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Is this nugget authentic?

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Is this nugget authentic? Empty Is this nugget authentic?

Post  dmwilko on Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:46 am

Hi Everyone

I'm not a prospector, but a mineral collector - I've been collecting all kinds of minerals for decades.

Last week I bought a gold nugget off ebay. I know that buying via ebay could be considered a bit of a risk, but the seller has sold quite a few on there in recent times. As soon as I saw the nugget in person something didn't seem quite right about it... It didn't have any of the patina you'd expect on a natural nugget, and the highpoints appear like they've been burnished. I emailed the seller to ask if he'd treated it and he replied 'nothing other than soap and water'. From the density I'm not in doubt that it's actually close to pure gold, but this thing really does look to me like it might have been cast from melted scrap...

I found this forum and thought I'd ask you guys as you seem to be the experts! Here's some detail on the nugget: 8.29 grams, origin 'North of Kalgoorlie', I paid 6% over the spot price for it. Here are links to some of the seller's other nuggets that finished yesterday on ebay:
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270767178701
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270767168469

Anyway, would be great to get an opinion from some of you guys on whether you reckon it's real or not. Notice the cracks on the left side in the first pic, these struck me as a bit odd. I'm considering trying to get a refund from the seller as I want a real Aussie nugget - thanks in advance for your help!

Cheers
David


Is this nugget authentic? Dsc_0013Is this nugget authentic? Dsc_0011Is this nugget authentic? Dsc_0012

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Post  Guest on Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:08 pm

Well I guess that's the risk you take buying gold off Ebay. If it is genuine gold then you have not lost in that respect but if it is not a genuine natural nugget then you may feel a bit dudded. It looks sus to me and there are what appear to be un popped bubbles in some places. Just looking at a photo is not enough to say one way or the other as to whether it is a natural nugg and if you accuse the seller of pulling a shonky without proof then he could very rightly so, get a tad miffed at the acusation

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Post  Goldbait on Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:42 pm

looks fine to me, but like adrian said. hard to say without seeing it in person.

every nugget is different. a few 100 years earlier and that nugget would probably have had sharper edges. few 100 years later and it would probably be smooth.

if the seller is reputable, then chances are the nugget is too.
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Post  MS on Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:48 pm

Hi, I would say the nugget you purchased is authentic but has been treated with HF acid to clean it up and the other pics on the links have most certainly been polished and ruined .
From a mineral collectors view and the value associated with specimens {more treatment is less value} and I wouldn't collect enhanced specimens myself.
A simple clean up with soap and a tooth brush is fine and quite normal and if too much rock is present a bath in hydrochloric acid is sometimes required to expose more visible gold.
I was a mineral collector many years before I started detecting for gold and have found enough nuggets to know that many of the nuggets on ebay have been ruined by over treatment {polishing being the worst}and are simply worth gold content only.
Cheers Mark
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Post  Guest on Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:06 pm

MS wrote:Hi, I would say the nugget you purchased is authentic but has been treated with HF acid to clean it up and the other pics on the links have most certainly been polished and ruined .
From a mineral collectors view and the value associated with specimens {more treatment is less value} and I wouldn't collect enhanced specimens myself.
A simple clean up with soap and a tooth brush is fine and quite normal and if too much rock is present a bath in hydrochloric acid is sometimes required to expose more visible gold.
I was a mineral collector many years before I started detecting for gold and have found enough nuggets to know that many of the nuggets on ebay have been ruined by over treatment {polishing being the worst}and are simply worth gold content only.
Cheers Mark

Yes MS I agree i like them left with a bit of stone in them

Is this nugget authentic? Goldspecimems001 Is this nugget authentic? Goldspecimems002

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Post  MS on Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:40 pm

Hi Murachu
Thats a couple of nice pieces , I don't know how some people can dolly them up, gold on white quartz is a favorite of mine to find, also you know there's a reef around.
It does make me wonder how many un-found gold bearing reefs are lost when we detect and clean up all the indicators.
Mark
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Post  Guest on Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:47 pm

these pieces were found in Rushworth way back -- just on top of the ground a few feet from the reef which was all taken out

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Post  Billy on Mon Jun 27, 2011 5:51 pm

Hi David, am no expert by any means but I would be very happy to have that nug in my collection (its certainly the right colour) Smile



Murachu, very nice speci's mate I like some rock left in them too, just gotta find one lol!
Oh and happy birthday cheers cheers cheers
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Post  Guest on Mon Jun 27, 2011 6:15 pm

Thanks Billy lol!

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Post  Guest on Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:28 pm

dmwilko, I'm thinking it would have been best to ask if those nuggets were authentic before you bought them, not after. Rolling Eyes

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Post  chopppacalamari on Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:41 pm

I agree they have been polished which gives them a greater shine but in my view it takes away the magic that I love about real natural nugget. I believe they look like real nuggets though.
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Post  Guest on Mon Jun 27, 2011 9:48 pm

Happy Birthday Murachu.

Cheers. hick, cheers.

