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Different Kind Of Nugget Found W 24k, What Would You Do?

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I like em just the way they come out of the ground.  i'd leave it natural.

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I do not think of ANY native gold as "ugly" ... all of it is beautiful. I agree with beatup -- keep it natural. I'd place it in a shadow box with other nuggets that are different in appearance and have the box on my coffee table. 

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On 7/31/2018 at 8:38 PM, Gerry in Idaho said:

One of the things that intrigues me about natural raw gold is the many offbeat ways nature creates Au.  This rare (to me) almost sheet type gold is a 1st.  It looks as if the liquid metal cooled right between two quarts seams and then just popped out.  You can still see small rough white quarts crystals still attached to both sided of this beauty.  YES it is!  You may think it is ugly and that is fine, but since I own it, I say it is a beauty.  Just bigger than my thumb nail and weighs in at 2 grams (30 grains) and was found with the 24K while using the 6" concentric coil at about 8" depth.  This one is an Idaho piece and a little unique compared to the others found in years past at that site.

I'm wondering if I should tumble it a little to get a bit smoother shine or use a wire brush to add a little sparkle or leave it as is?  What would you do with something like this?


Hi Gerry… congratulations on a very appealing find. Your specimen is attractive precisely because the gold contrasts so nicely with the white, crystalline quartz.

I would avoid any form of hydrofluoric acid treatment that would attack the quartz crystals for that reason alone. A rock tumbler could damage both the gold and the quartz depending on the abrasive material utilized. The gold notwithstanding, we don’t want those handsome quartz crystals irretrievably damaged. 

It really is better to avoid any treatment to naturally attractive samples such as this one. That said, what you want is easily achieved with very little risk of damage.

First option before attempting the technique described below for such a small sample, might be to try swirling the specimen for a few moments in a vinegar / table salt solution. I doubt it would attack the quartz crystals but ought to brighten the gold. Similarly, oxalic acid will remove iron stains without damaging the quartz. It is the standard treatment for this purpose used by serious collectors.

From the photo at least, the gold could be somewhat delicate, but you might safely use a light gauge circular wire brush without incurring any serious damage. It's a bit risky on such a small sample. These wire brushes are normally supplied with small handheld rotary tools (dremel for example), and without checking mine, I think they’re about ¾ inch diameter or so. Use a slow speed setting, and only allow the brush tips to touch the high points of the gold. Apply no pressure. This will produce an attractive light luster, particularly on the gold high points.

The silver sample below is much larger of course, but in appearance is somewhat similar in shape and structure to your gold specimen. It looked very much like your sample insofar as the silver was quite dull with no luster worth mentioning. Below is the final result after using a circular wire brush, but where some light pressure was applied because the sample was sufficiently durable to support it without risking damage…………….. Jim.


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I would try oxalic acid ( very strong mixture with water) to brighten the gold and remove some of the iron oxide or try Whink that has a small concentration of hydrofluoric acid for somewhat more aggressive cleaning of the gold, removing iron oxides and dissolving some of the quartz. If you use these two methods it will take time to see any satisfactory results, so be patience.  If you have some hydrofluoric acid in a higher concentration (48% strength or more) you will have faster results and would need to monitor closely so you don't destroy the specimen. But be extremely careful when using any type of hydrofluoric acid in any form, the acid is deadly and I mean deadly, you better know what you are doing! Finally soak the specimen in baking soda if you use any of the cleaning methods above. There are other methods that can be used to also give a wow look, but I would need to studying the specimen first hand on what would be the best course of action to take.

Very nice find!

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Crush it, pan it, melt it into a gold blob. Na just kidding. Maybe a bit of an acid bath to clean it up a little & make the gold a bit more pronounce. Shame it wasn't bigger. :biggrin: Or you could just send it over to me. :laugh:

Nice wee find.?

Good luck out there

JW :smile: 

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Nice nugget with very fine particles of gold I'd name it the "sand nugget" clean with a tooth brush and and call it good. You've been busy Gerry I cant keep up with all your finds :biggrin:


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