How to tell if its gold or pyrite? (fools gold test)

by Prospector Jess

Welcome everybody, Prospector Jess from

You can see that below. We’re here to talk tonight a little bit about how to tell whether it’s gold or pyrite and how you can keep from being fooled.

So anyway, I wanted to kind of touch base with you. I’ve had a lot of people ask questions about various pyrites, you know, I’ve been showing you this one, this Chalcopyrite gold ore piece. And I have some iron pyrite floating around here. I’ll show you a picture of that in a second.

The, the basic principle is that these are, these are sulfides and sulfides themselves generally don’t have gold, but they can have gold associated with them, remember that business of association or, or habit, you know, what they belong with, not habit, but, “habitat.” You know what other minerals go with them.

And so what we’re looking at right here is gold on the screen. You know, right next to me there. And you know, the distinction is quite obvious to somebody who’s used to it. But if you’re not used to it or in some cases if you’re looking specifically for these ores, then you need to be a little more attuned to what you’re looking at.

So one of the things that, that I do tonight is spend a little short snippet on a couple of simple things you can do to tell if it’s gold or if it’s pyrite. How do you know?

So, you know, one of the things you want to be able to do, as you get into prospecting is kinda no rocks and minerals. What distinguishes a piece of Hematite or Magnetite from each other? And how that, you know, how certain rocks look pretty plain, but might be very informative.

How core samples can indicate gold at depths and still not be apparent that there’s gold in this sample.

By the way, this gold core sample is from the famous Homestake mine in South Dakota. And so if you look very closely with a magnifying glass, you can see some material that basically indicates there’s gold in it. That’s important because if you are sampling, you would want to know where the high concentrations are and you’d want to know where to go look next.

So that’s all rocks and minerals and gold. tonight we’re going to go a real quick shot over a, let’s look at first thing, I go back to the title picture just for a moment. And you know, looking at this pyrite chunk, you’d say, well gee, it looks kinda gold colored, so it must be gold. No, it’s got too much cubic structure to it. And there’s a couple of other things that tell you hmm… now, if that were, if that were like the piece I was holding a minute ago and a little more distorted and little more disseminated in and perhaps a little more colorful like rainbow colored, then I might say, hmm.

Chalcopyrite, it could have copper and gold and iron and sulfur as to just iron and sulfur for the majority. Even with the iron sulfur (pyrite,) you still want to kind of be able to do your own investigation.

So what we’re going to do tonight is talk about what’s the simplest thing I can do to distinguish pyrite? Well, one of the first things you can do is get as your handy dandy, everybody’s got to have one of these, (Swiss army knife) autographed in Switzerland no less, complete with the burn marks from working on outboard motors. That was a bad idea. touched a electrode on one of the batteries and pow, found out that wasn’t going to work. So, you can, you can see if a little piece can be flaked off or if it scratches and leaves a little tiny dent just by simply using a knife pocket knife.

That’s one of the simple tests. And you don’t want to scratch your gold up too much, but you know, the pyrite ore is pretty simply you can scrape on it. It still doesn’t tell you. In the case of Chalcopyrite, if there’s gold buried in it, you’re going to have to do a spectrometer tests and find out what kinds of assay, or do a full assay this material.

One of the problems with sulfides is they’re refractory. it’s fancy word for means it really is formed high temperatures and it takes extremely high temperatures to break it back down. And when you do that, it releases all kinds of fumes. Basically refractory is a nice word for it. This could be too expensive to exploit, but it might not be. So you want to kind of find that the information, you know, chemistry of it. So let’s go look at the way, the other way that’s really simple to tell an iron sulfide, you know, pyrite, iron, pyrite from gold, so let’s go look at this.

So this is a streak test, very simple to do. you, you’ll want to have one of these in your Handy Dandy rock detection bag. And what it is is none other than just a flat matte finish piece of ceramic tile, flat black and flat white. You should have one of each, for obvious reasons. Some streaks of some minerals are, are dark and therefore they show up better on the light color material and some streaks are light and show up on dark colored materials. So just have one of each and you’re in your bag.

Now when you scrape iron pyrite, it’ll leave a really charcoal black streak, looks terrible, and that is distinctive from gold because gold, we’ll leave a metallic brassy orange, yellow almost disappears on that. It’ll show up best on the Black streak pad. And so that’s the streak plate they call it. And so that’s the thing you want to be looking for is where does that color reside and how do I quickly, and so you can perform this by simply taking your mineral and put some pressure and streaking across there and see what it looks like.

