(This quality differs from gemological/mineralogical measurements of hardness as resistance to scratching). The alloys known as nickel silver or German silver, for example, contain nickel, zinc, and other metals. Diamond drilling continued and the HGZ has proven (at time of writing) to contain more than 1.96 million tons of high-grade ore containing 4.6 million ounces of gold. One or more metals comprise the other 7.5%. A visit to the cemetery testifies to the low life expectation of the miners. Geologists and others interested in ore textures find the slabbed high-grade specimens interesting, as well. Silver is normally mined as a by-product in lead/zinc mines, but in Mexico the ore often consists of a high grade mixture of the silver sulphides described above. The oldest recorded use of platinum is as an inlay in Ancient Egypt. A Gold nugget is usually 70 to 95 percent gold, and the remainder mostly silver. Dube, B.,  Williamson, K. and Malo, M. Geology of the Goldcorp Inc. High Grade Zone, Red Lake Mine, Ontario: an update, Geological Survey of Canada Current Research, 2002-C26, Catalogue No. Explore a range of gemological tests… not only will you get familiar with the process but also time-saving shortcuts. A great many valuable ore minerals, such as native gold or silver or metal sulphides, are deposited along with gangue minerals, mainly quartz and/or calcite, in a vein structure. It is also rare, gold (Au) is only 0.002 parts per million of the earths crust, compared to iron (Fe) which is 62,200 ppm. Return to Periodic Table . However, to our knowledge, there are no other gold mines that contain the average grade of ore that the Red Lake Mine does. They’re considered precious metals and have been used as currency (a store of value). Take for example Morganite, the Beryl variety coloured pink by traces of manganese. Image Credits: bonchan/shutterstock Ore Minerals. With millions of dollars surging into the local economy from the Red Lake Mine and the exploration efforts of other companies hoping to duplicate the feat, the Red Lake area has experienced a surge of  prosperity and confidence not felt since the hey-days of gold mine discoveries in the 1940s and 1950s. mine and the fantastic orebody that produced them. That is an average grade of 2.35 troy ounces per ton! A significant amount of today's silver production is a refining byproduct of gold mining. A highlight of the tour was the visit to the famous cave of swords with its massive gypsum crystals up to 2 metres in length seen here with a photo of the author. Since gold never tarnishes and has great workability, many jewelry designers and makers prefer it to other metals. Robert McEwen, chairman of Goldcorp Inc felt that the adage, “the best place to look for a new orebody is near an old mine” had some credence. Gold was featured at this years Tucson Mineral Show 2004, the world’s largest mineral fair held annually at Tucson, Arizona. The gold in the High Grade Zone was largely emplaced as a result of gold-rich, siliceous replacement of carbonate veins and, as well, by injection into volcanic rocks. Join our weekly newsletter & get a free copy of the Gem ID Checklist! These veinlets, when exposed, become the “leaves” and  “plates” that we see in the specimens from the Red Lake Mine. Arguably, the best specimens of native gold result when the gold has formed as veinlets in these fractures. Copyright Alan Leishman          November 2004, Photos Mexico – Alan Leishman       South Africa -  ML Baumann        Red Lake – courtesy of David K Joyce, Eagles Nest mine specimen – Stefan Ansermet, A Field Guide to the Gems and Minerals of Mexico – Paul Willard Johnson 1965, Mexico – Sept. – Oct.2003 Volume 34 Number 5, Nov. – Dec.2003 Volume 34 Number 6, Rocks and Minerals Jan.-Feb. 2004 Special Issue on Gold Vol. D.K. A collection of the distinctive gold specimens mined over the years can now be seen at the, is another famous gold mining district, where gold was found in the form of. However, three jewelry metals have withstood the test of time and continue to have a strong presence in modern jewelry: gold, silver, and platinum. Currently, Goldcorp owns more gold bullion than many governments of the world! The geologists are accustomed to seeing native gold in the HGZ but are constantly on the lookout for the extra-high-grade areas that are occasionally encountered. This group includes the following elements: ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium, gold, silver, and platinum. It is also Pancho Villa country, a controversial revolutionary, folks hero or bandit, who robbed the silver trains from the mines on occasion in the early 20 th century. 8.5 cm tall. “Quicksilver” is an ancient term for the metal mercury. Join our weekly newsletter & get a free copy of the Gem ID Checklist! Although long coveted for its beauty, gold possesses physical properties that have also captivated humanity. Therefore, jewelry makers often alloy silver with harder metals to improve its durability. We would also like to thank Professor R. Cook for his invaluable review of the manuscript. Goldcorp often brings this large specimen to trade shows to tantalize people. The Sweet Home was originally a silver mine, but is now famous for the world’s best Rhodochrosite  specimens. They also possess varying degrees of resistance to acids. David Joyce sells the specimens on behalf of Goldcorp, and kindly agreed for his essay to be reproduced here (an abridged version of the original which appeared in Rocks and Minerals). In 2001 the author panned gold during a visit to Pilgrims Rest, and was delighted to see a few tiny flakes at the bottom of the pan, nestling with some other black heavy minerals. President Burgers, on hearing of the gold strike, hastily had the Transvaal Mining Laws drafted, (none having existed until then), after a quick study of the Mining Laws of Australia, New Zealand, and California. Often, copper makes up a substantial portion of that 7.5%, because it increases the alloy’s hardness. White mines in Summary of field work andother activities 1985, Ontario Geological Survey. When gold is found in rocks it is almost always in a pure state. During that summer alone, more than two million dollars' worth of gold was taken from the beaches of the booming city of Nome.”