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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Rob's Interest in Gold, From the Start

In 2011, with gold prices at an all time high,  Rob Perry decided to take some time and look into prospecting.  It seemed like a good idea, since swimming, hiking, fishing and off- road motor sports were his favorite pastimes. Perry, born in Oregon, has spent as much time as the next guy in the forests and woods.

How difficult could it be to scoop up the glitter? It was everywhere, right? Why it was common knowledge that the old timers at Gold Beach, Oregon, on the Oregon Coast, often pocketed an ounce a day right from the beach sand. 

So Perry took up the mantra, “Gold for the taking.”  He quickly found that “gold taking” took research and a lot of work!
Once “color” was showing up in Perry’s black pan, his next problem was to get it from the pan into a container. (Color, by the way, is jargon for gold by the old timers or those long enough in the hobby to have read it or heard it and now use the term themselves.) A small plastic bottle with a narrow tube, called a snuffer bottle, was required at this stage. So he bought one.
After sucking the gold into the snuffer bottle Perry noticed that some black sand was with the gold. So the next problem was how to separate the black sand from the gold. So he bought a magnet. (Gold is not magnetized.)

He put the gold back into the black pan and ran the magnet under the pan separating gold from sand. Then he snuffed it up again with just the gold in the bottle.
His next problem: he needed to store the gold in something other than the snuffer bottle. So he bought some little glass vials with cork stoppers. He soon found out the cork stoppers crumbled after just a few openings and closings. So he bought some very expensive glass vials with screw on tops.
Now, the gold in the vials was in water. That was no problem, because it made the flat flakes of gold look even larger than they were. But to sell the gold it had to be dry, absolutely dry. Now what? Well, he noticed on a Youtube video that gold was dried by heating in a pan. So, he bought drying pan.

At this point it would have been great to have gotten his hands on a very small metal funnel. But that didn’t happen so he folded a piece of paper and poured his gold into a dry vial.
And his next problem and one of his biggest: He now had a little gold, but how was he to sell it? How does one weigh the gold? The guy buying the gold needs to know that the seller knows how much gold he has in his little glass bottle.

What is a troy ounce anyway?
(Scroll down to an older post on troy ounces.)

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