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Smelted gold being sold off as Nuggets

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Post  MS on Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:27 pm

Ebay is a good place for us all to sell off our gold nuggets and rightly receive a premium which reflects the rarity and hard work we put into finding them.
People who falsely sell off supposed nuggets as the real deal give me the sh.ts and spoil it for every one else, ie smelted gold
See link http://cgi.ebay.com.au/GOLD-NUGGET-57-4-GRAMS-2-FISH-/380307212818?pt=AU_Bullion&hash=item588c138a12

If you handle enough gold you can easily see the difference between a melted blob and a natural nugget but there are many that have no idea and even if the gold sells at a cheap price who really knows what the actual gold content is, colour won't tell you too much, a good copper mix will pass off the same and may only give a actual gold content of 50%, these guys don't get caught out as who would buy at a premium and sell off to a refiner for a lower price, if they fell on hard times they most likely will get a rude shock.
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Post  sandy2010 on Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:19 am


THERE IS A SAYING:

"THE SELLER ONLY NEEDS ONE EYE, THE BUYER NEEDS BUT MANY".

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Post  Goldbait on Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:18 am

how do you know it's from smelted gold.

i only ask cuz i'm a newby and wouldn't be able to tell the difference unless someone like yourself said it was.. what features am i looking for for this nugget to not be a pure nugget
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Post  nero_design on Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:19 am

The seller that MS has listed here is a repeat offender. Much of the gold he sells is fake and I've reported him before although Ebay has failed to take any action (so far).

Smelted gold being sold off as Nuggets Original
Here's one a guy bought on Ebay recently. He told me he bought it because the picture was too blurred to make out but he said he thought that it "looked nice". He was pretty devastated when I told him it was man-made. He paid spot price for it.

Smelted gold being sold off as Nuggets Large
This one was found by a guy at Hill End with a GPX-4000. It's clearly a natural Copper Nugget that has been coated in 24 carat gold. Much of the gold has worn away and there are two possibilities as to why it was there. It was either dropped by someone that was hoping to fool a mate. Or it was the result of "Salting" which occurred there regularly in the 1800s to generate the sale of various otherwise near-worthless mines and claims in the area. The scratch mark on the left is from where we cut away some of the material to see what the interior was like. You have to wonder how many more are out there and if the people finding and then selling them might eventually be charged with fraud, even if they think such a nugget is real.

The Chinese were caught accidentally when mounted troops in Victoria were perusing a scammer through the camps on horseback on the 1870s. One of the tents that was overturned by the horses was filled with Chinese "nugget counterfeiters" who were in the process of casting man made nuggets to sell to the whites. The offenders were arrested but it goes to show that even back then they were in the habit of making fakes, much the same way modern China does today. It was said at the time that locals were suspicious about their nuggets because the color was different to the nuggets in the area. I believe they were using lead slugs for the interior and a mixture of copper and gold to make an outer coating.

I suspect that nearly a third of nuggets sold on Ebay might be sophisticated fakes ... either man-made from melted gold jewelery or from coated copper nuggets that have been tumbled to make them look more rounded in appearance. On US expert on gold nugget collecting was rather surprised to find that several nuggets in his own collection were actually fakes with an inner core made from another dense material or simply being made from a plaster mold. There's a number of ways to spot the cast nuggets but you need to inspect the nugget first with a magnifying glass. Below are three fakes from the American collector - one shows the gold cut away to reveal another metal inside (Tungsten?)

Smelted gold being sold off as Nuggets Medium

Smelted gold being sold off as Nuggets Medium

Smelted gold being sold off as Nuggets Medium
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Post  Guest on Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:20 am

Gday


This is nothing new to ebay, every now and then you get a run of manufactured nuggets, when you get several up at the same time they all tend to look a bit the same so they can be quite easily picked up, but people still bid on them, usually someone who has not seen a lot of gold or not handled many nuggets will not for some reason or the other look past the colour.

I dont have an issue with someone melting down their fines and tiddlers and making them in to a lump, as long as they state clearly what it is and dont add any other metals in to the mix while they are doing it, its common for prospectors to do this and turn their gold in to what they call a miners bar, often dollied gold is melted down and cast into a rough ingot, its easier to store and carry, but is generally sent to refiners and not sold on ebay.

Anyway back to the featured nugget, there are often signs that should start warning bells, the first being the nugget may be well underpriced in comparison to others for sale, several times I have seen them listed and they are often described as having come from goldfields overseas, the appearance of the nugget is usually the give away, I believe this one shown to be man made, if you have a look at pic4, where there is the ruler behind it, you can clearly see the surface of the nugget has a grainy appearance, usually you get this when the gold is cast in sand, some areas of the piece are grainy and coarse and others appear smooth, usually a water worn nugget will be smooth all over, a piece that is not far from the source will be sharp and prickly.