If it looks like pencil lead, it’s probably iron pyrite and therefore it’s probably Lever-rite for Leave er right there. So that’s a real simple test that you can do anytime you want and it accomplishes a ton of stuff with very little expense, unlike a spectrometer test. if you do a handful of these tests such as density and streak test and a few, you know, scrape test, you can quickly start to parse apart what your mineral regime, what this mineral really looks like. And there are whole books on rocks and minerals that detail what the streak is, what the specific gravity is, what is it, what does it look like under different kinds of light, what does it do in terms of the way it behaves when you scrape it with a knife and what’s its hardness? These are all pretty much the top few.

There’s probably more, I’m just whipping these off just for fun because I’ve done them so much. But that’s how you start to identify rocks and minerals and then knowing the association of those rocks and minerals.

Because just because I found this piece of magnetite doesn’t necessarily mean I’m not interested in it. And in fact I am, just because it attracts a magnet. I don’t have one here, but let’s just pretend that it would go clack, because that’s one of the tests that you do for magnetite. And guess what it does this attracted magnet. It’s also very dense and very Mafic (Magnesium-Ferric). Therefore it goes with gold. It’s an associated mineral just like that. So that’s tonight’s lesson. Real quick, short, I just wanted to touch bases with you and see if there’s anything going on.

I’m going to try something new. Oh, here we go again.

Jess doing something new. Well, I’m going to try going over to what I call PJ’S Q& A reactor. How, how’s that for a fancy sound? And I want to see if you guys have some comments or questions with regard to tonight’s subject of how do you tell pyrite from gold ore how do you do these rock and mineral streak tests?

So here we go. This is PJ’s rocks and gold Q and a. And I’ve got a section over on, on that side that I want you to put your question is the right questions in right now and, and react and see if it shows up. If it doesn’t, well, I’ll just cut this out in the later edition, but for now, let’s see if we can get some feedback and on rocks and minerals.

You know, it could be that my, technology is gonna give me Murphy again for free (trouble). because right now it’s showing me all zeros and no reactions and no comments. That’s not a good sign. That’s usually a bad sign. I’m going to go look at my trusty dusty phone and see what you guys have to say because that might give me some more input. If nothing gives, then we will call it a night because we’re about done.

So for right now, go over to the page and look and see what’s happening. It’s indicating that zero people are reached yet there are 14 of you online and, and I don’t see any comments yet. That doesn’t mean there aren’t any, let me go over to the comments real quick. Yup. You guys are there. You’re just not showing up. So this is what you look like. See really good. But the problem is you’re not showing up over on that side in that field. So we will try that again. I’m going to, the problem was I normally have a test base for how to do these things and set them up and try them without that, you guys getting involved. But somehow Facebook took that away from me. I don’t know why, you know, they’re always changing stuff. They always tweak a little bit more, tweak a little bit of that. And if people don’t use it enough, which I only used it when I was testing really weird stuff, like trying to get a reactor, ooh cool idea. Anyway, I got the reaction I didn’t want, which is not not your questions.

So, so I got Charles. Hey, good evening Charles. Good Evening Bob. And Steven. Good, glad you’re a great teacher. Thanks Steven. I appreciate the feedback and that really is important to me. I like to know what you’re looking for. I didn’t do the sulfides and iron pyrites justice. I am well aware of that. that will likely be a much longer, more detailed training in part because of that refractory comment I made. And there’s some other aspects of pyrites in general that make them really, really tricky chemistry. they have this property of being kind of the, the orphan of the gold world and yet they’re (one of) the most common gold source. So it’s Kinda funny, you know, mostly because people go after this for copper. It’s in it and the gold falls out.

But it is one of those things that you just want to keep yourself aware of it. There we go. Now we’re getting stuff. What’s a great source to know where whens Gold’s near? That’s John Morven a great source to know when Gold’s near.

Well, let’s see. probably the most prominent source to know would be to be able to look it up, look at the area and tell the terrain in geography, tell what’s going on with the different, Geo Morphology, the shape of the rocks and minerals and things that are in the area. How the, how the land looks, what you’re seeing in the way of, of streams and rivers that might’ve deposited gold. What you’re seeing in the way of geologic things and minerals that go with gold such as pyrites. because all of these paint a picture, so it’s not a simple one to answer.

