Thursday, May 24, 2007

Gold Question of the week, May 16, Summer Edition

Get your panning cons for some panning fun! Find them on the site HERE


I picked up an interesting tid bit this past week concerning small miners and how much mercury they take out of the streams and rivers. In Washington, there has been an ongoing struggle with the state and prospectors over how much damage they do or do not do to the environment. Well, the small miners in Washington have been saving all of the mercury they have been collecting and in late February the Washington Dept. of Ecology was invited to attend the Washington Gold, Gem, and Mineral Show. The collected mercury was turned over to their representative at the show and the total amount presented to the Ecology Department was 73 lbs. The Ecology Dept. was said to be "impressed that small-scale miners were actively removing mercury from state rivers and streams." To date, small miners have presented the department with over 150 lbs. of mercury. What they don't understand is how much we all enjoy taking heavy metals out of the waterways. When YOU find mercury in the rivers and streams, no matter where you are, please put into a vial or jar filled with water, cap it, and save it until you find someone who can take care of it. DO NOT put it back into the water. Ask any prospector on the river you come in contact with what to do with it when you encounter them. Some of us identify areas that contain mercury and collect it at the end of a season, as it will foul carpets when you get into a bunch of it. The first silver bead of mercury I ever saw was outside of Silverton, Co. on Cement Creek. Like gold, the first time you see it, you WILL know what it is. It will look similar to a shiny, liquid, silver sinker. If it is chunky looking, it has gold in it.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Gold in Pre-Columbian South America

To your left is a modern day example of the excellent work still coming out of Colombia in gold and emeralds brought to you by T.L.E. International.

South American, pre-Columbian gold placers made it possible to produce incredibly intricate gold objects created and formed by many cultures in the region. Placer mining was done by ground sluicing, and diverting streams using stone riffles that could be built during dry seasons. Material was dug from dry riverbeds, stockpiled and "washed" through the stone riffles during the flooding season trapping the concentrates in the stone riffles. The gold was then separated from the concentrates by hand using a large cone shaped wooden pan called a "batea" by the Spaniards who found the natives using them much later.

The Waywakans of the south central Andes Mountains are accredited with being first to mine and work gold, with gold artifacts found and dated at around 1500 B.C. Annealing was devised to hammer the metal into thin sheets to use for breastplates, masks, and many other types of large objects. Considering they used stone tools to work the gold, the ability they had to make intricate adornments is, at the least, amazing.

Etching, casting, and embossing were developed by Peruvians around 200 B.C., as well as alloying and the use of mercury in gilding. Colombians perfected working with gold, refining, alloying, casting, gilding, and all other aspects of gold work. Tumbaga was their special alloy of copper and gold. It was strong, easily worked, had a low melting point, and casted very well. Its reddish color was pleasing and the surface was easily washed with acid to reveal a beautiful yellow color. As gold was not a status of wealth, but religion, some villages sacrificed gold to their deities by throwing it into nearby deep lakes.

By the time Christopher Columbus reached the New World, gold had been worked in South America for some 3,000 years. The natives of San Salvador were wearing simple crude gold ornaments made of gold from Hispaniola when he arrived there. When he reached Central America, he named the area "Costa Rica", or Rich Coast, due to the finely crafted gold the natives wore. As all know, the Spanish went on to steal all the gold they could find from the natives in South America, looting even graves in their thirst for the yellow metal.

Today, South American governments do all they can to preserve the pieces that remain. More of the intricate gold is found every year in lost and forgotten burial sites and other hiding places. Several museums in South America hold thousands of these pieces as a testament to the skills of these artisans of long ago.

For more information on gold and prospecting spend a few minutes with Hooked on Gold

Monday, May 14, 2007

Hooked on Gold was lost in space

If you missed hooked on gold yesterday, the server was once again down. Didn't find out in time to post much yesterday, but we will be switching servers this week with at least a home page to direct and redirect you until we can get the whole gold site back up and running. Gold is headed higher this morning above $670. Did all of you have a golden Mother's Day? We are ready to go to Salida this weekend for Let's Go Gold Panning Day's. Camping, prospecting, and jawing with like minded folks for a whole weekend. A FANTASTIC way to start the summer season! For more information on Let's Go Gold panning Days visit the GPOC Temp. Page See you there.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Gold Question fo the Week for May 2, 2007.

The Gold question for May 2, 2007 is:

In what century was large scale gold mining begun in India and where?

ANSWER: According to, "Large scale mining in India began with the Mauryan colonization of the Deccan about the end of the fourth century B.C." "Large scale" mining does not necessaruliy mean large gold mining equipment, but can include the scope of the area mined and the number of people who did the mining as well as consider the undertaking of mining for gold with primitive tools. "Large scale" does not necessarily mean the number of cubic yards moved either. India was a known source of large amounts of gold even at the beginning of the Christian era. While modern machinery and industry can produce larger amounts of gold now than in ancient times, the amounts of gold recovered during those times should certainly be equated with "large scale" mining, as the technology produced as much gold as was possible with what was known at the time.

The pendant in the picture above is a lovely piece of California Crystal gold for sale in our catalog at

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Gold Question of the Week for April 25, 2007.

Gold has taken a mighty dive! It has been flirting with $672 again, but it doesn't look like it's a serious "thang".

This week's gold question takes us to the Orient and along the trade routes to the middle east. Gold was long known for being abundant in the eastern countries, and our question is about North Korea. Spend a little time looking up this answer and reading the accounts of where gold was found in this country. For the next question visit You'll find some interesting information on gold and prospecting there, too. Copy and paste it into your browser if it isn't live for you, or click on the link in the links box.

WOOHOO! Take a look at these beauties! We have many very nice pieces of gold for sale in our catalog, as well as panning sand, corrugated mini sluice, and the ocassional piece of jewelry. will give you an eye full of really nice gold.

CONGRATULATIONS TO: JOHN for being the first, qualified, correct answer to the gold question for the week of April 25.

Hooked On Gold's QUESTION OF THE WEEK: April 25, 2007.

In what century was gold first mentioned (or approximate date) as being abundant in North Korea, who wrote about it and what part of the world was he from?

ANSWER: Abundant gold in North Korea was first mentioned in the 9th century by Ibn Khordadzbeth. He was from the middle east.