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Facts About Gold...
The Truth About Jade...

Researched and presented
by Tom Taffel, member SFGMS


Tom Taffel, member since 1975.

Golden Facts

Atomic Symbol: AU
Atomic Number: 79
Atomic Weight: 196.967
Specific Gravity: 19.300
Melting Point 1,945 degrees F
Boiling Point: 5,371 degrees F
MOH's Scale of Hardness: 2.5

Gold was formed with the earth's crust, generally in quartz veins, millions of years ago. It makes up just .001 parts/million (ppm) of the earth's crust. In the sea it is approximately .004 ppm. Iron meteorites have been found to contain gold in concentrations as high as 0.7 ppm.

Gold is very dense. 1.5 times more dense than lead, 19.3 times more dense than water.

Gold is malleable. An ounce of gold can be hammered to a thin sheet of at least 100 square feet. In a thin leaf, gold transmits green light. An ounce of gold can be stretched into a thin wire more than 5 miles long. A thread drawn from one ton of gold would stretch to the moon and back.

Various industries use 1,750 tons of gold a year. Dentists use 3 tons a year. Gold is used in computers, weaponry, spacecraft and medicine in the treatment of chronic ulcers and surgery to patch damaged nerves, blood vessels and bones.

The electrical conductivity of gold is 71 times that of copper.

Purity of gold:

77% of all gold recovered is by lode mining and is crushed, processed and refined. 20% of all gold recovered is byproduct of other base metal mining and must be refined. Only 3% of the gold recovered is from natural placer deposits. Less than 1/10 of 1% of gold is found in nugget form. Of this, 10% is selected for jewelry. An average of 80 cubic yards of gravel must be “sluiced” to find one ounce of placer gold.

A one-ounce nugget is as rare a find as a 5 carat diamond. Like snowflakes, no two nuggets are alike.

Laboratory Pure Gold is 1.000 Fine. Commercially Fine Gold is .999 Fine. U.S. Gold Coins are .9166 Fine (22 karat).

Annual world production of gold approaches 50 million ounces. Of that,

Gold is 19 times heaver than water. Gold will fall quickly to that bottom of a water course and then tend to stay in that place. Where it falls and how far down stream it will travel is the deciding factor in where to look for gold.

Gold being heaver than any other material in the stream will be moving very reluctantly. In doing so it will generally move in a straight line following the path of least resistance. When gold does encounter resistance--like a large boulder, it will stop and of course fall to the bottom of the river, or get stuck in a crevice of the boulder as it is falling. The first place to look for gold is out in the middle of the river around boulders. However if that boulder is in fast part of the river, unless the gold piece was big, the gold may have been washed right over or around and on down stream. The ideal spot for a boulder area that would produce gold would be in part of the river where the water slows to almost a stop A pool of water on either side of the boulder would be a good spot to start a search.



Panning For Gold In Skagway

The largest gold nugget ever found in Alaska was discovered near Nome. It weighed 155 ounces, was 7" long, 4" wide and 2" thick. According to Alaska's Mineral Industry 1990, major operators produced 231,000 ounces of gold in 1990, down from 297,900 ounces in 1989. Gold was first discovered in Alaska on the Kenai Peninsula in 1848.



Jade: True and False

Although Serpentine is often sold as jade, Jadeite and Nephrite are the only two-forms of true jade.

The more expensive and rarer of the two is Jadeite, the highest quality being imperial jade. With a hardness of 7, it can be green, black, white, red, yellow, lilac, orange, pink, blue and brown.

Nephrite jade is the more common of the two and is often used in Chinese carvings and comes in many tones of green, predominantly olive, and has a hardness of 6.5.

Misleading "False" Terms For Jade:

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