Gold with copper coating

16 to 1 Mine, Allegany, Sierra County, California
Miniature, 5.0 x 4.1 x 2.7 cm
Start Time: 05/23/2010 6:30:00 pm (CDT)
End Time: 06/08/2010 6:30:00 pm (CDT)
Auction Closed

Item Description

A BEAUTIFUL GOLD SPECIMEN with unique color and patina! The gold cluster winds like a ribbon through the matirx, and runs aabout 3 cm from tip to tip, not counting a few outlying isolated crystals. The 16 to 1 mine is famous for these strangely colored gold specimens, and it turns out that the patina is actually due to a bit of copper present, and mixed in with, the gold. This is an unusual effect in nature, gold being THE noble metal and notoriously difficult to get to alloy in nature. Yet, here we have it, and with a very fine color as a result, sort of a bronzey-gold hue with bright pure gold spots mixed in. This piece comes from an old gold-country collection purchased from a mining family, several years ago. Mass is 55 grams though the arborescent gold, well exposed on matrix, counts for perhaps only a quarter of that weight. As a specimen, valued at $2000 or more, for its superb display quality, contrast, and unique patina among the world's specimen gold deposits.

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