How Do I Know If It Is Real Gold . . . . . .


Or Fools Gold?

When you have never seen real gold as it comes out of the ground, your first question probably will be what does it look like? Once you have seen real gold, you will instantly recognize it in the future. One quick way to tell the difference is that the real gold will shine almost as bright in the shade as it does in direct sunlight. Fools gold will shine bright in direct sunlight, but will lose it’s bright luster when shaded.

The first lesson many new prospectors, including yours truly, learned the hard way was not what the real gold looked like, but what fools gold (pyrite) looked like. We all know what 10k or 14k jewelry looks like, so that’s what we look for. But that is not what real gold which is 75% to 90% pure will look like. 14 karat fabricated jewelry is only about 58% pure gold, and has about 42% of copper added to it for strength and durability. This gives it a deeper, darker luster than the more pure gold which is a brighter yellow.

Of course, as you might expect, Pyrite, or fools gold not only looks more like the fabricated gold we are used to seeing, but it is also very plentiful. You will find it nearly everywhere you find real gold, however you do not find real gold everywhere you find Pyrite. Therefore many new prospectors very excitedly bring home Pyrite the first time out. On my first trip out, with five other newcomers, we ventured into a small stream of very cold water looking for our first gold. When we saw what appeared to be gold everywhere on the bottom of that stream, the water immediately seemed to be much warmer. We ran around in that warmer water for hours and removed a considerable amount of our gold and took it home. It didn’t seem to be something that you could do much else with, so I decided to melt it. Strangely enough my propane torch wouldn’t melt it. This was really some tough stuff, but I was determined. I went down to Sears and bought a much hotter gas torch. Even with a hotter fire it would not melt, and only flaked apart. I finally had to admit that the water really had been cold, and that mother nature was one up on us.

One thing we had done right, however, was that we were looking for real gold in a stream that did contain gold. We just had no idea what it looked like and where, or how, to look for it. If you are going to look for gold, go where gold is known to have been found. There are only 11 of the 50 states that have no record of any gold having been found. As much as 80% of the gold that is native to the USA is still waiting to be found. There are publications available that will show you where you can go, as well as how to know whether you have real gold, or fools gold. Save yourself from unproductive work and disappointment, by doing a little research ahead of time.

We have looked at all the areas where real gold has been found, and therefore is known to exist. Now the question would be, “where can I go to find some of that $1,400,000,000,000 (1.4 Trillion) dollars of gold”? What you probably don’t know, is that you are part owner of some of that gold. For more information, select Who Owns the Gold. You can claim the mineral rights on certain lands managed by the federal government agencies. However, areas that are more readily available to you are ones that the mineral rights are owned by a recreational prospecting club. That could be either a local prospecting club, or the GPAA and LDMA which are nation wide clubs. For information select GPAA (Gold Prospectors Association of America), or LDMA (Lost Dutchman’s Mining Association), both are national organizations. Once we decide what claim we are going to, we will have to find the best places on the claim to dig. LOCATING PLACER GOLD ON THE CLAIM will provide more information on that subject.

See where the gold is located in the USA . . . “THE GREAT AMERICAN GOLD RUSHES”, Volume I in “THE GREAT AMERICAN SERIES” of e-books on gold.