Identify help please

I don’t want to get ahead of my self or my hopes up but I’m hoping someone could let me know if this is a good chance gold…… I haven’t given it a good clean yet.
And maybe some guidance on how I should handle cleaning this and testing it.
Thanks so much for your time and assistance!!


A good scrub with a brush and detergent helps. Usually, gold in quartz is not accompanied by dark material. Generally, gold is malleable which means it is soft and easily bent and twisted by eg a penknife and does not splinter and separate like yellow mica. If brittle it may be iron pyrites or “fool’s gold”. A fragment of the latter in a spoon on top of a gas flame at red heat will decompose whereas gold will not. Old timers would test with liquid mercury because it dissolves gold forming a solid amalgam but I don’t advise this as mercury is a nerve poison and hard to clean up if spilled. Testing with acid is also hazardous if you are not experienced, and it may be inconclusive depending on the specific acid used.

1 Like

Hi Stephanie,

It looks like gold.

A good quick test for pyrite (FeS2) is to check the streak of the mineral. Rub this across the back or unglazed side of a ceramic tile. Pyrite usually has a black streak whereas gold has a golden streak.

Mohs hardness will also be a distinguishing criteria. A steel knife will be a bit lower in hardness (5.5) compared to pyrite (6 to 6.5), whereas gold is about the hardness of your finger nail (2.5).

If not gold or pyrite, then chalcopyrite, pyrrhotite or marcasite are the most likely golden metallic alternatives.

Hope this helps

1 Like