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Nice 2 Ounce GPZ Nugget I Found

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Unfortunately, the whole story about the "Peg Leg" being found in Desert Mag was all made up. Magazine sales had been slow and they needed something to perk things up. It worked. The only reason I know is because a friend interviewed someone that worked at the mag, who spilled all the beans.




Look carefully, and you can see the black spray paint on the guy's wrist in the picture! HAHAHA


On the other hand, the story about Thomas L. "Peg Leg" Smith is about 95% likely true. He originally thought the nuggets were copper when he first started picking them up on that butte. He didn't find out till after he got to L.A. that they were gold. He spent the next twenty or so years looking for that middle of three buttes somewhere South West of The Salton Sea. I know where some have been found in that area (a few different places). I have seen a couple that people had in their collections. Authentic PegLeg Black Gold Nuggets are not coated with Desert Varnish (windblown Manganese, Iron, and Clay). They are black due to the oxidation of the approximately 10%-15% copper content of the gold. I have looked on and off for those nuggets for over twenty years. I have scoured the desert and mountains areas from Calexico to In-Ko-Pah Gorge in the South, and from The Chocolate Mountains, over to the Coyote Mts, and up to the Southern Santa Rosa Mountains to the North. Even so far as to go through both the Chocolate Mountain Bombing Range and The Carrizo Impact Area. 


The main reason the source of PegLeg Smith's Black Gold Nuggets has yet to be found IMO because all the areas around it are very rugged, and much of the land around there is Government Administered (Anza Borrego Desert State Park, etc, etc, etc), and off limits to the public (Bombing and Impact Areas). One of the areas I spend a lot of time are The Borrego Badlands. Here are some pics.


From the top at Font's Point:




From below, look carefully, and you can see me. I am 6'4" and 285lbs. See how tiny I am?




Not a nice place. Not much lives there. Just occasional brush, jackrabbits, and rattlesnakes.


..............and don't forget The Bombing Ranges!





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Great post, Gollum.
My little black nugget just has the iron oxide coating on it like Jonathan's. Rob Allison pulled several ounces of black nuggets from the same area, some were over an ounce each.




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Nice post Mike. I spent a lot of day-dream time on that Desert Magazine article.

The spray paint on the wrist put that dream to rest.

The desert down in that area is haunting and amazing, I wish I had more time to learn it.



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I have a couple of pics of some. When I get home, I will post a couple.


Don't let that dampen your wick! Just because that part of the story is bogus, the main part is not. A lot of documented verification of much of the story.



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Aside from the Lost Peg Leg, those cliffs you see are a couple of hundred feet deep alluvial runoff from a combination of the Fish Creek and Santa Rosa Mountains. In the bottoms of all those chasms are tons and tons of rocks. They are all rounded river rocks. Tells me that SOMEWHERE down there is a LOT of gold that flowed down towards The Salton Sink.




Someone had the bright idea at some point to work this gravel. They only dug down about 2 feet on top of one hill, but they made a BIIIIIIIIG pile of rocks (and I am 6'4")!





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