High Cost of Crystalline Gold

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This week I spent two days at the Northwest Mining Conference here in Sparks. I had a great time. I got a chance to go to the conference through the ICMJ Mining Journal, who was a sponsor. I saw several friends and former co-workers I hadn't seen in 20 years since I worked in the industry. Photo one shows the conference entrance. This is really a conference made for the full size commercial / industrial mining industry, but never fear there are always a few of us individual prospectors around! I have known of gold specimens beng sold around for a number of years that are marketed as coming from the "Mad Mutha" mine. Well, I finally got to meet Mr. "Mad Mutha" himself. He uses a GP Extreme and and a Gold Bug II. The gold he produces is very spongy, the kind of stuff that PI detectors sometimes have a bit of trouble with sometimes. Photo 2 shows some of the gold he markets, but this specimen is not from the Mad Mutha claim, its from another of his claims, but it is of the same type. Take a look how spongy it is. The crystals are small, and for crystal gold it is cheap, only about $1240 per ounce!

I also saw some other specimens offered by other folks. I wanted to post these so you all could see how expensive nice crystal gold is going for.

Photos 3- 5 are from the Eagle's Nest mine in Placer County. The specimens are made by treating high grade gold quartz with Hydrfluoric acid to etch away the quartz. The price on No. 3 was a bargain $4,500. I would estimate it contains about 3/4 or an ounce of gold. No. 4 is $1500 and probably has about 2 dwt of gold - I saw that it did sell at the conference. The specimen in No. 5 has a spray of gold around 3 inches tall, and probably does have 2.5 to 3 ounces of gold. It was for sale at the bargain price of $14,000.

Photo no. 6 is a nice but small pice of Chevron gold from Rye Patch. I'd estimate it at around 3 to 3.5 dwt. The $850 price works out to just around $5000 per ounce. IT SOLD at the conference. Dang, if I could get $5000 per ounce, I'd probably sell my gold, too.

Photo 7 is a small piece from the big mine at Round Mountain. It has little quartz, is mostly gold and weighs in 8.8 grams. The gold is high in silver probably not more than about 80% gold by weight. Price per ounce for this little crystal nugget is a measly $4400 per ounce.

Photo 8 is a piece from the big mine at Round Mountain. I'd guess it has less than a quarter ounce of gold, the rest is rock. Total weight is 28 grams. Price, as you can see is $2500, so you are talking about roughly $10,000 per ounce. Again, I'd happily sell all my gold for $10,000 per ounce!

Anyway, the lesson here is to not underestimate the value of nice crystalline gold specimens and the specimens that can be created out of higrade gold-quartz by those with tools, talent and a few quarts of Hydro Fluoric acid.

Just a disclaimer: HF acid can be very dangerous if mishandled.










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Thanks for sharing. Do you every miss working for the big boys? Just by chance, would or did you every meet a gentleman by the name of James Sharp of Draco Mines from tuscon? I believe he was a teacher and field geologist from Colorado School of Mines.


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That Rye Patch piece sold for $850??? Man, that isn't even a pretty piece. Hardly representative of the beautiful chevrons that typically come out of there.

One of these days I'll have to post some pics of some that I've taken out of there. I've got one crystal that is shaped just like a saguro catus; one tall center post with 2 arms growing out of each side. It's very small though. You need a glass to fully apprecitate it.

But still, I imagine you aren't marketing to "normal" prospectors at a conference like that. People that work in the big mining companys don't normally see or have access to lots of regular nuggets like we find.

Digger Bob

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