Friday, August 10, 2012


NOTE: my precious Lumex xx something something 10 had died for the third time. I apologize for the lack of action photos and place photos. 

"Gold Digger" always had a negative connotation with me, but I have become one. The difference is I am digging my own. This new hobby has really gotten hold of me to say the least. Over the past long weekend I hitched up Anna and headed to Thermal City North Carolina. In Thermal City I met two fellow GPAA(Gold Prospectors Association of America) members and we had our go at processing two tons of "gold bearing material" form the mine there. 

Over the entire weekend this was my share of what the three of us brought in. You will note that some of the gold is silver looking. That is mercury that has coated the gold. This area was long ago dug and processed. The procedure in the day was to crush everything very fine. It was then run over copper plates coated in mercury. The mercury loves the copper and the gold loves the mercury. Go look at the Periodic Table and it will become clear why this is(maybe not, many just glaze over looking at it. Me I see combinations and possibilities). They all kind of bind together into an amalgam. The amalgam can be scrapped from the copper plate and the gold and mercury separated using a retort process. Well, not all of the gold was collected up and a great deal of mercury was lost into the river.

I will never get rich doing this, but that is not the goal. This is all the gold I have found this  year. It sure beats sitting in a bar drinking beer and allows me to play in the woods and streams like I did as a child. I can think of worse ways to spend a weekend.