the site and I thought about it, but I was a little hesitant, since it seemed like there were plenty of folks already on the site, and being from AZ, I didn't want to seem pushy or wear out my welcome, being on somebody else's turf.

Bob,  I wish now that I could have met you while I was up there. You were, of course, one of the, "Elder Statesmen of Nugget Hunters" that I referred to earlier. I have followed your posts for a long time and have a great deal of respect for your knowledge and experience.

Mac

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20 hours ago, BMc said:

Dick Bailey Nugget Con't: When we got to the spot where Dick said he found the nugget, he pointed out several things that I found interesting. First, he mentioned that most of the other nugget hunters in the area had been detecting up too high and not down past the "toe of the slope" He showed me a topo map of the area and visually lined up a gold mine high up toward the crest of the ridge. With the mine as a guide over his shoulder, he had hunted down slope along that visual line beginning at the "toe", until he had reached a fairly flat area of sagebrush and several inches of alluvium, where he found the nugget at "about 8" or so deep." He also said there was a known "patch" up slope in the vicinity that had yielded several good sized (but not huge) nuggets in the past, and everybody had gotten used to detecting close to the known area. Because he had never seen anyone "further down", he decided to give it a shot and it paid off. To the tune of $15,000.00 cash, so he said, which he used to buy a mobile home that he lived in at the time. I asked Dick, that since he found the nugget with a White's detector (and 14" coil), and he was then using a Fisher's GB-2, why he had switched, and if he had contacted White's about a promotional sponsorship, including a complimentary new detector?. He showed some anger and replied that he had indeed contacted White's, told them about the find and discussed a sponsorship arraignment, similar to the one that Terry Bone previously had with them.  He said they had turned him down with the excuse that he wasn't a "professional" nugget hunter! He was genuinely indignant about it and swore he would never use another White's detector as long as he lived. When I saw him again a few years later, he was still using the Gold Bug -2.

In memory of Richard Bailey who passed in 2011. Thanks Dick. R.I.P. 

 

In closing out the segment on Dick Bailey, I should mention his friend and neighbor, Ben Taylor, who was an accomplished gold hunter in his own right and had quite an interesting life story as well.

After I had  finished working on my truck that was parked in his yard, he asked me to come into his house so he could show me something. We went into the living room/den area where there were several plaques and awards mounted on the walls, and a few handgun competition trophies sitting around, along with Western memorabilia, rugs, paintings and a rustic decorum which contrasted rather spectacularly with several fairly large clustered groups of colored crystals. Ben was an avid pistolero, and even had one very nice bone handled Colt .45 single action - six, mounted on a wooden wall plaque, with details of a mounted competition shoot that he had won.  We talked guns and shooting for a few minutes, intermixed with him telling me about his background as a sailor in the British Navy and how he grew up in England being fascinated with stories of the American West. As soon as his enlistment was up, he emigrated to the U.S., became a citizen, and went to work on a Nevada cattle ranch as a Cowboy, since that was his lifelong dream! He pursued the Cowboy life into middle age during which time he explored the mountains and goldfields in the local area, collecting an impressive amount of gold nuggets, and ultimately settled down in Imlay, close to the Mill City truck stop, where Dick Bailey was the "Tire Man" and Ben's  wife worked as a dispatcher.


As we were talking, Ben was seated at a desk with a CB radio on it, which he used daily,  to stay in touch with his wife at the truck stop.  He noticed that I kept glancing at the large multi - pointed cluster of crystals on his desk (which seemed oddly out of place) and he explained that his wife liked crystals and he had collected them in his travels over the years, to give to her. As he mentioned this, he reached over and placed the crystals on top of the CB Radio, being careful to turn the points toward the wall. He then told me a story of how, until recently, he normally had kept the crystals on top of the CB like they were now.  He had stopped doing that after he bought a new large screen T.V. for his wife's birthday and set it up in the living room, then keyed the mike of the CB to contact his wife and ask her to come home for lunch so he could surprise her with the new television. The longest crystal point had shot out a beam of electrical energy like a laser, which struck the T.V. right smack in the center of the big screen and melted a hole in it the size of a quarter!


We both laughed about the "manufacturing defect" and he praised the retailer where he bought the T.V. for their prompt replacement of his wife's defective birthday gift.