. The Best All Around Metal Detector for Gold, Silver and Coins: Minelab GPX 5000 Today we’re going to review the Minelab GPX 5000 metal detector. There are other orebodies in the world that, being larger contain more troy ounces of gold. Third, a carbon-in-pulp circuit is used to capture the fine gold that is not tied up in sulphides. They are formed without the intervention of humans and have a definite chemical composition and crystal structure. Cast silver wing pendant with sprues. Mexican Opal .At Queretaro, the author visited a fire opal mine and after purchasing a mine run lot, was invited by the owner to self collect some material in the “open pit” mine. Goldcorp also holds mineral claims covering approximately 56,125 additional acres of prospective mineral ground in the Red Lake area. Here  Walt tells the full story of a 1997 tour for those interested in all the mineral details, courtesy of the Canadian RockHound web site. The U.S. Bureau of Standards also uses platinum for weights. Penoles operated the mine from 1893 until its closure in 1946. They will delight collectors, prospectors, museum visitors, and others in the future, as they all marvel at the occurrence of so much gold, in one place, at one time! Specimen Recovery This specimen from the Red Lake Mine shows a unique burst of native gold protruding from the top of the matrix of altered volcanic rock. Although jewelers use sterling silver more than any other alloy for silver jewelry, other silver jewelry metals deserve a mention. It is anticipated that those readers interested in the Precious Metals, Gold and Silver, and the PM share market, may find interest in these anecdotal tales of mines and minerals, and enjoy the beauty of one of nature’s hidden treasures; --- mineral specimens. gem ID checklist tutorial. While similar to gold filled, rolled gold plate pieces can have gold as thin as 1/40th of the weight. Readers are advised that the information contained herein is issued solely for information purposes and is not constructed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy. The most common platinum alloys include 90% platinum and 10% iridium, or 95% platinum and 5% ruthenium. Museum of Geology, Lausanne, Switzerland. Of course, gold is not the only possible type of backing. mine uses several techniques to separate gold from the waste rock. He then visited the mining camp with some aides, and after some negotiations with the miners and amendments, the new laws were put into place. It became apparent early in the exploration of the orebody that visible native gold would often be encountered. All briefcases and luggage leaving the mine are searched. Gold has witnessed many transformations, and the material made into jewelry may continue to do so. Sterling silver consists of 92.5% silver. Today, these include photography, batteries, auto glass defogger, and magnetic strips, just to name a few. See what’s inside…, • Discover the 17 practical steps to gemstone identification (even if you’re just getting started with gemology), • Learn how you can use specific tools to gather data, make observations & arrive at an accurate ID. The American Society of Gemcutters only had 54 people reach this level. Quartz may be found as small stones in river beds or in large seams in hillsides. However, to our knowledge, there are no other gold mines that contain the average grade of ore that the Red Lake Mine does. Whether starting your collection or completing it, our guide can help.…. The famous Roebling suspension bridge, 325 metres long, crosses a deep canyon at the Ojuela mine near Mapimi, and remains as a landmark at a mine that still delivers rare and world-class specimens, including Legrandite, and has produced some of the worlds best Adamite specimens. Photo by ilovebutter. Stephen McGibbon is Exploration Manager at Goldcorp's Red Lake Mine. A collection of the distinctive gold specimens mined over the years can now be seen at the Denver museum, including Tom’s Baby, an eight-pound nugget of crystallized gold unearthed in Breckenridge in 1887. However, melting down this piece with its solder in the future will reduce the gold’s karat. “Thousands of  Penoles miners and a million Tonnes of high grade silver ore passed over the bridge,” (Bancroft). The impact of the discovery of the new orebody on  Goldcorp, the Red Lake mine and the surrounding area have been dramatic. Regional Geology Ontario and Quebec occupy much of the “Canadian Shield” a prolific, Precambrian age geological formation and the home of many of the world’s greatest mines, past and present. David K. Joyce was retained to prepare specimens, on site and, then, to market and sell the specimens. This type of high-grade is slabbed and sold to lapidaries for use in jewellery. In fact the majority of  gold specimens in collections today, have been mined in the last 25 years, either in specimen mines, or commercial mines with a policy of saving mineral specimens, and in smaller quantities from amateur gold panning  and metal detecting. Specimen Mining Commercial mines target production volumes, and any extraction of mineral specimens has to be carefully managed to avoid disruption to mining schedules. One troy ounce of gold weighs … This specimen from the Red Lake Mine shows a unique burst of native gold protruding from the top of the matrix of altered volcanic rock. (However, the Egyptians thought this metal was a variety of electrum). The most common unit of measurement for gold is the troy ounce. Note how gold