Platinum Nuggets...ever any findings?


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Just curious, has anyone ever found any platinum nuggets?

I can appreciate Pt's rarity... B) I believe the only commercial US mining of Pt/Pd is at the Stillwater Complex in Montana, all of the Pt ever mined on earth would only make a 25' cube, gold in contrast would make a 60' cube or so ;) . Thought I'd ask, as after a bit of research, I've found a reference or two regarding platinum placer found in AZ.

..best,

--DJ

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Hello Dwight,

I personally haven't found a Platinum nugget here in Arizona. I don't know anyone that has found one here in Arizona either. I'm sure it's possible, but they are probably really small. Heard of some pretty sizeable ones found in California over the years by gold dredgers though.

I attached two pictures of a small Platinum nugget I purchased a couple of years ago at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. The piece is from Russia.

Did you get out this weekend? I got out Saturday and snagged six little ones.

Take care,

Rob Allison

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Thanks Rob. I took this weekend off (reluctantly!), but did a little research instead. A while back before finding you I had purchased Jim Straight's book "Advanced Propecting & Detecting for Hardrock Gold" and dug into it more this weekend. I find Jim's explanation behind the various geology interesting...thx Jim if you happen to see this post! Very useful booklet and recommend to others...

I saw your and Leaverite's nuggets...nice! Many dinks = 1 oz eventually, right!! But I have this feeling that Leaverite is just around the corner on that 1+ ouncer!

I really prize that dink you landed me over with my 2100v2 last weekend. That trip made me appreciate how quiet the 2100v2 behaves in mineralized soil, although less sensitive to the GP's for sure. ;)

Talk to ya soon,

--DJ

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Thanks Rob. I took this weekend off (reluctantly!), but did a little research instead. A while back before finding you I had purchased Jim Straight's book "Advanced Propecting & Detecting for Hardrock Gold" and dug into it more this weekend. I find Jim's explanation behind the various geology interesting...thx Jim if you happen to see this post! Very useful booklet and recommend to others...

I saw your and Leaverite's nuggets...nice! Many dinks = 1 oz eventually, right!! But I have this feeling that Leaverite is just around the corner on that 1+ ouncer!

I really prize that dink you landed me over with my 2100v2 last weekend. That trip made me appreciate how quiet the 2100v2 behaves in mineralized soil, although less sensitive to the GP's for sure. ;)

Talk to ya soon,

--DJ

I've found a few small platinum nuggets detecting, mainly up in the Trinity Mts. of Northern Calif. Most of what I and others have found have been small, about the size of a BB. However, I have seen larger ones found up there, the biggest about 1/4 oz.

They look and sound just like a smashed piece of lead, greyish/silverish. But they don't scratch or bend like lead. Easy to just toss aside and keep going.

Digger Bob

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djhansen, TRINITYAU HERE, I FOUND A PIECE THAT WEIGHED 8.5 DWT NEAR DUTCH CREEK, TRINITY COUNTY CA. . I SOLD IT AND I AM TOLD BY A FEW FRIENDS THAT IT IS IN THE MINING MUSEUM AT MARIPOSA, HAVE NOT BEEN TO THE MUSEUM SO I DO NOT KNOW FOR SURE. HAVE ALSO FOUND SEVERAL HERE IN TRINITY FROM .5 DWT TO 1.5 DWT ABOUT IT. THERE IS A EXACT ONE POUNDER IN THE SMITHSTONIAN THAT WAS FOUND NEAR HELENA, ALSO TRINITY COUNTY. ALL MY PIECES WERE FOUND WITH A DETECTOR. THE POUNDER CAME FROM A LARGE HYDRAULIC OPERATION.

TRINITYAU

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Pt nugg's are very rare but do occur in at least two streams in AZ. I had one on display for several years at the Mining museum from Black Canyon. It was small but decent. The other stream that carry's some small ones also is "near" Crown King. Nothing large and I don't think there are any noticeable producers of Pt in AZ but they do exist.

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Pt is a strange deal because some bits are magnetic, while others are not. And some types are heavy while others are light or lighter.

Some are shiny silver, while others are dull or a ting of pink or amber.

Platinum is always a cluster of various metals, and their ratio differs based on the locale. Palladium is lighter, ruthenium and osmium are more chemical mixes rather than visible stand alone nuggets. Iridium is used in jewelry alloy, but is also found in ores that will discolor gold and platinum with a grayish stain. Platinum forms a natural allow with gold, and to deal with Platinum on any level, one has to deal with its companions Rhodium, Ruthernium, Osmium, Palladium, and Iridium, which are all closely associated.