I’m sorry. It can’t just say, hey, go out there and find the stuff. It’s not that simple. What you’re going to need to do is, is look up and see what it is that makes gold, in that location apparent. And one way to do that would be to do like the government gold maps (GGM) and map yourself what mines or in the immediate area if you’re looking and find out what kind of gold or what kind of other minerals they were pulling out. One of the things you can do with that is not just look gold. You can open up for any commodity.

So look up silver, look up copper, look up a quartz marble, limestone, because oftentimes at the contact zone with some of these gold lodes, one of the things that happens is you go from acidic to basic in a big hurry when it runs into limestone and that can cause along with earthquakes and other things can cause instant precipitation of the gold. And Bingo, you get this contact gold lode. And what you want to do is find out where is that, where’s that marble or limestone interface happening and where are the fissures, where the quartz is and where do they intercept? Because that would be real interesting to look at, especially if it had some of these sulfides and black stuff, you know. So there’s a big picture. You want a paint, that’s stuff I cover in the GDU as I mentioned, you know, we’ve got that still going on.

Let me try something else. I think I’m, I’m my own worst enemy on this technology. So pardon me for just a moment. I’m going to try something here cause I think I’ve set this thing to kind of black out after 30 seconds and that’s probably not what we want to do here. So let me, till it to not hide the chat and see what it does now. Ah Ha!

Charles says, which side of the tile to use you use? That’s a very good question. If, if we go to the (streak plate) tile picture, So looking at the streak test, this side is not, you can get ceramic tiles that are polished, they’re finished with a nice glossy finish or a semigloss finish. You really want one that has adult blank finish. And so oftentimes what I will use is the backside of the tile. If it’s white, you know, because that will have that property. What you want is adult tile you want have that rough, not really jagged textured surface. You just want it to be rough enough that when you scrape on it, it will leave bits of the mineral on, on the surface buried in the little tiny pits. If you have it all shiny, it doesn’t make any mark, you know, it’s like wiping your mental on a piece of glass and unless it’s court, it’s not going to leave much of a mark because it’s got to be harder than glass.

This case it’s going to the, this is ceramic, so it’s made out of silica. So it has quartz in it, but it’s real micro quartz and what you’re doing is leaving a trail of the mineral ground off, kind of like sand paper. And so that’s the idea. Does that help? Now let’s go back to our Handy Dandy reactor page and look at what’s going on. And it’s interesting it, it takes a while for it to wake up and collect. It’s information.

So let’s go back. 10-four thank you services, John. I find a lot of courts. I moved dirt for a living. Yeah. That’s the kind of guys who are going to find gold if they sort of know what they’re looking for. Her more than one story of road beds interrupted because the, the crew that was working on moving the soils found a pay streak or found a, a nice plastic pocket and they dug into it and it just stopped everything until after lunch. And then of course the boss comes by and looks at his watch and says, you know, we’re paid a bonus of so many million dollars to get this done in a month early and this is going to stop us for weeks. So you guys get back to work and then they go dig the gold out.

So, so high from North Carolina. great. let’s see, it’s John. Joshua Morgan and I are always up for prospecting here in Arizona. It’s super, we had that Golden Arizona thing and it’s gotten an awful lot of traction both here on Facebook and over on Youtube, on prospector justice channel. that’s great to find you’re using that and finding, finding those things of you. So I’m also glad to hear there are more people coming in from Arizona looking, fantastic place to go prospecting and a lot less regulated than California so far. hang in there guys, fight the good fight on those things. So that’s really, kind of where we’re at. I’m, I’m looking at the page and there’s various things that show up on the page in terms of this reactor test. I would consider it to be a failure, but that doesn’t mean that doesn’t mean it’s bad.

In fact, let me give you a hint. When you’re out prospecting, you want to try stuff like this, this reactor thing over here that’s not working. The reason is, and that saved react or has anything to do gold. But I’m saying if he tries new kind of shovel or a new kind of pant, you’re going to learn whether it works or not. Now typically you want to try it on somebody else’s time, like borrowing from someone and use it, see if you can make it work, if you can and when you can. And when you do that learning, you’ll learn about not just that pan but other pans and you’ll also try and get skills that you can use again and again in the future. That is really what the business, of trial and error is about. And that is actually a disguise for the word success.

“To succeed, you must fail,” says Prospector Jess “and fail often.” Okay, so just be aware of that.

Calaveras County Andy L and let’s see, we’ve got where we’ll Gold be in association with limestone above it or below it or what? Well, it’s a key that it is in association with the interface to where the goal load was. So where the gold lode as in quartz, intrusive secondary hydrothermal deposit, that’s a mouthful. Where that interfaces with that limestone will typically form an interface where change happens.

