Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Price of Australian Gold

Ever since the world financial system embodied a US dollar standard, a medium of exchange whereby merely one nation has the benefit of borrowing and repaying debt in its own currency, the central banks and bullion banks (basically large international banks) have been trying to suppress the price of gold downwards in an attempt to influence the ‘durability’ of the US dollar monetary system the world has functioned under since 1971.
Substantial demand and weak supply should be producing much higher prices. One reason as to why this isn’t occurring relates to the short term affect of hedge funds trading gold to satisfy investor redemptions. However, this is not the major reason, as hedge funds are more likely to deal in gold futures rather than physical gold. Even though the monetary value of gold in US dollars has been under pressure, the principle gold producers have little inducement to step-up production at the present price levels. Even in Australian dollars, the price of gold isn’t high enough to promote increased output.
Australian Gold Price Charts
Buy Gold in Australia
To buy gold in Australia is very easy. Australia is fortunate enought to have two mints. the Perth Mint and the Australian Mint. Probably the first place one would look to is the Perth Mint who sell a very extensive range of gold products. Also there are a number of reputable Australian Gold Dealers one can buy gold from in Australia.
Australian gold products include:
* Australian gold coins
* Australian gold bars and bullion
* Australian Nuggets
* Early Australian Gold Jewellery
The Australian Gold Sovereign is popular with collectors, having an investment potential as well as beauty and rarity. The Sovereign has been struck at the Australian Mint and Perth Mint over a period of years and while the recently minted ones are excellent in their own right, the earlier and rarer ones are also sort after by enthusiasts building a collection.

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 Chances are the ring on your finger is marked 18K, 14K, or 10K, with the K standing for karat, the system used to describe the percentage of pure gold an item contains. The higher the karat number, the higher the percentage of gold in your gold jewelry.
- 24K gold is pure gold.
- 18K gold contains 18 parts gold and 6 parts of one or more additional metals, making it 75% gold.
- 14K gold contains 14 parts gold and 10 parts of one or more additional metals, making it 58.3% gold.
- 12K gold contains 12 parts gold and 12 parts of one or more additional metals, making it 50% gold.
- 10K gold contains 10 parts gold and 14 parts of one or more additional metals, making it 41.7% gold. 10K gold is the minimum karat that can be called “gold” in the United States.

Karats and Color
Pure 24-karat gold will always be yellow in color. Copper and silver can be added to gold to create an alloy with the same yellow color. However, the addition of other metals can change the color of the gold. For example, gold combined with copper will produce a pink or rose tint. White gold is the result of adding copper, nickel, and zinc to gold. Jewelers are experimenting with other combinations to produce alloys with a variety of tints such as brown and purple. 

Gold Pricing
Gold pricing is based on a number of factors, including karatage, gram weight, design and craftsmanship. The karatage and gram weight tell you how much gold is in a piece, but don’t rely on these alone to determine price. Remember, a price based solely on gram weight does not reflect the work that has gone into the piece.
Other important factors to consider are the jewelry’s construction and design. The techniques of construction can make a piece more durable and flexible for added comfort. A well-made piece in a classic design will give you years of wear and enjoyment and, if cared for properly, will last a lifetime. Unique design, intricate details, gemstones or a special clasp may add to the price.
Gold jewelry is mainly produced by machine. Any additional hand finishing or textural interest raises the cost. Similar looking pieces may have vastly different price tags. This is because different pieces may have specific characteristics that make them unique. So look carefully to notice any differences and similarities. Often, it’s these small details that give you pleasure through the years that you enjoy a piece of jewelry, and ensure that your children will also enjoy it.
European Markings
European gold jewelry indicates the gold purity as a 3 digit number.
24 Karat Gold Jewelry is marked 999 to show a 99.9% gold purity.
22 Karat Gold Jewelry is marked 917 to show a 91.7% gold purity.
18 Karat Gold Jewelry is marked 750 to indicate 75% gold purity.
14 Karat Gold Jewelry is marked 585 for 58.5% gold purity.
12 Karat Gold Jewelry is marked 417 for 41.7% gold purity.
Why Are Other Metals Mixed With Gold?
You’ll find examples of pure gold jewelry, but pure gold is soft and isn’t practical for daily wear. Other metals are mixed with it to make it more durable (and to lower its cost).
Adding other metals to the mix also allows metallurgists to change the color of gold. Palladium or nickel can be added to create white gold. Adding copper produces a rose or pink tint, while silver gives gold a greenish cast.
When metals are added to the gold the result is an alloy, a blended mixture of the metals that you can think of as a very expensive cake batter. Solid gold is a term that can be used to describe an item that’s at least 10K (in the US) gold all the way through. Even though it’s a gold alloy–18K, 14K, or anything down to 10K–it can be called solid gold.
So What Should You Buy?
Solid gold is durable, so it is a better choice for jewelry you’ll wear regularly. If you have allergies to nickel or other metals, choose items that have high gold content, such as 18K or 22K gold jewelry.
Gold filled or plated jewelry is suitable for jewelry that you wear occasionally. Everyday use would eventually diminish the gold layer, exposing the metal below, which might stain your skin or cause an allergic reaction.
For pieces that will last a lifetime and beyond, buy the highest quality gold your budget allows.
The Resources