specimens here from different mines have subtle differences in appearances, occasionally allowing identification of the source mine. David K. Joyce is a graduate of the Haileybury School of Mines and is a mineral dealer, adjunct professor at the University of Toronto and is also a mining business development consultant. The Spanish called it platina, meaning “little silver.” In accordance with the theories of the time about metal origins, they believed this was “unripe gold” and, therefore, unusable. Security guards are diligent in searching all belongings and vehicles, to ensure that gold is not smuggled out of the mine. Currently this specimen mine operation has started up again and it is hoped good material will soon be on the market again in reasonable quantity. Drill programs are used to create Feasibility  Studies, followed by permitting, construction and production, normally a 7 year process. Gold can be reused by melting down old gold objects and reforming the gold into new pieces. The Agave plant is the base for the notorious Tequila. North America has experienced many gold rushes, including California from 1848 to 1864,   and  the Klondike in 1896  but at Nome the gold was literally found on the beach. Join our mailing list below to download a FREE gem ID checklist tutorial. The liquid then cools and hardens. In addition to noble metal properties, gold, silver, and platinum posses the following characteristics: For all these reasons, the trio of gold, silver, and platinum continue to enjoy considerable popularity as jewelry metals. The views contained here may not represent the views of GoldSeek.com, Gold Seek LLC, its affiliates or advertisers. There are just over 4000 mineral species discovered world wide to date. Eagles Nest mine, California: Some of the most attractive native gold specimens in fine crystallised form have come from this mine, and have been marketed by Wayne Leicht. These boxes are moved to the shaft, taken to surface and stored in the vault. . Photo Stefan Ansermet. information, mode of expression, or other materials and services found on GoldSeek.com. Note how gold specimens here from different mines have subtle differences in appearances, occasionally allowing identification of the source mine. A native element and precious metal, gold has long been prized for its beauty, resistance to chemical attack and workability. However it does occur rarely in nature in the form of minerals, combined with other elements such as silver, copper, tellurium, lead, and antinomy. (His nickname arose from the fact that he arrived at Pilgrims Creek with all his worldly possessions carried in a wheelbarrow.) These super-rich zones are often the sources of specimen-grade-high-grade that can be prepared to produce the beautiful gold specimens for which the Red Lake Mine is becoming famous. Rich, high grade-gold is, on occasion, associated with metallic black masses of coarse stibnite and berthierite. Eagles Nest Mine, California, USA. Minerals are solid, naturally occurring inorganic substances that can be found in the earth’s crust. The opinions and analysis included herein are based from sources believed to be reliable and in good faith but no representation or warranty, expressed or implied is made as to their accuracy, completeness or correctness. is strictly prohibited. The term “tarnish” denotes a layer of corrosion that forms over some metals, including silver, when they undergo chemical reactions. You can also roll that quantity into a sheet that covers 100 square feet in area. features found on the site. This was a most moving experience and a novel spontaneous expression of Cyber-grief. Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank the management of Goldcorp for the opportunity to be involved with specimen recovery at the Red Lake mine, for permission to publish this article and for its foresight to save excellent gold specimens from the mine. --- Note: Gold and Silver are metallic elements. Palladium and iridium are commonly alloyed with other metals or used alone to make jewelry pieces. has experienced many gold rushes, including, The coast was icebound for the season, but gold seekers began descending on the tent town in the spring of 1899. For this reason, novice jewelry makers often learn how to solder on silver. Since production commenced, hundreds of beautiful, rich native gold specimens have been recovered and sold to museums, shareholders, collectors and universities around the world. The author would like to thank the following people for assisting or contributing to this article: Bruce Humphrey, chief operating officer;  Chis Bradbrook, vice-president corporate Development; Gilles Filion, vice president exploration; Claude Lemasson, mine manager; Tim Twomey, senior geologist; Gabriela Sanchez, assistant to the chairman and Arlene Connolly, graphic artist. Gold carriers are defined as All briefcases and luggage leaving the mine are searched. This essay makes no attempt to cover all the best localities, (historically or more recent), for gold specimens, but for those interested in an in-depth coverage Robert B. Cook’s article in Rocks &Minerals Jan/Feb 2004 is highly recommended. Don’t let tarnish sour you on silver jewelry. These rocks are cut by a number of felsic and mafic dykes. Few have had a zone like the High Grade Zone, however, which is still open at depth and, although smaller in width at depth, appears to be increasing in grade. the ore often consists of a high grade mixture of the silver sulphides described above. Ruthenium makes for a harder and stronger alloy. The concentrates are refined by smelting where they are melted and the impurities are removed as a slag. Currently, Goldcorp owns more gold bullion than many governments of the world! On occasion, masses of very coarse gold are encountered in dark gray-black quartz. 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