So when one of the places I frequent, there is a famous gold mine, that was recently reopened in the 90’s to go down an interface, basically follow that fissure. And so what they did is they followed the, the strike and the dip of that particular interface where the limestone meant that quartz gold load and they just pulled out all manner of quartz and quartz and gold.

And you can see one of the largest chunks of quartz crystal, crystaline (Gold) quartz is that the ironstone winery, it was found at that Harvard mine where that interface occurred. And so that’s the kind of thing now does it above or below? Well, depends on where the two met, and that’s what part of the intrigue of of doing gold prospecting is to understand striking slip. That’s the angle that these fissures take and the dip and also the rotation that happens after they get uplifted. You know, this could be centuries or millennia after injection and so you have to sort that stuff out dynamically.

If I were to tell you it’s about always above, that would be false. Now, in general, there are certain patterns that are typically followed and older lode mine prospectors can tell you those details. I won’t go into that here, but there are patterns that you want to keep in mind, but there’s also a tendency in all gold prospecting for patterns to get disrupted from time to time.

So just be aware of that. It’s like, it’s like this thing. Well, it’s just lever-rite? That’s just Chalcopyrite. Yeah. It just happens to be gold ore that’s pretty intensely loaded with gold, but it also has a lot of copper.

Again, what was the name of that creek here in Arizona again, please? oh, somebody else. We’re responding to someone to see people are talking to each other and I interfere with that. I don’t want to do that.

And Nebraska, five weeks digging in the Black Hills this summer. Cool. Great.

Ever prospect in Idaho? If so, where? No, but I would love to go up and do some, some dredging. The problem is they’re getting California-ized as we speak. So there’s a little bit of a problem with my hopes and dreams for the future there. Because I like dredging a lot.

Joshus M says “Jess has mentioned us twice so far.” See, that’s three times now. Three. Okay. So that’s, that’s the benefit of this reactor. It’s kind of fun. I hope it helps you kind of get, get your questions going. Again, it’s one of those things where I just wanted to try that a little bit. I’m not trying to make this the mainstay. I’m trying to see if you like it. Let me know if you do because I think it’s kind of cool. I get to kind of see what you’re doing.

Unfortunately, the cameras there and the screen’s right there. So there’s this kind of like I’m doing this thing back and forth, but it’s just pretend I’m looking around this big room of us prospectors, and we’re all here together, learning how to find that stuff. Gold and you know, that’s where you find it right here.

Glad to see you tonight. And, enjoy good prospecting.

And don’t forget to get your street test plates. You get out and get the gold. Let’s see. so strict test plates, like I said, get a light one white, a dark one black. That’s typically what you want. And again, because you’ll find certain minerals. This is Rhodachrosite. This is iron-pyrite. you’ll find that they tend to, you know, have different streaks and, and then you get a book like, let’s see, I had it out here a minute ago.

Told you about over and over again, but you want to get one of these for your local area. Okay. you can get them in general, you know, rocks and minerals or a mineralogy book. these are available oftentimes at a college bookstore. I think, you know, Keene engineering and others carry things like this. Amazon, Google it, “rocks and minerals of “name the state” rocks and minerals of Idaho guys, rocks and minerals of Arizona, rocks and minerals of California, rocks and minerals of Oregon, rocks and minerals of Washington.

Now, why do they vary? Well because the local geology varies enough that certain categories of rocks and minerals are quite prevalent in those regions. It doesn’t mean they know anything about political boundaries. In fact, you’re typically find that two states that are adjacent, that have similar geography like Nevada and Arizona on the west side and, and, and desert of California, all the same rocks and minerals until you get to the edges and then things start changing really rapidly. and that has to do with the changes that occurred in the geologic history of those areas. And that’s it for tonight. I think we’ve covered this one pretty well. again, see more about https://SourdoughMinercom/GDU/ that’s the gold diggers underground.

We are a monthly recurring club and basically what I do in there has training material for you and access to a lot more videos and a lot more material about rocks and minerals and geology and gold and finding stuff. It’s also known as the Gold Prospectors Bonanza Club. And so, it, it’s available to you. check it out and see what you think.

I’m going to leave it at that for tonight and tell me what you want to know about tomorrow night.

So that’s it for Prospector Jess tonight.

Good night and Good Prospecting. Catch you later. Bye Bye.