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  1. Lithium, Can the 6000 find it, hmmm where do you find it. There is a predicted world shortage by 2025, price as of 4/15/22 485,000. Yuan per tonne. Depressing news… I feel both ways about this. Lithium Lithium (pronounced /ˈlɪθiəm/) is the chemical element with atomic number 3, and is represented by the symbol Li. It is a soft alkali metal with a silver-white color. Under standard conditions it is the lightest metal and the least dense solid element. Like all alkali metals lithium is highly reactive, corroding quickly in moist air to form a black tarnish. For this reason lithium metal is typically stored under the cover of oil. When cut open lithium exhibits a metallic luster, but contact with oxygen quickly turns it back to a dull silvery gray color. Lithium in its elemental state is highly flammable. According to theory, lithium was one of the few elements synthesized in the Big Bang. Since its current estimated abundance in the universe is vastly less than that predicted by theory; the processes by which new lithium is created and destroyed, and the true value of its abundance, continue to be active matters of study in astronomy. The nuclei of lithium are relatively fragile: the two stable lithium isotopes found in nature have lower binding energies per nucleon than any other stable compound nuclides, save for the exotic and rare deuterium, and 3He. Though very light in atomic weight, lithium is less common in the solar system than 25 of the first 32 chemical elements. Due to its high reactivity it only appears naturally in the form of compounds. Lithium occurs in a number of pegmatitic minerals, but is also commonly obtained from brines and clays. On a commercial scale, lithium metal is isolated electrolytically from a mixture of lithium chloride and potassium chloride. Trace amounts of lithium are present in the oceans and in some organisms, though the element serves no apparent vital biological function in humans. However, the lithium ion Li+ administered as any of several lithium salts has proved to be useful as a mood stabilizing drug due to neurological effects of the ion in the human body. Lithium and its compounds have several industrial applications, including heat-resistant glass and ceramics, high strength-to-weight alloys used in aircraft, and lithium batteries. Lithium also has important links to nuclear physics. The transmutation of lithium atoms to tritium was the first man-made form of a nuclear fusion reaction, and lithium deuteride serves as a fusion fuel in staged thermonuclear weapons.
  2. Gem silica is more rare and generally more valuable than chrysoprase, the next most vaulable chalcedony. It can sell for hundreds, or even thousands of dollars and ounce for prime, gem grade pieces. 2 years ago I discovered some old workings which I assume were initially copper prospects. A bit of research showed that an old gem chrysoprase mine from the 50's had been located a few miles away. I was unable to find the chrysoprase mine so I think that it was mislocated by authors of the paper, and I also think the owner and the authors misidentified the gem material, and the discovery I made is likely this mislocated "chrysoprase mine". The material at my discovery is what is called "gem silica" though. Chrysoprase gets it's green color from nickel. Gem silica gets it blue color from copper. I zapped the gem material with my XRF and it shows a healthy dose of copper and silicon, with minor impurities, meaning that my material is definitely gem silica. Gem silica has a hardness the same as quartz so it is resistant to scratches and good for jewelery. It resemebles chrysocolla which has similar colors (but less transparency) but chrysocolla only has a hardness of 2-4, meaning it makes a poor jewelery material as it can be damaged easily compared to gem silica with a hardness of 7, which is one reason why gem silica is valuable, aside from it's rarity. I removed this material with a rotary hammer and feathers and wedges. It causes it to fracture a bit more than I'd like. Next time I plan on taking my concrete saw out and trying to remove it in blocks. Much is fractured, so getting large, continuous pieces is difficult. Also, many parts of the vein end up with either iron or manganese impurities in it, causing a blackish tint and this reduces the quality according to traditional measures. Though, I think some of the blue/black pieces could be fashioned into some desirable jewelry as it is very unique. Interestingly, I did find some copper ore nearby that registered up to 150 ppm nickel. So, there may yet be a chrysoprase mine nearby for me to discover still. Either way, gem silica is a very rare and valuable material that few have heard of, so I thought I'd share a post on a bit of work I did at my mining claim to remove some samples for economic and scientific analysis.
