Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Crystallized Gold

I came across a beautiful parcel of crystallized Gold from Venezuela.
It was really difficult to make a choice with so many beautiful crystals.
They come from Santa Elena de Uairén,  a small city (29,795 inhabitants in 2006) in the state of Bolivar,  near the border with Brazil and Guyana.
Gold comes in various shapes and forms, and there are several classifications of  Gold forms, from dendritic, (gold that grows in tree-like branches), to leaf ( Gold that grows in thin to extremely thin sheets) , to wire (Gold that grows in the form of thin wires or thicker “ropes"), crystallized Gold, ( Gold with geometric crystals visible to the naked eye.) These last ones can be very rare, and are highly valued by collectors. Among other shapes, they can be octahedron, trigon, cubic, they can be hoppered, (gold that forms step like structures otherwise known as chevrons.)
The photo above has all the pieces I bough and most of them are available at  LucianaBarbosa.com .
In the begining these gold pieces were labeled as "Palladiun-rich" there was a lot of controversy, on how much Palladium it would need to have to bear that label. I know a lot of them do not have Palladium at all so I think the safe bet is not to call them Palladium-rich.
John Rakovan, from the Dep. of Geology, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. did extensive reseach on those pieces, part of his reasearch was published on Rocks and Minerals, and you can see the article here.
The article is called " Characterization of Gold Crystallinity by Diffraction Methods" and it is very thorough.
If you are curious about the formation of these pieces, this is a great resource.