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Help me identify this I keep finding during metal detecting please.
  
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CluelessFarmBoy




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PostPosted: Sep 19, 2020 11:54    Post subject: Help me identify this I keep finding during metal detecting please.  

Hello everyone, my name is Jason and I have recently just begun playing around with metal detecting. The first area I have spent some time at happens to be my late grandmother's estate which is a hundred plus year old farm that was built on top of a rock quarry of unknown age. I have not found anything of interest that is metal but I keep finding stone/rock/mineral formations like this as well as several very large rocks that set my metal detector off. I found this in a pile of rocks and thought it looked interesting. I believe this to be quartz but beyond that, I am uncertain, it appears pink with goldish coloring as well as a deep red color, it is very shiny and has well defined lines that look like if it were to break it would break into several slices along those lines. It is roughly the size of a balled up human fist and weighs roughly 3 lbs. Any insight into what this might be would be greatly appreciated. If there is any more information required to give a fair assessment please let me know and I will try to provide it. Thank you.


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James Catmur
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PostPosted: Sep 19, 2020 12:27    Post subject: Re: Help me identify this I keep finding during metal detecting please.  

Could you please do a few tests on it. Hardness is a good one to start with

https://www.mineral-forum.com/message-board/viewtopic.php?p=19487#19487

I assume the hardness will be about 7 (same as glass) and if so it is Quartz

James
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David K. Joyce




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PostPosted: Sep 19, 2020 13:08    Post subject: Re: Help me identify this I keep finding during metal detecting please.  

If that piece of quartz is setting the metal detector off, there must be something conductive inside it. I suggest hitting it with a hammer to break it and see if there is gold, pyrrhotite or some other conductive mineral inside. You could clean it with "Iron out" first, to see if you can see anything from the outside. "Iron Out", available at most hardware stores, will probably take that iron stain off. Good luck!
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CluelessFarmBoy




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PostPosted: Sep 19, 2020 14:12    Post subject: Re: Help me identify this I keep finding during metal detecting please.  

Will do, I'll let you know afterwards, it might be a minute tho, thanks!
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CluelessFarmBoy




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PostPosted: Sep 19, 2020 14:19    Post subject: Re: Help me identify this I keep finding during metal detecting please.  

Haha I thought of breaking it but wasn't sure if it was valuable at all so I was hesitant, I'll look into that iron out, I have some other peculiar and interesting specimens I have found over there as well including a decent size geode and some fossils, looking for rocks is turning out to be much more entertaining and interesting than looking for metal!
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SteveB




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PostPosted: Sep 19, 2020 14:26    Post subject: Re: Help me identify this I keep finding during metal detecting please.  

Yep, quartz, when quartz forms veins/reefs it often brings heavy metals with it which is why such veins are commonly looked for indicators of gold since its a common way gold reaches the surfaces. Assaying (scientifically testing the quartz) will indicate what else it contains besides silicon. Most such pieces of quartz contain a few atoms of gold, silver and other heavy metals. Pretty much worthless amounts invisible to the eye. Colouration of the quartz is irrelavant, they tend to be surface contaminents, so yellowish does NOT mean gold is present. Plus you can powder that specimens and pan it and not find a spec of gold or anything valueable. Assayers can determine the approximate amount of gold or silver present per weight of quartz, say grams per kilogram of specimen. Its a number thats needed for prospective miners to determine if the amount of profitable metals recovered is more or less than the cost of digging, crushing, processing the rock etc in order to recover it. We’re talking only specs of gold in more cases, nuggets are not found in quartz veins, they come a different way. Also modern techniques have made it more accurate to assay raw rocksand also recover molecules of gold or silver often by chemical means to separate out and eventually melting together to something visible and then smelting in order to purify to a workable and sellable form. Its a huge effort to go from a truck load of what you are holding to say a small gold ingot and its very costly. Which is why people still fossick around old mines as collector specimens are interesting and easy to find which may have been discarded by the original miners as it wouldn’t have been profitable to process. It still is likely to not be worth the effort today for most people to try to recover metals from such specimens. Plus some of the heavy metals in there could also include lead and other dangerous to your health minerals. If you can find someone with an XRF device you can probably get some indication of what metals are in that rock, it will likely still only show what from a small selection of elements are present (not everything) as xrf is the easiest and cheapest (still $10k-20k for the cheaper end) devices for miners to test soils and rock samples for prospective metal mining testing, where a likely quartz vein will be tested in many locations in order to determine if there is a higher concentration in one part that may be worth mining. Many people think its an easy thing and a shortcut to riches, but not really. Its a lot more complicated and labour intensive and hazardous. Nugget bearing areas have often been well picked over but big finds can still be had these days, though its rare. Recently in Australia two fist sized gold nuggets were found. Still you just may have some iron staining on your quartz which is plenty to set off a metal detector and without proper testing it can’t be said what metals your rock may contain and most chunks of quartz will show some traces of metals under proper testing even though visually there is no indications. You haven’t struck it reach by any means, it will cost a lot to properly test what you have and almost impossible to recover any amount it might contain and even that won’t be worth a single cent, its that low. Which is why mines dig out tons and tons of rock and fill trucks and trucks in order to make any money. Any gold you can see is likely to be pyrite: fool’s gold, which is iron based and causes discolourations and often fools people into thinking they have struck it rich and annoyingly its also sometimes (NOT always) and indicator gold and silver *MIGHT* be in the area. I’d bet you likely have an idea what might be in that rock already from what you’ve said. Test properly and proceed from their and be advised fossicking especially on old mine land requires permission and you may find yourself facing charges if you intend to profit without authorisation. The land and mineral rights owners (two different things) may be waiting for mineral values to rise and recover costs to fall before reopening an “abandoned” mine, and you can bet they won’t be happy at people showing up with shovels to steal what they own.
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CluelessFarmBoy