  3. Here’s half a Yowah nut opal that I have, I love the unusual opals. Looks kinda like a horse!
  4. I always wonder what happens to the really cool finds that people have... so this is kind of a interesting read and if you hurry a chance to get a really cool Opal🙂 Alaska Premier Auctions
  5. Do any members here have experience with how Galena ore responds to a VLF detector? I'm just curious if some folks on the Upper Missouri river where early mining started ever dig it. I understand it can be found in placer deposits very near the surface.
  6. There is a large area with red soil here in Tuscany, central Italy. Area where we have an intense mineralization, red dirt. Years ago I took this stone which I use to make some quick test at home. Hematite is an iron ore and that’s why I need pulse inductions too..
  7. I spent several years prospecting for diamonds in the Green River basin in Wyoming. never have found one. Last time I was there I left a couple of 8" x 48" sluices in two dry washes. Went back to check them last week. They were completely covered by sand/mud/gravel, so no longer working as sluices...LOL. But I cleaned them out and reset them, and in one, in an area that has produced the most diamond-indicator minerals, produced some nice gem quality chrome diopside, including one 1.46 carat piece, which is pretty rare for Wyoming. Thought you gem-heads might enjoy the pics. Also a pic of some other diamond indicators that were in the sluice, including ilmenite, and spinel.
  8. “A California woman discovered a 4.38-carat yellow diamond in Arkansas' Crater of Diamonds State Park last month, the state Parks Department said. Noreen Wredberg, of Granite Bay, California, was visiting Hot Springs National Park with her husband, Michael, when she decided to stop by Crater of Diamonds."I first saw the park featured on a TV show several years ago," Wredberg told the Parks Department. "When I realized we weren't too far away, I knew we had to come!"” more at https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/finders-keepers-woman-finds-4-carat-yellow-diamond-national-park-n1280650
  9. Hey everybody, glad to have found your forum here. I'm a woodworker and use various crushed materials including soapstone as inlay substrate in some of my pieces, and I thought I'd venture out into the mineralogy world to see if I might find some advice. I'm in search of new color tones of the blue and green type but I'm unfamiliar with what minerals might be of use to me. Would you have any suggestions for what minerals I might take a look at for future potential color sources? Dark / solid hues tend not to work as well with the natural wood colors, but the medium hues certainly do. A material need not be as soft as soapstone to be useful, just crushable (if that's even a word). Thanks, I'm all ears!
  10. worked up a couple blades of gold sheen obsidian for the local prospecting club to give out in their monthly raffles. Just need to cut some antlers and mount them into the handles.
  11. Not all of the good stuff that comes out of the ground in Australia is gold one of my favorite rocks is Mookaite a very fine jasper that comes out of western australia ( windalia radiolarite) because you can make things like this with it.
  12. Last month I started to get a bit bored with my usual Snowbird gig of bicycling, paddle boarding, beachcombing, etc, so I decided to check out some creeks and the Peace River about 3 hrs west of me. This area was covered by shallow seas millions of years ago, and more recently saw the Ice Ages....so a cool mix of fossils can be found. Here is one of the creeks I hunted(cue the banjo music from “Deliverance” lol): So you kayak and/or wade in water of various depths looking for gravels in the bottom, then you dig and sift. All this is done in Gator and snake habitat, so one must stay aware of one’s surrounding while working the gravels: Here’s some of my favorite finds. A fossilized prehistoric bison tooth and a baby Megalodon shark tooth...the Megs are small here, as these shallow seas were the nursery. The next pic has a fossil tortoise leg spur, a crocodile tooth, and 2 extinct Snaggeltooth Shark teeth. Here’s fossilized stuff from my last hunt....upper left are turtle shell fragments; upper right turtle nuchal bones, a prehistoric tapir tooth, a broken Meg; then a whole bunch of shark teeth. I think I’ve discovered a new hobby and passion to enjoy while here in Florida half a year! And as a bonus, it’ll help keep me in gold hunting shape for when I’m back out west!😄
  13. This is an example of a mineral that develops an electrical charge during temperature change. Can anyone name this mineral? one clue it was discovered in Death Valley.
