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After looking and playing with that nugget I found yesterday I came up with a plan. I could use some suggestions from the more experienced prospectors if they would chime in.

First I need to get a electronic microscope that hooks to the puter!

Ive been looking at it with my eyeloup and im now crosseyed.

I notice some deep brown host rock in it with some flecks of quartz.. Put a magnet to it and it is magnetic. Either that or I found a gold magnet :o

The nugget was not on bedrock but sandwiched in between gravel with major black sand, and a layer of brown dirt and rocks. It never made it to the bottom.

This was a creek that gave up a nice string of 2-6 grammers up on the bank with about 4 inches of gravel on them. The nug I found yesterday was in the gut of the creek with about a foot of gravel on it. Same stretch of creek. Didnt detect it until we scraped the top layer off.

Different floods at different times I guess

Im thinking of backtracking upstream and along the sides of the stream to try and find a host rock like what is in the nugget.

If anyone has some better suggestions PLEASE let me know.

I will name the first nugget I find after you :)

Does it look like it traveled very far?

Thanks all.

Tom H.

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Over the course of the 10 thousand years , I would say that nugget has traveled 2 and 10/16ths miles, after it was shed from its birthplace. Truthfully though Tom , I dont think there is an accurate was to even determine how far a nugget has traveled. The only guesses would be pure speculation at best. Perhaps however, sometimes the most logical answer may be the best one.

Magnetite ,and Ironstone are so common in arizona that you are bound to be busy looking for a long time to come. Who knows though, maybe there will be some obvious outcrop (assuming it is still there) with a sign on it that says "Free Milling Gold Ore with Magnetite" ^_^ You never know Tom , and I hope you do locate it. it would be great fun and hard work to dig pure gold out of a reef.

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Hey Tom,

I doubt the nugget traveled far, but what is far .... ? :blush: 100 ft, 100 yards, 1/4 mile .... :unsure:

Trying to track down the source is difficult, but not impossible. Most of the veins are long gone, or at least barren and were very thin and small in size. I believe many of the veins in the country where you found those are very thin, sometimes formed within the metamorphic rock such as schist, shale and slates.

Wish I had a better answer on how you can find that Mother Lode! ;)

Rob Allison

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HOW FAR??? I always remember a story Les Lowe from Australia told me about he and his wife. Seems one day they were out prospecting. Anne was about a 1/2 mile away from Les, as they had gone in different directions. She radio'd him on the Walkie Talkie that she had got a really nice piece, may 3/4ths of an ounce. About an hour later he was able to radio back that he got a nice one about a half an ounce. As the day drew to a close they both met back at camp to share their finds. When showing their largest pieces Les said, gee these two big pieces could be twins. Anne said, wait minute give me that. She took Les' 1/2 ounce piece and put it next to her 3/4 ounce piece, she manipulated them a little, and what do you know. They fit together perfectly. At one time these two nuggets were once one nugget that had split apart and traveled over 1/2 mile away from one another.

We have no idea how these pieces of gold travel. Did they break free from the host rock and sit undisturbed for 2000 years and then they were tossed during an earthquake? Were they just swept down a gully with water and got caught where they were found? Perhaps they were in a fist size piece of quartz, that had been tossed and windblown and weathered, and traveled miles as tectonic plates shifted and heaved. Finally it lay undisturbed for thousands of years until a harsh rainfall and a freezing winter night caused the oxidized veins of iron, damp from the rain, to freeze and swell, breaking the piece of quartz open and liberating a small nugget, which was washed into the gully by a rain fall three days later.

If only nuggets could talk.


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That is a neat story Doc...millions of years and only the Creator knows why the gold traveled as it did.

Tom, you may want to read some pocket hunting articles or books ( loaming to Australians)...those methods might lead you to the source; if there is still a source to find...


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You might want to try using what's called a magnetic locator. They are used to find pipes and survey markers and have a fluxgate magnetometer circuit. I got one off Craigslist (had to repair it) and have used it at Franconia to try and find meteorites. Found a bunch of magnetite much faster than with my Tesoro Tejon. You just walk around waving it and it picks up stuff very easily. Very sensitive.

Maybe we can meet at your site sometime? :-) I never have found a nugget - or a meteorite....


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Hi Tom

"I notice some deep brown host rock in it with some flecks of quartz"

Sounds very much like its come out of some Conglomerate or what you blokes call Calliche maybe,

this type of sedimentary rock is found mainly on upper slopes or hill tops, the old blokes in Aus used

to call it "Iron Hat".

Its formed by the weathering and breaking down of Qrtz material in areas of high iron content, it then

re cements into a solid form and is mainly iron mineral with small gritty qrtz, it can also contain small

to large water worn pebbles and in that case it comes from old elevated tertiary river washes.

You can have secondary gold deposited in this type of rock also, and can be from gold fluids draining into

a basin over eons of time and re precipitating into nugget forms.

Keeping all that in mind, i would be taking a stroll around the area up stream and not worrying about gold

but following the brown mineral in the nugget and try trace the rock more than the gold, one will lead

to the other and be easier to track.


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