Gold Rocks: Is it Real Gold?

Gold ore is probably one of the most commonly misidentified minerals of all. I probably get at least 2 emails every week from someone asking if they have found gold, but 99.9% of the time, the gold rock that they have found is not actually gold.

An important thing to understand about most gold ore is that it isn’t shiny at all. People assume that any rock that is shiny and gold colored must actually be gold, but that is hardly true. There are dozens of different rock types that can be confused with actual gold ore.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t tell you that nearly all of the so-called “gold ore” that is sold on eBay is worthless. Seeing these shiny gold-colored rocks sold for high prices are very frustrating, because the people selling it know full well that their rocks don’t have any real value. The people that are buying them are just fooled into thinking that they are buying big chunks of gold, when actually they are buying shiny gold-colored rocks that have essentially no value.

Most actual gold ore does not look like gold at all. Some of the biggest and richest gold mines in the world extract ore that only contains trace amounts of precious metals from the rock. It is only because they are able to process tons and tons of ore that they are able to profitably extract enough of it to make a profit. So gold ore is not necessarily gold colored, but rather it can looks like any other rock that you might encounter.

The exception to this would be truly high-grade gold ore that has actual gold veins running through it. This type of gold is exceedingly rare. People almost NEVER find it picking up the random rock off of the ground. People sometimes find these high-grade specimens by using metal detectors, but they are quite rare. And they are small… usually just a few grams in weight. They are almost never found as large rocks just lying on the surface of the ground.

The thing to understand about gold is that it is exceedingly rare, even in places where gold has been found in the past. The average gold prospector is doing quite well if they are able to find just a gram or two of gold in a hard day of prospecting. A large mining operation using heavy equipment may be able to recover an ounce or two per day, but it is basically unheard of that a person would find pounds and pounds of gold in a single day just lying on the surface of the ground.

Another thing to consider is where you find your golden rocks. Are you located in the Midwest or Northeastern U.S.? Then there is almost zero chance that you have found gold ore. These regions of the country simply do not have lode gold occurrences in any significant amounts. You have to be in an area that actually produces large amounts of gold to find a sizeable gold ore specimen.

As a gold prospector myself, who spends over 100 days per year searching for gold nuggets with a metal detector, I can tell you that I am not interested in gold colored rocks. I am interested in finding solid gold nuggets, and specimens of quartz that contains veins of free-milling gold.

The links below will take you to some pictures of gold nuggets and specimens. These are real gold nuggets that are worth money. Compare these to most of the shiny gold rocks on eBay and you will see the obvious differences between them.

Pictures of Real Gold Nuggets

Pictures of Natural Gold in Quartz

If you want to learn how to find real gold, then explore the hundreds of articles on our website that will teach you how to find it. There is still plenty of real gold out there!

Also Read:

How to Identify Fake Gold Nuggets

Investing in Gold Nuggets