Seldom does one find Platinum unalloyed with at least on of its companion group metals, and sometimes with several. Platinum is found in gold and silver placer deposits. Platinum and Palldium are found and recovered from sulphide ores of nickel and copper. A large portion of Platinum-group metals are byproducts of refining other minerals such as iron, silver, copper, gold, nickel and cobalt. Platinum placer tends to be a draker grayish color rather than a bright silvery color in a lot of areas, and may be mistaken for lead.

Platinum is usually not affected by nitric acid, unless the Platinum is alloyed with silver, at which it may dissolve right along with the silver, forming a platinum nitrate that is very hard to convert to metallic platinum.

It is important to separate out the magnetic platinum from the non-magnetic Platinum (both types of which can come out of the same hole). Platinum is a tough mineral to process or extract, or recognize by visual appearance due to variation in weight, magnetics, color or hue. Your best bet would be to send it off for refining, though you could cook off the unwanted ingredients by bringing the temperature up to below Platinum's high melting point heat. In a kiln, this would be red heat to 1100 F to get rid of unwanted coatings or residues. opening the door will allow oxygen from the room to take care of hydrocarbons. Platinum sponge (not to be confused with its companion metals) melts around 3,190F. Don't use an acetylene/oxygen torch as it will render malleable metal hard and brittle, true for any precious metals.

Iridium melts at 4424F and Palladium at 2822F

The reason I bring this up is that actual purchase price (compared to spot price) can vary much more than gold, due to the 'tedious' refining actions needed to convert the platinum into usable, separated, or refined components.

With that said, I have found native platinum placer in a few spots- 1 in nevada, 3 in N CA, 2 in OR, 1 in AK, and nice platinum alloy specimens from a locality in Ontario, Can (sudbury I think). With the exception of 4 pieces, I had to send all the rest to a testing laboratory for definite I.D. Some of the pieces were found with a detector, while some came up in a sluice box (dredge or other wise) or gold pan. The canada stuff came from rockhounding and pretty mineral localizations

The moral being, don't throw anything out, but save your slimes and black sands, and all the wierd or strange pieces because you never know quite what it is at the moment, until some time down the road.

After some pieces were analyzed, I realized that I had thrown a lot of really good stuff right out, not being able to recognize it for what it was, and it was way too late to go back and look for it. We all make mistakes, and draw faulty conclusions. Don't let my errors be your errors.

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I could have dredged up a few pieces of platinum, but probably threw them away not knowing what I had. Tons of platinum has come out of Goodnews Bay Alaska, mostly with an old bucket line dredge. I think I remember that most was nuggets the size of rice. That dredge is running again I believe. Try a search of Goodnews Bay platinum, lots of info, Bob

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Hi All,

thx for the interesting info on Pt...good stuff! I didn't realize all of the characteristics of Pt mentioned by w4s. I'll still try chasing the yellow stuff, but if I see any strange, gray stuff (or some other color)...I'll take another look. B)

--DJ

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Dear djhansen;

Platinum does occur in Bolivia but most generally in tiny granular form and finding a Pt nugget of any size is a VERY rare occurance here, in fact, everytime that one is found the story generally makes it to the newspapers. Murders occur with more frequency than locating a platinum nugget does in Bolivia my friend. Platinum has also been discovered in Brazil, Peru and Chile but again the strikes are minuscle and localized. I think that platinum may have also been found in Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela, but don't hold me to that, as my memory is a bit foggy at times.

Your friend;

LAMAR

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Hello Guys,

I would love to find a small Arizona Platinum nugget, so I always check my targets. If I find something that is "strange" looking I will pocket the piece and continue. I will later examine the piece under a high powered lighted loupe or microscope. Over the years I have found some strange stuff, some just ends up being burned metals, alloys and other scrap .... :( However, you never know, so it's best to pocket the strange find(s) and check them out later.