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5 hours ago, AzNuggetBob said:

BMc I like your geologic analogy of the area and I agree with it....
AzNuggetBob

I also like it and agree BMc. This area has been discussed in the "Where does gold come from? with AZ Nugget Bob" section but to my knowledge nobody wrote anything quite like what you wrote and I think this part is spot on:  
"The end result can be a creation of an acidic solution which, not only weathers away the vein material, through chemical oxidation/rusting, but may dissolve the gold while in the vein. The dissolved gold, while in it's liquid state travels downward in the vein system, or becomes leached out into a liquid pool, sinking into the alluvium until it reaches an acidic neutralizer, such as an alkali wall rock or alkali soil composition.  It then becomes re - solidified into a "slug" of gold, consisting of the smaller precipitated gold nuggets from the vein system"

I think this explains the variety of crystalline, wire and chevron gold found in the region and I think at least some of the acidic solution came from rain which resulted from catastrophic worldly events.

* I too knew Dick Bailey although I didn't meet him until 2005. I met him at the Malone property after Jim died and before Jim's wife sold the place. We met up again a couple years after that and had a pizza at the Rye Patch Oasis. 

Edited by Dakota Slim
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16 minutes ago, Dakota Slim said:

I also like it and agree BMc. This area has been discussed in the "Where does gold come from? with AZ Nugget Bob" section but to my knowledge nobody wrote anything quite like what you wrote and I think this part is spot on:  
"The end result can be a creation of an acidic solution which, not only weathers away the vein material, through chemical oxidation/rusting, but may dissolve the gold while in the vein. The dissolved gold, while in it's liquid state travels downward in the vein system, or becomes leached out into a liquid pool, sinking into the alluvium until it reaches an acidic neutralizer, such as an alkali wall rock or alkali soil composition.  It then becomes re - solidified into a "slug" of gold, consisting of the smaller precipitated gold nuggets from the vein system"

Thanks Dakota Slim,

Although it is paraphrased slightly,  I took the above paragraph from Jim Straight's publication that I quoted at the beginning of the post. I do not claim credit for it. I also don't believe the content of his works, as exemplified above,  gets enough exposure, because the knowledge and experience is there inside every one of these little field manuals that he wrote. If anyone is seeking to understand the subject matter, I highly recommend obtaining and reading his materials. It may not all sink in at once, because he writes like a Geologist, (since he is one)  But repetitive reading tends to make things clear . . . the light does come on eventually.

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5 hours ago, Edge said:

Mother Nature can sure put things in perspective for you in an instant. I've ridden out 40' foot seas in AK on a little fishing boat and nearly died from hypothermia in a Superstitions ice storm but nothing made me feel so small as did that earthquake.

I'm off to my claim!!!

Good luck and don't turn your back on your Mule! :)

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1 hour ago, Dakota Slim said:

I also like it and agree BMc. This area has been discussed in the "Where does gold come from? with AZ Nugget Bob" section but to my knowledge nobody wrote anything quite like what you wrote and I think this part is spot on:  
"The end result can be a creation of an acidic solution which, not only weathers away the vein material, through chemical oxidation/rusting, but may dissolve the gold while in the vein. The dissolved gold, while in it's liquid state travels downward in the vein system, or becomes leached out into a liquid pool, sinking into the alluvium until it reaches an acidic neutralizer, such as an alkali wall rock or alkali soil composition.  It then becomes re - solidified into a "slug" of gold, consisting of the smaller precipitated gold nuggets from the vein system"

I think this explains the variety of crystalline, wire and chevron gold found in the region and I think at least some of the acidic solution came from rain which resulted from catastrophic worldly events.

* I too knew Dick Bailey although I didn't meet him until 2005. I met him at the Malone property after Jim died and before Jim's wife sold the place. We met up again a couple years after that and had a pizza at the Rye Patch Oasis. 

Interesting. I hunted in the Eugene's with a guy who found a blob of wire gold in the ceiling of a mine adit. He went inside for quite a ways, then saw that it was unstable, with the walls crumbling, and started back out again. Near the entrance, he found that a big chunk of the ceiling had collapsed into a pile. He detected the wire gold inside the pile that fell from the ceiling. :nono:

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This nugget was just under 1/2 oz. Not huge but a real dandy found near Jungo...

 

nugget2.JPG

nugget3.JPG

nugget4.JPG

nugget5.JPG

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9 hours ago, Dakota Slim said:

This nugget was just under 1/2 oz. Not huge but a real dandy found near Jungo...

