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June 23, 2009

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excellent post. I recommend visiting the Malakoff Diggins to anyone who hasn't yet been there. It's very impressive to see just how big a hole hydraulic mining can dig.

The tabular nature and luster of that grain look more like weathered biotite than gold. Biotite often takes on an almost metallic luster (particularly at certain angles) and a golden color as it weathers. If you can find it again under a binocular microscope, try pinning it down and pressing on it with a pin or needle; gold will deform and dent in response, biotite will fragment and shear along the cleavage.

Cool post.

I'm always uncertain in foto-identifying so don't take this too seriously. The light and colors never quite reach the true values. Though the flake you mention is a little too angular, not the right kind of brightness and a little too rough for my taste of gold.

If you could seperate this flake and test its hardness with a tiny steel needle...perhaps we could have a more positive identity.

Thanks for the comments!

I'll make a point of visiting the big hole at Malakoff Diggins when I get back to California (as I intend to) and I'll see if I can relocate that grain (or one like it) and give it a prod with a needle - I must admit I was somewhat suspicious. If I come up with anything, I'll report it.

Ah! And I've learned something, yet again! The meaning behind the name: Placer County, California -- Gold Country. Thanks!

Biotite often takes on an almost metallic luster (particularly at certain angles) and a golden color as it weathers. If you can find it again under a binocular microscope, try pinning it down and pressing on it with a pin or needle; gold will deform and dent in response, biotite will fragment and shear along the cleavage.

Cool post.

Thanks for the tip - biotite it is! I will have to seek my fortune by other means....

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