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Gold Mining Methods:Leaching

Leaching is the chemical process of removing gold from ore. Currently 80% of the world’s gold is recovered this way. It is also a process best left to the experts, as witnessed by the mercury poisoning fallout from old mines, and the gigantic cyanide spills from modern day gold mining tail ponds. Not only are substances like cyanide hard to obtain for the amateur prospector, they are dangerous to handle. Mercury has a lethal vapor, and the nitric acid used to clean it is also dangerous.

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Metal Detecting

 Of course any method that keeps you out of the water is a good winter method. A few months ago I wrote several posts on metal detecting. There is a great deal of interest in this subject as you have noticed if you read TreasureNet so I thought I would repost for those who missed it. Everyone has strong opinions on the subject, and this post is in no way meant to discourage anyone from experimenting and discovering for themselves. I have edited and revised my remarks so that I could cover the subject in this one post. Hope you enjoy.
Just a few notes on metal detectors. I started working with them about 15 years ago, and I'm still learning. I've seen a lot of people plunk down a grand or more and their detector ends up gathering dust in the hall closet. Folks, it's a long term commitment when you buy one. I've got three, and it depends on where I'm going and what I'm going to do when I get there as to which one I take (they're all gold machines - Gold Bug w/ 3" coil, Garrett Gold Stinger and Minelab XT 17,000). I am always selling and trading machines to see which I like the best, and there are some new ones I want to try. I use the Gold Bug the most because I usually end up working the crevices. The point I want to stress is that they are not a miracle tool that is going to make you rich! The problems are:
1. You've got to be in a nugget area (that ain't easy).
2. Nuggets have to be close enough to the surface that the surrounding mineralization will allow you to hear their signal ( that's near impossible!)
3. You have to have enough experience with the different sounds to know what you're hearing (that takes years of practice).