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Post  Guest on Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:53 am

Gday

The nuggets pictured above appear to have a coppery appearance to them, possibly as earlier mentioned the cleaner has burnished them with a brass why type polishing wheel, it certainly appears to have had some sort of treatment other than toothbrush and water.

That sort of sparkle you dont get with a natural nugget that has just had the dirt cleaned off it, nuggets taken from a salt lake are very shiny but have a different appearance to those shown here, the ones that are still listed appear to have been tumbled and polished but theres no way that they can be that clean and shiny with brush and water.

Its hard to say without seeing them for myself whether I think they are fake or not, from what I can see in the pics I can only say that I feel that they are genuine but have been well treated, acid washed, tumbled and polished as earlier mentioned.

If you still have doubts then take them to someone who deals in nuggets and nugget jewellery and they will soon tell you what you have.

cheers

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Post  Nightjar on Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:13 am

Hi David,
Looks like a genuine nugget, have included nuggets I know are definitely genuine before acid treatment, you will note they have cracks, bubbles and smooth spots from movement over the past million years or so.
My feeling is you should be happy with what you have and not dwell on its authenticity.

Is this nugget authentic? MarchApril2009032

Peter
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Post  dmwilko on Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:38 pm

Thanks for everyone's replies - especially MS, Stayyer AU and Nightjar - you've been a great help.

When I first saw the nugget in person I was worried that it was cast. Remember those 24 K plated cast silver 'nuggets' that were popular as jewellery in the 80's? That's what this one immediately reminded me of...way too shiny.

But thanks to you guys I'm pretty happy to go with the theory that it was gold with quartz inclusions that's been given a long bath in HF acid, and maybe tumbled to give a worn appearance to the edges. Still not happy with it as a specimen though, it doesn't look quite right. Let that be a lesson to me for buying off ebay - I've made similar mistakes of judgement with mineral specimens in the past.

Thanks again for everyone's help - I plan on getting into prospecting myself in the future so probably see you all back here!

Cheers
David

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Post  maxxAu on Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:42 pm

FAKE, FAKE, FAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Buyer beware here!
I smell a rat.
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Post  Nightjar on Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:16 pm

David,
Prospecting is a great hobby to get into, just as long as you don't expect to find your fortune.
The pic below shows a specie on the far right weighing 308g with over 50g gold, found in amongst other holes that hadn't been filled in.

Is this nugget authentic? Archivepotos115

Good luck if you take the step into metal detecting.



Cheers
Peter


Last edited by Nightjar on Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:17 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Mistake)
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Post  kon61 on Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:41 pm


G'day Dave.

I cant be 100% certain,but I do know that natural gold comes out a shiny brassy mellow yellow even after being polished or acid bathed. These nuggets must contain a high amount of copper to give them that fools gold color look.

Cheers kon61.
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Post  Tributer on Wed Jun 29, 2011 9:29 am

Hey Peter I really like the nice light orange quartz on your specimen. Aesthetically, its one of the best i have seen. Beats the butt ugly fractured and stained quartz specimens that are the norm.Great how the gold hangs over the outside.

Re the ebay gold. I'm a little sus about the nuggets. The seller dabbles in nugget jewellery and obviously buffs the gold. But i can see no false advertizing.
Anyone buying gold from ebay should use a seller who obviously sells heaps of nuggets, has a fair few nuggets listed at any time and describes there general origin and any treatments.

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Post  dmwilko on Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:01 am

Hey Maxx, do you know something I don't...gold plated tungsten perhaps?! I was reading how some enterprising individuals managed to get 400 oz 'gold bars' that were actually gold plated tungsten into the US gold repository - they were discovered at Fort Knox in 2009. If anyone's interested in a serious paperweight these guys are selling goldplated tungsten bars http://www.tungsten-alloy.com/paperweight.htm

Peter, that's a bloody impressive specimen! I'm looking forward to getting into prospecting, and yep will look at it as an experience, rather than expecting to get rich (i've been prospecting for minerals occasionally and it's a slow business, found some, relatively worthless, alluvial diamonds once in northern NSW - that was exciting). BTW, in that photo are your scales reading over-limit due to all the bounty piled up on them?

Thanks for your input too Tributer, I've actually asked the seller for a refund - having that specimen in my collection would bug me. I've proposed that he just give me the spot price back (I paid a bit over this) and we call it quits...hopefully he'll be up for that.

Cheers
Dave

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Post  Rtanweb on Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:59 pm

Howdy.

The first nugget shown in this thread looks authentic to me.
I got several similar looking pieces - I do clean mine in acid, and they look about the same.
The shape / form of it looks good too. Clearly travelled some distance from the source, but not that far, and was never carried by big water flows. all IMHO Smile

But the two nuggs on ebay pictures are weird looking. I bet the guy who sold it is not much of a photogrpher. If they are real nuggs, then the light and camera settings are all wrong.

I am also a crap photografer, and it takes me dozens of attempts to get good pics for ebay. I found that nuggets look bad under artificial light, and only take pics of them in daylight now.

Funnily, nugget pics taken with my phone camera under stretlights makes them look green

No

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