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How to Extract Grain-Sized Gold in Dirt?

  1. Aug 8, 2011 #1
    Actually, it is smaller. Is is more like glitter-sized. What process do I use to extract it?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 9, 2011 #2
    Due to gold's density (specific gravity) you can place your ore in water and mix it well. Turn it into a slurry. All the gold will sink to the bottom.

    Check out some online videos on gold panning. Even lead weights and bullets will roll around in a pan of water. The gold sticks like it is nailed there.

    If you see 'glittery' stuff, it is probably pyrite, not gold. Gold really doesn't doesn't glitter.
     
  4. Aug 9, 2011 #3

    turbo

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    Right. More like a warm yellow glow. I love panning for gold and it's always fun to see that glow in the dregs as you slosh out the lighter stuff.
     
  5. Aug 13, 2011 #4
    Yeah, the glitter-like gold doesn't sink favorably either. Are you stating that even glitter-size gold sinks? Is there any other kind of test I can run on it?
     
  6. Aug 14, 2011 #5
    IF it's gold, it should sink, as buoyancy is a function of density and gold is very dense, no matter the size of the particles.
     
  7. Aug 14, 2011 #6

    turbo

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    Density is the best test. Even gold dust sinks. We have a river locally that contains some placer gold, and when you agitate the pan, the regular sand and dirt wash out cleanly, leaving a reddish "sand" composed of weathered garnet, which also washes out, leaving a fine dense black material, AND (if you are lucky or skillful) gold. If you are paranoid about losing even a fine particle of gold, you can take all the black material home for more careful separation, but I just dip more water, agitate, and swirl and let density do the trick.
     
  8. Aug 17, 2011 #7
    Thanks guys. Unfortunately, it appears to be pyrite like Shootist suggested - fool's gold.
     
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