I will limit my comments to gold machines. If you are interested in coin or relic hunting and have that kind of machine, this will not work for you.
If you are interested in finding gold, sorry, you have to have a gold machine. There are numerous gold machines on the market, and you know what? It doesn't really matter which one you buy. The reason is that you are probably not going to MASTER the one you own and you have to master it to do any good at all - unless you just get lucky. So instead of talking about specific machines, I'm going to talk about theory, specifics and techniques.
Theory - After a machine is properly balanced (check your instructions), it will make either a positive or negative sound when it is moved over varying degrees of mineralization in the ground you are hunting. As I said before, the problem is that most gold bearing ground has wide swings in positive and negative sounds. Not only are you going to be dealing with scrap iron from previous gold rushes, but the next biggest problem is "hot rocks". "HR" " are rocks that have a higher iron content than the surrounding area (they can give off either positive or negative sounds). I'll get into ways of dealing with iron and "HR " in my next post.
Specifics - Discrimination, Ground Balance, Target ID, Sensitivity, Volume and threshold and Mode. Once you've got the concept of these under your belt, it's a matter of practice, practice, practice.
DISCRIMINATION: In hunting for gold this one is easy. Don't use ANY and dig every target until you are comfortable with being able to identify targets without digging (that takes at least a decade). Now if you've talked to a super salesman who says this machine can discriminate gold - and you believed him and bought the thing, use it on its' lowest setting (that means iron only). Anything more and I guarantee you lose gold.
GROUND BALANCE: (read your instructions) Every machine is balanced with a little different method. "GB" is where your machine is electronically balanced with the mineralization in the ground you are hunting. Generally when you move your coil up and down from surface to 2 feet there should be no difference in the sound of the threshold of the machine. Now it is balanced. It is important to check your "GB" every few minutes because ground mineralization changes. Also remember to check it before you dig a target. 50% of your digging can be eliminated if you do this because many sounds are false sounds based upon improper balance of the machine. The automatic ground balancing machines that are now on the market are good, but I don't think you should let that be the deciding factor in the purchase of you machine.
TARGET ID: The idea with the nugget on a poker chip is a good one for practicing target ID, but don't stop there. Get a small piece of brass, aluminum, iron, and various hot rocks. Now spread them out and study the various sounds. Bury them at various depths and mix them with hot rocks, and try it again. If you have a machine that "identifies" the target- throw it away. Remember there's only one target - GOLD. Now as for the other target signals you get - dig them all. If you only find one OZ nugget out of 1000 digs, would it be worth it? More on target ID later.
SENSITIVITY: This is an easy one also. On most machines you can operate at 3/4 to full sensitivity depending upon ground mineralization. Always operate at Max sensitivity that you can with out causing "fuzzy " interference to the sounds you receive. Now I'm going to say something you've never heard before - I seldom use head phones unless I am near a river or some other outside noise or unless I want to work quietly. True, you may be able to hear those faint sounds better with headphones, but they are hot to wear, block other sounds you may want to hear (like a charging bear), and if you can't ID the loud sounds - you certainly won't be able to ID the faint sounds.
VOLUME AND THRESHOLD: If you have a machine that you can adjust the volume and threshold, turn the V to max and the TH to minimum. You want to be able to just hear a faint hum of the threshold.
MODE: Various machines have various modes of operation. In searching for gold we mainly use an "all metal" mode. A discrimination mode can be used at its' lowest setting after you have experimented and satisfied yourself that you won't lose your targets. (My preference is to search in all metal, and use discrimination to ID a target). But remember, I've been at it awhile.
TECHNIQUES: Here in AZ there is every kind of gold country you could think of. From Pine tree forests with year round streams to 120 degree desert with only prickly pear cactus, and dry creek beds. So, I've tried every technique in the book. One thing holds true for almost every location - Your biggest nuggets are going to be close to bedrock or in bedrock crevices. And since they haven't made a machine that will detect flakes through other mineralization yet - YOU'VE GOT TO GET TO BEDROCK to find the best gold. Now if you're in an area where the creek has been worked fairly heavy, you can expect that all exposed bedrock has been searched - right? Well, not totally. You see most nugget hunters only work the easiest ground. I always carry a small pry bar and metal chisels because most exposed bedrock has crevices that will split wide open with a little smack, and most everybody else will walk right over the best crevices because they don't want to "bend over", much less move any boulders or open any crevices. My best advice to a beginner is to do your homework and go to an area where the very best nuggets have been found (they never get them all). Don't search any dirt or gravel bar with more than a foot of overburden. Speaking of overburden, that brings me to my second TECH: If you have a gravel bar or bench that you want to work, don't just run the detector over the top and move on. Detect the top then take your shovel or rake and remove the top four or five inches of dirt and go over it again. Keep doing this until you get to bedrock and then look for any crevices in the bedrock that should be split. Now let's talk about iron, and using all metal machines (no discrimination). You should carry the strongest magnet you can find. This will save you hours on you knees. Remember the first thing to do when you get a signal is re-ground balance your machine. If you have a true target signal, the second thing to do is pinpoint the target, turn over the first few inches of dirt with your pick or the toe of your boot and run the magnet through the dirt. How To: I place my magnet in a 6 " piece of plastic pipe with a cap on both ends. That way the black sands and junk don't get on the magnet. Just jerk the mag to the other end of the pipe and the stuff falls off. Hint: I wear a metal cleat on the toe of my boot for that first kick at a target. ( If you can move it with your toe, you know it's right near the surface). After several attempts with the mag, if you don't pick out the target try to retrieve it as if it were gold. (You know - hand to hand to hand. I don't like plastic scoops and cups).
I want to close this post with this lesson: Get rid of the other noises by shoveling down to an inch or two of bedrock and you'll be able to identify the sound of a nugget and that's where the best gold is anyway. If you'll throw a 22 bullet down there and check it, you'll see what I mean. There isn't much if any difference between a .22 bullet and a nugget about the same size. If there are specific questions I can help you with, please don't hesitate to Email me direct. P.S. I won't recommend any machine over another. Good luck.......
RF Courtesy of