 

nugget2.JPG

nugget3.JPG

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nugget5.JPG

Now, that's where the rubber meets the Gold!

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On 9/28/2018 at 12:35 PM, Micro Nugget said:

Some of us have found and others of us have pondered how it is possible for big nuggets to be found in the top layer of otherwise deeper soil, especially the "loner nuggets" where no other gold of any size in the immediate vicinity.  Gold definitely is where you find it.  But these relatively rare finds are the exceptions precisely because the greater percentage of nuggets do indeed follow better understood explanations.

Here are just a two thoughts I toss out regarding possible explanations for the puzzling loner nugget or small group of nuggets that are found in topsoil:

1. Earthquake activity can be a wildcard.  While in law school my property law professor, Richard Powell, told of his experience acting as the special master appointed by the President of the United States to help put the property lines of Alaska back together again after the humongous 1964 Anchorage quake.  He spoke of residents telling him of violently shaking and trembling ground that lasted for at least 5 continuous minutes during which roads, houses, fence lines and other normally permanent structures broke apart and then danced and moved a total of up to a quarter mile apart.  Some desert areas lie on major fault lines and over geologic time spans tens of thousands of earthquakes, some extremely large, have rattled and shaken the fabric of the land.  Strong vibrations can move solid objects a surprising distance.

2. Animal activity.  In the deserts we have tortoises, coyotes, ground squirrels, gophers and such that, over time, probably kick up to the surface an occasional nugget from a place deep down and beyond normal metal detecter range.

Thank you BMc for relating your personal story concerning those big nuggets.  I am always eager to hear such accounts that one rarely is privy to other than on this or related forums.

 

MicroNugget
Just my two cents on it. from my experience there in the Rye area of Nv., many of the nuggets are laying on a type of white hard pan layer. similar to caliche but not as hard as you see here in Az.. being closer to the surface it may be in the process of breaking down from natural weathering.
Ive dug through it in several places where I was finding nuggets but no nuggets under it. could be some type of calcium carbonate/salt/lime deposits. I've never analyzed it. appears to be old ocean bed in many areas.
The mountain ranges there appear to have risen up through it with the intrusive tectonic plate shuffle along with the sierras and then eroded some of the gold down from hardrock sources on top of it. but I do think some of the gold including at least some of the chevron gold may have formed in some of it. of all the chevron nuggets I found there, none had quartz in them or any other type host rock than an odd green clay and few had traveled very far based on their sharp edged still well defined shape.
the area was and still is very geothermaly active so its possible they formed or grew in solutions in quartz vugs. Ive found several ancient river beds there too. 
some high up on the ridges with super smooth rounded rocks in a cemented gravel conglomerate
that were more than likely pushed up with the lift. Ive found several in the rye area and some N.E.of Winnemucca, way north clear up by the Idaho border.
The area has a lot of combined geologic history from many different time periods.

AzNuggetBob

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On 9/29/2018 at 7:04 PM, Dakota Slim said:

This nugget was just under 1/2 oz. Not huge but a real dandy found near Jungo...

 

nugget2.JPG

nugget3.JPG

nugget4.JPG

nugget5.JPG

Wow Slim you need some new tires. just kidding. That nugget is gorgeous. Very Nice find. AzNuggetBob

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On 9/27/2018 at 8:01 PM, BMc said:

wondering in fascination as to how a nugget could ever get that big, (under what geologic conditions) and where?, a nugget of this size might be found.

Relatively recent research has disclosed that microbial action results in transforming colloidal gold into solid gold.  Professor Erik Melchiorre recounted to our local prospecting club how a $20 double eagle minted in 1908 was discovered in an Alaskan sluice in 1959.  Amazingly, after roughly 50 years it was in virtually mint condition except it had deposits of crystallized gold sticking to it.  The theory of how this occurs is that since colloidal gold is toxic to most bacteria, some bacteria have evolved that are able to "de-toxify" the colloidal gold as a survival strategy by eliminating it from the aqueous environment by literally "pooping" it out in a solid form after ingesting it.  Millions upon millions of these gold droppings can build up over time to form very substantial nuggets.  Further research more recently involving these specialized bacteria suggests that if other (invading) bacteria begin moving into their territory, the specialized bacteria are able to reverse the process to repel the invaders.  The bottom line here is that there now is yet another explanation as to how some gold nuggets are able to get so large.

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