The colour is usually the same all over, and some parts appear a bit slaggy, also another thing that you can sometimes see in manufactured nuggets is air bubbles, you dont get these in natural nuggets, often the photos are of such poor quality that itself should be a warning as you can not correctly identify any of the obvious flaws in the nuggets features, even after you have added up all these factors then you should not be drawn into bidding on it anyway thinking that it might still have value in the gold content, you have no way of knowing this until you own it and send it to a refiner to be assayed, if someone has gone to the trouble of trying to deceive you with its appearance then you can be just as certain that they have in some way diluted the gold content in it as well.

At the end of the day its buyer beware, so if you are not positive about what you are looking at then its best to simply avoid it.

cheers

stayyerAU

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Post  harryopal on Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:27 am

Good morning Stayer and Nero,

Thank you for your informative posts.

Yours tropically, Harry

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Post  Goldbait on Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:35 am

thanks for the comments. very informative.
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Post  1066andyg on Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:46 am

if you look at the picture with the scales you can only see half the scales and not what hes put on the other side to weight it down!

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Post  TheGoldenChild on Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:50 am

The best way to know your gold is real is to dig it out of the ground yourself. Mother Nature doesn't produce fakes.
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Post  nero_design on Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:07 am

TheGoldenChild wrote:The best way to know your gold is real is to dig it out of the ground yourself. Mother Nature doesn't produce fakes.
Except when the fakes were used by old timers to salt the ground on a property or mine they were hoping to sell. They also loaded real gold in their shotguns and blasted it into the mine interiors. Watch out for numerous fake "nuggets" dropped by fossickers that were hoping to fool or prank a friend.
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Post  TheGoldenChild on Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:49 am

Good point Nero, there is always 1 exception to any rule.
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Post  Curley on Mon Jan 17, 2011 12:43 pm

I think I know where the gold came from. Not PNG but NSW.
Check out what else he is selling.
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/RIVERFRONT-400-ACRES-PINE-FOREST-BRAIDWOOD-NSW-/380303016328?pt=AU_Real_Estate&hash=item588bd38188
Cheers
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Post  shandeemax on Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:18 pm

What an awesome property cyclops I think I'd buy it myself if I had the spare cash. Very Happy Very Happy
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Post  Guest on Mon Jan 17, 2011 1:30 pm

man made nuggets are legal in the U.S.A but here in OZ you must declare that they are man made and you cant call them nuggets Very Happy

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Post  MS on Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:42 pm

Its not that easy to explain on here how to spot the difference between natural nuggets and cast nuggets but experience handling many nuggets over time make it easier to tell the difference between the two, also having experience melting gold or lead will show you how the molten metal flows and acts, and you will see the flow lines , dimple that flashes down just as the last part of the metal solidifies, often refiners call this the last wink and it leaves a tell tale mark.
Sprues , flat bottoms and curved tops and also the thin elongated and often sharper run of the last part of the pour.
Thats about the best I can say on here and I hope it helps a bit but nothing beats hands on experiance and being shown direct in the hand.
Cheers Mark
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Post  harryopal on Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:58 pm

What about molten gold dropped into a bucket of cold water? Does that make for a well disguised `Nugget'?
Yours tropically, Harry

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Post  MS on Mon Jan 17, 2011 6:29 pm

harryopal wrote:What about molten gold dropped into a bucket of cold water? Does that make for a well disguised `Nugget'?
Yours tropically, Harry

I have done that after refining gold and pouring the molten gold into a bucket of water [ shotting], jewlers like to buy gold that way ,ie prills as its easier for them to measure off the quantity required for a job. When you do a slow pour close to the water it comes out like mushroom tops , dish like half balls, if your pour it in quick you get wire like strands, all looks nothing like natural nuggets.
Cheers Mark
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Post  skysite on Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:11 pm

Golden child your spot on mate why would you buy nuggets of bay isn't it all about the chase?

And there it is.......the connection between women and gold I was wondering what the old man in the bush was talking about last trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Post  TheGoldenChild on Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:49 pm

you are right on the money Skysite.
There is nothing more satisfying than pulling a gold nugget out of the ground, big or small it doesn't matter.
That chase is what makes this hobby great. Sometimes you win sometimes you lose there are no guarantees.
Buying nuggets to call your own is like buying fish from the shop when you have gone out fishing and got none and going home to show everyone what a great fisherman you are.
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Post  MS on Mon Jan 17, 2011 8:29 pm

I agree finding nuggets is what this site is all about, but Ebay is a great place to sell the gold you find, and the risk with fake nuggets is people losing confidence in buying nuggets and that is what effects us all.
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Post  nero_design on Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:05 pm

Did you guys see this one? It's from the same unscrupulous seller.