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Market for Gold

In the past, the price of gold has been determined at certain central world markets, such as Zurich Switzerland, and London, England.

These markets will continue to be a major factor in the pricing of gold. Unlike other commodities, the historic role of gold as a standard of value to support domestic currencies and regulate international settlement of trade balance places an unknown factor on the pricing of gold in these world markets.
Political considerations of an international origin modify or distort the action of a free market.

A very special and profitable market exists for gold nuggets in their natural state. These nuggets, also called specimens, may be sold for several times the regular world market price for gold. Unusual pieces of hard rock gold, such as quartz containing veins of gold, are also in demand as specimens and will bring premium price from collectors and hobbyists far in excess of the value of their gold content.

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Used Mining Equipment

Most the time at the beginning of any mining project appear the question about the type of mining equipment to be employed. Some times the decision is not easy due to the lack of information on used equipments or the lack of experience with certain new equipments. Obviously, new equipment is an attractive choice, but the investment could be out of the real cost. So, the option focused on used mining equipment must be considered.
Perhaps, many mining companies and public in general, can’t imagine that big corporations around the world acquire used equipment to be employed in the mine or in the mill because they try to save money when is possible. If the results will be the same, then to buy used equipment is an interesting option. For example, some loader manufacturers rent equipment which will be sold in the next months. If the manufacturer rent a machine, obviously the maintenance is performed with the same care of new equipment. For that reason, this is an advantage because at the moment of acquire the machine, you will know that the equipment is in good conditions and won’t fail at the first use. There is an implicit warranty.
Obviously at the moment of inspecting any used equipment, it is important to take some considerations. For example, a hydraulic excavator is equipment which operates under severe conditions and some precautions must be taken. The lack of maintenance can promote problems with hydraulic hoses that connect to the hydraulic cylinder at the cross tube can contact the hood resulting in damage for the hoses. If the equipment needs modification regarding a specific problem, it could be made at no charge.
Other equipment offered on sale is the mobile crushing plant. This equipment usually comprises a hopper, jaw crusher, conveyor belt, and screen. In this case, will be important to check in the crusher some parts such as the electric motor, liners and toggle. A conveyor belt is not a problematic issue, but the screen requires special inspection due to many times the structure has been working under extreme impact and vibration. Those problems can be fixed easily, but it is important to obtain the crushing in the best operative conditions.
Inspection must be done by experienced people due to they know how a machine works and where could be the most serious problems in any equipment. In this case expert hands are the best way of deciding the most appropriate equipment. If there is doubt, a second opinion is important in order to get a better idea of possible performance of the equipment in the same operation. As was mentioned used equipment is an appropriate way of saving money by using smart decisions.

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Important Prospecting Equipment

A Prospecting Pan: Although the pan is such an old thing, it is still a basic element in prospecting both for people that are just taking up this hobby (or profession) as well as for the experienced professionals. In the past during the gold rush people would use all kinds of things as gold pans. There were even people that used to cook and pan out of the same frying pan.