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PostPosted: Sep 19, 2020 14:49    Post subject: Re: Help me identify this I keep finding during metal detecting please.  

Well thank you for your response, alot of information that I was not aware of, although nobody is going to even bat an eye if I were to excavate the entire 79 acres seeing as it has been in our family for well over 100 years, I definitely am not going to do so over a chunk of dirty quartz haha, it's nice to have all the info from the replies to my post and I really appreciate it, aim going to keep looking around in the dirt over there as I've found some fossils, geodes(I think) a softball sized Jasper riddled puddingstone, choral(which seems odd to me) and some other unidentified conglomerates including a very peculiar chunk that looks like quartz compacted together with obsidian although I doubt it is obsidian. Thanks again!
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Peter Lemkin




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PostPosted: Sep 20, 2020 00:40    Post subject: Re: Help me identify this I keep finding during metal detecting please.  

You have gone from a question about a piece of [likely] quartz which you [I think] hoped contained gold [unlikely, but possible], to now abandoning that and talking about other rocks, minerals and fossils there. Stay focused and complete what you started or be gone, is my suggestion. I don't mean to sound harsh and you are likely young and certainly new to minerals, but people here have put a lot of time and energy into telling how and why more information on the initial specimen would be needed to idenify it, and you are ignoring [apparently] doing any of the tests or observations and now moving on to tell us about your interest in exploring other items there. This is not appropriate for here if you don't want to follow up on the initial specimen. Stay focused and stay serious. Otherwise you waste the time /expertise of people here who have been trying to help you.
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Bob Harman




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PostPosted: Sep 20, 2020 01:15    Post subject: Re: Help me identify this I keep finding during metal detecting please.  

If the rock in question was found anywhere in Lower Michigan, there essentially will not be gold (other than perhaps a few atoms) in it . Only gold found in Lower Michigan is placer gold found as tiny flakes panned from stream beds. BOB
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James Catmur
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PostPosted: Sep 20, 2020 03:29    Post subject: Re: Help me identify this I keep finding during metal detecting please.  

Based on the test results it is a rock! Do some tests so we can help.
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CluelessFarmBoy




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PostPosted: Sep 20, 2020 15:37    Post subject: Re: Help me identify this I keep finding during metal detecting please.  

Well good afternoon to you too, please allow me to apologize for mistaking this forum as a friendly place for people with a shared interest to discuss and share their findings and/or experiences, I did not realize that this was a highly exclusive limited club reserved for only the most prestigious and important members of the geological community to discuss and hypothesize about scientific breakthroughs and the latest and greatest developments in mineral research and nothing else. As for my "abandoning" and "ignoring", you could not be more incorrect in your assumptions, I have completed the hardness test and just now came back to relay my findings only to be assaulted by your, as you put it "harshness", the only other suggestion at the time was to procure a product that I do not currently possess called "iron out" which will arrive approximately 2 to 3 days time because unfortunately, as far as I know, instantaneous teleportation as seen in the likes of Star Trek, does not yet exist for online order delivery. Furthermore, in regards to your unsubstantiated assessment of my age and lack of knowledge pertaining to the relative locations of certain and specific minerals and ores based on geographical location is both naive and quite embarrassing to be honest, nowhere did I express the hope for gold to be found, the mentions of gold or mother precious metals where made by other helpful individuals who were, unlike you sir, contributing to the discussion by providing insight and suggestions not unfounded pessimistic assumptions and general negativity that your uneccesary comments portray, but I digress, the hardness test did indeed reflect a hardness of roughly 7 which should be enough to discern that it is indeed quartz, the next question was to identify whether or not it could be rose quartz, but apparently, according to you, I am wasting everyone's time and expertise so with that, I will be gone.

To everyone else who provided insight and helpful suggestions, I thank you and you are appreciated. Be kind to each other, you never know who you may be talking to and what opportunities may or may not present themselves based on your general demeanour and attitude.
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