Wouldn't you hate to know that you tossed a Platinum nugget or maybe even a rare meteorite? :(

True Story: Approx. 10 years ago out around the La Paz, Placers I detected a strange looking piece of iron. This was the only piece of what I thought was an ironstone, so I picked it up. The weight was stunning for the size of the piece and even had some strange shape and design. Thinking it was an ironstone (from unexperience) I tossed the piece in the nearest ravine. About 3-4 years later I started to read about iron meteorites and realized the damn thing was a "Thumbprinted Iron Meteorite!" Probably worth a pretty penny since it was iron, good size and has flow-lines and thumbprints. :( Still to this date can't remember the exact location, but have been back several times looking. No telling if another prospector found it since I tossed it into a small ravine, which would be a prime target for detecting ... Live and Learn, the hard way that is.

Take care,

Rob Allison

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  • 4 years later...

I found a very nice platinum nugget weighing in at about 30 grams last Saturday in Mohave County, AZ. We were detecting on a friends lode gold claim where many gold nuggets have been found. I thought at first that I found lead then tried to cut the nugget with a knife which didn't work so well. So, my next stop was taking the nugget to a business in Golden Valley, AZ that sells mining equipment. They tested the nugget with a 18k gold test kit which made the testing stone turn red (as is the indication of platinum when using a gold test kit on platinum). Then the nugget was tested with a platinum test kit on a new test stone. That test also confirmed the nugget as platinum. I will post a pic on here soon.

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Please do .....post a pic.You should be able to retire on a 30 gram platinum nugget......

Well at alittle over an ounce, and according to the store that did the testing on the platinum nugget I found, being around 70% platinum after testing they offered me $2000 in store credit for it (which I declined) : )~

Will try and post pics this weekend of the nugget sitting in all its glory on a digital scale. We are invited back to my friends lode gold claim this Sunday. We are going to work the heck out of the hill this nugget came from with about 6 detectors to see if we can find a source for the platinum, or maybe find some more of these little guys. The platinum nugget I found is VERY course, and rough. So I am hoping the source is close by the hill I found it at.

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Well, we went out for 4 hrs today on our friends lode gold claim where we found the last platinum nugget. This is a pic of our hard work. Too bad we only found 1 of these today, but it is WAY bigger than the first platinum nugget we found. Anybody want to take a guess on the weight of this one? : )~ We were supposed to have about 5 other people with us today, and they didn't show up. I just don't understand these guys. We all work all week looking for the weekend talking about detecting on this claim for free gold nuggets, and now platinum nuggets, and they don't show up. Maybe I need new friends? LOLpost-31182-129642547364_thumb.jpg

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I dug this guy out about 6 inches down in the earth with a big pick, and folding shovel. I located this nugget about 300 feet from the first one I found. My camara is terrible at taking pics. This one looks like the first one I found. I may have beat the heck out of this one with tools digging it up. I found this one with a White Gold Master detector. The first PT nugget I found in this location was with a Garret. It is kind weird when you get one of these. The detectors read, and sound like when you find a gold nugget, but have a harder time sorting the material that came out of the hole. Both times I have totaly "lost" the target several times until I scan handful by handful of dirt and rocks.

If this is slag I for one will keep going back for more because it sure does test rather well when we come out of the field. This one tested like the first one we found at about 70% PT.

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Well, we went out for 4 hrs today on our friends lode gold claim where we found the last platinum nugget. This is a pic of our hard work. Too bad we only found 1 of these today, but it is WAY bigger than the first platinum nugget we found. Anybody want to take a guess on the weight of this one? : )~ We were supposed to have about 5 other people with us today, and they didn't show up. I just don't understand these guys. We all work all week looking for the weekend talking about detecting on this claim for free gold nuggets, and now platinum nuggets, and they don't show up. Maybe I need new friends? LOLpost-31182-129642547364_thumb.jpg

WELL I'LL OFFER MY SERVICES TO YOU AGAIN, ...... AND.... THIS :spank: IS WHAT THOSE GUYS THAT DON'T SHOW UP SHOULD GET :lol:

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I could have dredged up a few pieces of platinum, but probably threw them away not knowing what I had. Tons of platinum has come out of Goodnews Bay Alaska, mostly with an old bucket line dredge. I think I remember that most was nuggets the size of rice. That dredge is running again I believe. Try a search of Goodnews Bay platinum, lots of info, Bob

I got to fly to that old bucket line dredge when I was living and flying in AK for a summer. I did find one plat nugget there, but mostly found gold. That dredge was in beautiful condition and had many artifacts still on it, like the ingot pour molds, old kerosene lanterns, cast iron ladles.... amazing the the few people that get to visit it have pretty much left it alone for all to see. It is located in a very remote area way up the Goodnews River

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