Supposedly the first ones to have brought a vessel to the gold fields which they used to separate precious metals from the sand and gravel of the stream beds. The Mexicans used to use a pan they called Batea. The Batea was wood carved and it was around sixteen inches wide, close to eight inches deep and was not exactly the lightest thing you can imagine, it was actually quite heavy.

The pans that we have these days though are made out of plastic, steel or copper. However, for people that are just getting into prospecting it would probably be wise to use the plastic pan due to several things: Plastic pans are molded with a set of riffles in the pan. The ridges on the pan help to keep someone new at the job from losing the gold (or as least most of it) by trapping the gold. A lot of the plastic pans are made in black because the color contrast will allow you to see the gold better and it makes it easier to separate it from the concentrates.

Experienced people can go ahead and get the steel pans but often times people burn them black so they can see the gold color easier. Plastic pans have the advantage also of not getting rusted or corroded if wet black sand is left inside of it. the professional prospectors many times use copper pans when using mercury to get to the finer gold.

Although there are different types of pans available, some more exotic than others, there are in general three sizes in which they come in. The first one is the smaller one that is around six to eight inches wide, then you have the medium sized pan that is around twelve to fourteen inches wide and a lot of beginners say this is the easiest one to use, and finally you have the large or professional size pan that is sixteen to eighteen inches wide. It is not recommended to try to use the big one to start off with because you will notice how it collects a lot of material which will not be easy to pan, besides this, it’s plain downright heavy.

A Shovel: A shovel is necessary so that you can dig up dirt into your pan. There are two basic types, one has a long handle and the other has a short handle. The long handled one will help you not to break your back, however the shorter one is more convenient when it come to moving around and carrying it. It is also recommended you have a hand garden trowel with you as it will help you be able to get to those hard to reach areas.

White Adhesive Tape: White adhesive tape is a very necessary item when it comes to prospecting because it is used for marking the ore samples. If you find a vein that you feel may just have gold in it and that you think is worthwhile examining, use the adhesive tape to mark the spot you got it from. You should write the exact location and date you found it on a piece of tape and stick it on each piece of ore you take in from the field so that it can be assayed.

Knife: Invest in a hunting knife. This can be used for scrapping, digging and prying.

Tweezers: Get ahold of some pointed jeweler’s tweezers so that you can pick out the teensy flecks of gold from your pan.

Small Plastic Bottle: Take along a plastic bottle so you can hold your findings in. Glass is not recommended because if you drop your findings…. well, picking it up would be quite an ordeal.

Magnifying Glass: Carry a magnifying glass in your pocket so you can study your gold pan etc.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010


WILD WEST HISTORY OF GOLF MINING A short historical movie of the history of the old west and its search for gold in the 1800s

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

How to Build Your Own Gold Prospecting Equipment

You can build your own prospecting equipment like a sluice box for a lot cheaper than buying one for retail price at a store. Sluice boxes act as a natural gravity trap for gold. Acting as a medium, the sluice box uses water to sort gold from other minerals.

  • 1
    Determine what size you want your sluice box to be. A good length to start with is 4 feet. Match your sewer pipe and 2x4 board with the chosen length.

  • 2
    Use a sharp knife to cut the seams on your sewer pipe. Cut both seams of the sewer pipe to make the main part of your sluice box.

  • 3
    Cut your 2x4 board with your skill saw matching it exactly with the length of your sewer pipe.

  • 4
    Put your sewer pipe (one of the cut halves) inside facing up onto your 2x4 board. Make sure both ends of the 2x4 board are flush with the sewer pipe. Drill your first screw ½ inch away from the top edge of the sewer pipe and wood. Put in a screw every 12 inches until you reach the bottom. Mirror the top by placing a screw ½ inch away from the bottom edge.

  • 5
    Check for the proper angle while the sluice box is in the water. The general rule of thumb for a sluice box is to elevate it 6 inches for every foot of length for your sluice box. Sometimes water flow will be too heavy or slow, so you must adjust to varying water conditions. The biggest pieces of gold should always end up in the top few riffles. If you find gold in the bottom of the sluice box, the water pressure is too great and you will need to adjust the angle or find a slower current.

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