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Testing Gold Flakes: Is it REEEEALLY GOLD?, gold_tutor answers Q. for threadmate
post Dec 20 2003, 11:11 AM
Post #1

Rock Bar!

Group: Members
Posts: 397
Joined: 29-November 03
From: Eastern Oregon Goldfields
Member No.: 25

Howdy gold tutor,
I got this email today from an Internet friend:

"Hello Johnny. This is Tom C. from New Jersey. Could you please tell me
how to test gold flakes to see it's real gold. Still looking to see who sells pay
dirt. Thank you very much Tom C."

Tom is a good old boy from NJ, a city dweller it sounds like but he has done a lot of rock polishing and that sort of thing... what sort of test would answer his question to see if that shiney stuff is really gold?

Merry Christmas and Happy Prospecting in the New Year!

Hi, Johnny.
I didn't know you'd posted this publically when I answered your private email asking the same question.

I thought this was such a good topic, I'd review it here.

You also asked another question when you emailed me but I'll split that out so that we can maintain one focus here on this thread, okay?


Hi, Johnny
Dec 19, 2003

First of all tell Tom C. the only WAYS to test flakes to
know if they are real gold or not is to conduct one
of 3 tests which have stood the test of time:

1) fire assay (and there are a lot of assayers around--not cheap
but around<grin>) And please tell him for me, that an assay
tells you EVERY metal component in a sample, not just
the gold values. That's why assays are:
**time consuming, and
***pokey in getting your answers back to the sample sender.

Anyone who tells you or your friend they can perform an "assay" for $15 is
just pulling Tom's leg and he should run like the dickens! The
other direction<grin>

It takes more than 10 minutes just to clean up the grinder so that
a new sample isn't polluted by the LAST sample. Then there is the
wet chem work, the drying, or the AAS calibration, the tabulation,
the reporting back to the customer of ALL the metallic results, in
grams per ton or parts per million/billion, (your choice)

If that sounds like a $15 job to you, then I have some snow for sale..from Alaska<grin>

2) chemical testing (I use this alot and perform that service
for folks as a part of my personal business services)

Chem testing is seeking the answer to a very narrow question:
Is there XYZ in this sample? (gold) (silver) (platinum) (palladium)
If you want ONE answer, for instance, is there GOLD in this sample,
then, the same prep work occurs, the same wet chem work, the same
drying and the additional either AAS or cupellation is done.

Me? I prefer cupellation. If it isn't gold actually visible to the naked
eye, then I have no proof for the customer, right?

3) color test --that is IF the flakes are big enough to make a
mark on a touchstone for color comparison testing by a
trained eye, something you and your friend Tom could learn
if you wanted, too.

Of course, there's a 4th method, x-ray, which works, but
that's a hellaciously expensive piece of equipment as
you can well imagine. All the big mines have them,
especially limestone mines around here. The FBI uses
X-ray as well.

Let me know if your NJ friend wants someone reliable
to inspect and test his flakes for a reasonable fee. I can
also turn them all into one grand lump, as in a
fine gold casting service
which I also offer, and have
been doing for a fee for my prospecting buddies around here.
You see, our gold is mostly fine out here in Eastern Oregon,
not much nuggety country here, except in few and far between
spots. Usually I get paid in part of the gold that I work with,
which is fine with me.

I'm old fashioned, and think that gold is money.<grin>

Gold dust isn't all that useful anymore,
especially since the saloons quite displaying gold scales
prominently BEHIND the bar in previous centuries<grin>
---BUT, gold lumps or ingots???? Thos are most definitely useful!!!

Feel free to share my email addy with your friend, Tom.

Thanks, Johnny


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