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/GOLD-NUGGET-155-6-GRAMS-ROUGH-GUTS-/380307244363?pt=AU_Bullion&hash=item588c14054b

Feds ought to be involved as this is clearly fraud.

Last time I looked, the largest piece of gold you could get out of PNG was 15 grams. Anything larger was always confiscated. Even "Specimens". Usually at the airport.
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Post  Razgo on Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:50 pm

doesn't smelted gold also hold a value? isn't there evidence of smelted gold being found near old mines? I know that ebay seller is lying and should not be calling it a gold nugget. but i do wonder what value as "smelted gold" would it have?

the best definition i could find:
Smelting:The purpose of smelting is to remove base metals and other impurities from high grade concentrates to produce a gold-silver bullion containing typically more than 95% precious metals. The smelted product, called dore bullion, is suitable for direct sale and or further refining.

russ

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Post  Guest on Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:11 am


Gday Razgo


Yes the smelted gold does have a value, but with manufactured nuggets the question is how much gold does the nugget contain, for a start as you know nuggets are not 100% pure gold, it has to be refined to get it to 99.9% pure.

So with this in mind you have a nugget made from a mixture of metals, the maker can add all sorts of things to make it, copper etc, jewellers do it all the time, they add metals (dont know the specifics) but add jewellers metals to make the gold harder and more durable, thats where you get the carat system from, 9crt,18crt, 24crt etc.

If you purchased a manufactured nugget the only way you would find out the true gold content would be to have it assayed/refined, depending on the size of the nugget it may cost more to have this done than it is worth, I am pretty sure a seller making these things wouldnt want you to have a sample to get it tested.

I am sure smelted gold has been found around old mines along with pieces of amalgam as well, but the same thing applies, the only way of knowing the gold content would be to have it refined.

cheers


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Post  Razgo on Wed Jan 19, 2011 8:40 am

Ah ok, so when the miners were smelting down the gold the idea was to extract the max potential amount of pure gold which according to research you can get up to 4-10 more gold from what i read.

But a manufactured smelted gold nugget will more than likely have the gold content reduced by adding other metals but still trying to get the same price as a natural god nugget?

Well thats just plan fraud really. if it isn't disclosed that its a smelted nugget that contains other minerals.

what other purpose is there for a smelted gold nugget other than to pretend its real? I have never heard of a smelted gold nugget before(with the exception of what might have been dropped on ground at a smelting area). only smelting for gold bullion purposes.

russ


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Post  Curley on Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:02 am

Razgo wrote:what other purpose is there for a smelted gold nugget other than to pretend its real? I have never heard of a smelted gold nugget before(with the exception of what might have been dropped on ground at a smelting area). only smelting for gold bullion purposes.

russ

Razza the best purpose for melting (not smelting BTW) gold is to keep it all together. Crush a specci or two and see what you are left with. A dogs breakfast thats what. Same goes for sluicing/panning/dredging etc. Gold is melted to keep it all together.
Cheers
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Post  Razgo on Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:09 am

ok i thought is was smelting? the mine i am going to in NSW has an area where they smelted gold.

I found this info on it http://www.nuggethunters.org/smelting.html

and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_extraction

maybe i am talking about something different? perhaps i am talking about the process of extracting gold from ore?

russ

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Post  Curley on Wed Jan 19, 2011 10:28 am

Hi Razza, at the bigger mines there would have been smelting sites. I think most would just sell the melted gold.
http://www.wikihow.com/Melt-Gold
I dont know any individual who smelts their own gold. For a start, who is going to believe that the gold has been refined? Especially without 99.999 fine stamped on the ingot along with a reputabe refiners name or logo.
Plenty of us melt gold though.
Hope this helps and good luck at the smelting site. What area of NSW roughly are you heading to.
Cheers
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Post  Razgo on Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:56 pm

Hi curley, its my friends property near Wyndham NSW. He said he would show me the area where they smelted onsite. the gold/silver mine he reckons is about 60m deep.

yes it certainly is a complex and unsafe process to smelt gold.

russ

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Post  MS on Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:20 am

Razgo wrote:Hi curley, its my friends property near Wyndham NSW. He said he would show me the area where they smelted onsite. the gold/silver mine he reckons is about 60m deep.

yes it certainly is a complex and unsafe process to smelt gold.

russ

Hi Russ
Looks like I may have confused things a bit by saying smelting gold nuggets, it is not unsafe simply to crush specimens and melt the gold into a button using borax as a flux, unless you burn yourself with the molten metal or torch, smelting is process to extract metal from ore being gold silver copper ect, this process isn't much of a problem either but the next process to refine the metal to a pure state and remove any impurities which is refining is dangerious in both the chemicals and acids that are used and the noxious gasses that are given off.
Cheers Mark
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