  14. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/19/style/crystals-mining-quartz-herkimer.html?action=click&module=Editors Picks&pgtype=Homepage (Author's name is Alexandra Marvar. Title is: Got Crystals? Gem Mining Could Be Your Full-Time Job.) Ugh. More/less the typical article that makes finding gems sound easier and more profitable than reality. Besides jewelry applications, they mention the New Age pseudoscience proponents. (Hey, maybe a good sales opportunity for LRL snake oil peddlers!) I am cutting and pasting one late quote which many of us can relate to: Among those freelancers is Ron Murray, 58, an osteopath in Seattle who mined quartz at Herkimer Diamond Mines from Memorial Day to Labor Day this year. For his first six years digging crystals, Mr. Murray said he was “too attached” to part with anything he found. But this year, upon returning home to Seattle, he planned to keep the top 5 percent of his harvest, and sell everything else. “Very few people can do this,” he said. “It takes stamina. It takes knowledge. It takes masochism.” Like many others who share his passion for crystal hunting, he calls it an addiction — one propelled by the unshakable thought that the next pocket of untold treasure may open up on the next swing.
  15. I have always wanted to visit this park. Large diamond was found this month. When I was younger I prospected for diamonds in SW Wyoming. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/man-finds-9-07-carat-diamond-arkansas-state-park/?ftag=CNM-00-10aab6i&linkId=100453663
  16. “The Great Basin has some of the most unusual natural history that's buried beneath its soil. Scientists say there was period either thousands to millions of years ago when woolly mammoths, giant sloths, and prehistoric bison would roam the area that we know today as Nevada. Recently, some of those animals from around and before the Ice Age have resurfaced. Tom Gordon lives in Carson City with his wife. He has plenty of space around his property and enjoys a good sweat from a home improvement project. He bought a couple of trees to plantand began digging holes around his fence. While digging these trenches, he hit some rocks but he also hit something that he'd never see before. "I had to take a step back and realize what I'm hitting is some bones from animal," says Gordon. "At first I thought it may have been some chicken bones or a deer but once I dug it out of the ground, I found a full jaw with teeth. My jaw even dropped."” Rest of the story with photos here
  17. Image: Rio Tinto. Rio Tinto has showcased its rare pink, red, violet and blue diamonds from the Argyle mine in Western Australia virtually to a group of collectors, connoisseurs and luxury jewellery houses. There are a few here: https://www.australianmining.com.au/news/rio-tinto-previews-rare-argyle-gems-including-six-hero-diamonds/
  18. I have been going through some old photos. This one might interest some members. To get the scale, the gold nugget is about 165 gm or 5 ounces plus.
  19. Hello all, I'm currently up in Georgia working on family property, getting ready for hunting season!🦌 I'm with my son and dad, so no time to detect this trip! But there's always time to hunt for flint and arrowheads! Most all the fields are planted now, so hunting areas are limited to washes, and recently cleared areas! Finishing up work this morning, i did some scouting in an area cleared last winter! Had some rains since than, so figured it may have exposed something! We found some knapped piece's yesterday! And were back there again! My son had scouted the area, but missed a keeper! It's tough to find one that has not been broken! But this one was small enough to be intact! It was laying on top of the ground, shining in the sun! My first intact small arrowhead! Still have more work, and sight hunting to do! Joe D.👍👍
  20. Just returned from a few days WAY up north near Happy Camp, CA. We weren't detecting but looking for something valuable never the less. I've heard about what's referred to as "Happy Camp jade" since high school but never went looking for it. Finally got a local guide who took me and Miner John up into the mountains near Indian Creek to find some. And find some we did! Actually found a lot more than the pictures here but some of the pieces were literally boulders and too heavy to pack out. A little research shows this is officially called Californite, not a "true" jade, but a variation because of it's unique colorations. We were told on the other side of the creek from where we were is a huge boulder with spider webs of gold incased in it, but the water was too high right now to reach it. So, a fall trip is planned. Anyway, if interested, do a quick Google search for it. Very cool stuff. Going to cut and polish a bit of it later to show it off. Digger Bob
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