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Howdy,

 

I am hoping that some of you nugget finding veterans can help me out by sharing some of your gold finding knowledge. When you find a nugget how close to quartz float are you? What color is the quartz stained most of the time? Which is better for finding nuggets, quartz in granite or quartz in schist? I will greatly appreciate any advice that you can share.

 

Thanks, Brian

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Come on Guys how about some landscape photos of your hunting grounds. You don't have to include GPS reading or Dead give aways of your favorite spots. As they say a picture is worth a thousands words. Brian gold is often found in the least likely spots. I test out ground which i think is no deeper than 60-80% of my detector capability hoping to snag a patch. Hope you better response from USA prospectors.

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Hi Brian,

 

There's an old saying, "You won't always find gold where there is quartz, but if you find gold, there is bound to be quartz nearby..." There is a lot of truth to this. I have hunted 100's of quartz outcrops and very few ever panned out. This is especially true of the really big quartz blows that you can see from miles away. I have always done best in areas cut by small "stringers", some no thicker than a pencil. It seems to me that these are usually the sorts of veins (leaders) that carry the nuggety or pocket gold.

 

As for color, there are all kinds of varieties. The stuff prized by most collectors is in the milky white quartz. However, most of the time specimens come out of the ground stained red, brown or blackish. This can usually be cleaned off with a mild acid.

 

If I were trying to find gold/quartz specimens I would stay out of the schist country and instead focus where this schist meets some other type of rock. Again, it has been my experience that I find plenty of raw, flat nuggets in schist, but very few specimens. Some of the best "species" I've seen have come out of the granites.

 

Taking Geof's advice, I have added a picture of one of my favorite places to detect in the States. You can see the schist directly in the foreground, and the granite contact way in the back making up the bulk of the mountain chain. I have never pulled anything big from here (10 grams & under), but too many tiny ones to count.

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Brian,

Your question is a tricky one to answer as far as how close to quartz float can you find a nugget. If the hillside is steep and heavily weathered, the nugget will most likely be closer to the source then the float will be due to Gold being denser then quartz. If what you are asking is something like, what type of quartz to look for (stained white, etc) then I would say to go for the rotten looking, highly mineralized, dark <red/brown> stained quartz. If you are asking what mixtures involving quartz are best, I would agree with Chris that "usually" the best areas for nuggets are where there is shist with little quartz stringers running through it.

 

Below is a picture of the quartz vein running through the Octave mine which was one of Arizona's Richest Gold mines in it's heyday. I'll see if I can dig up some other pics I have that involve quartz & Gold.

 

I hope this helps!

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Here's a picture of a nice piece that came from LSD. You can see the Gold running through the strawberry colored quartz.

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and here's one that I found last year that had several pockets of Pyrite and just a dab of Gold. Notice the color of the quartz in all these pics.

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Thanks, thats the kind of information that I was looking for. I am not trying to specifically find specimen gold, any gold will do. Not having found any gold yet, I just want to make sure that I'm searching in the right areas (iron stained dirt, stained quartz, contacts between different rock types, greenstone). When I find a quartz outcropping I have been detecting the quartz area itself, as well as directly downhill and into the wash where the quartz ended up. I was just curious if gold is regularly found in any less obvious places that a rookie like me would not think of looking.

 

I appreciate the good advice. Thanks Again, Brian

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General rule of thumb. Granite country more specimens and larger bulkier, gold . Schist country clean nuggets and smaller Flattish gold. Not always the case but often is.---Bob

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Bob,

 

You have told me that before about schist vs. granite gold and I know you speak from experience.

 

I've been researching some spots with free milling gold mines that have turned out to be mostly granite. I have a hard time getting excited about them without the schist mixed in at least.

 

Do you find gold in areas that are basically just granites?

 

I found one old mine that reports claimed had free milling gold. I talked to the old boy living there and he said he and his brother had taken 300+ oz. of gold out of the waste piles! He said there were many rocks with gold showing. Of course this was all right after he told me to stay off his property. I did some beeping in the surrounding area but it was almost nothing but granite. Granite washes suck for detecting too...sand and boulders and BLACK SAND! I hit one last weekend that I absolutely could not even get close to GB out. How much effort do you put into granite areas that are almost all granite, no schist, some quartz, but no red clay?

 

Chris

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Chris. My theory on this is that the granites are generally much harder than the Schists, thus the schist weathers away more easily freeing the gold more readily. I have been in many granite areas that have lots of hard rock mines but no apparent placers. Sometimes the deep decomposed granite sands may be way too deep for a detector. In the rare cases when there is a lot of bedrock in the washes I have found some nice ones. In the schist country there is very often lots of good exposed bedrock because of the way it erodes therefore the gold is within reach of the detector. There is a particularly nasty type of blacksand that accumulates in the granite washes. It isn't always heavy and accumulates in streaks on the surface . Drives a detector nuts.---Bob

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So let me see if I get this. In a grainite area if there is bedrock within range and there are hardrock gold mines in the area there's no reason why there shouldn't be placer gold to be found it's just that usually it is too deep, bouldery, or noisy?

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Chris. In many cases it is there but not in a detectable situation. The slopes below the mines can be better than the washes. Rich Hill for instance .---Bob

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Good Thread, keep it going. My question is about the terrain from a big picture sense. Taking Chris G's and 20Z Dug's pictures as examples and assuming the terrain falls off steeply to the right as it appears to in Chris's picture. Its a new area and the local Geology looks right.

 

Where to start your hunt? I assume you wouldn't be skylined on the highest hill in 2OZ Dug's picture.

 

Luck

Paul

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Paul. If the terrain is steep I start in the washes. If it's flatter country the flats and gentle slopes. ---Bob

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