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#1

UnderEmployedGeo
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Joined: 31 December 2020
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13 January 2021 07:26 pm

Apart from the 1860 lion half penny (John Andrew And Co General Drapers issue), which is a fabulous find...

I came across the strangest "nugget" ever. Is this lead? Silver? Just slag or a weirdly deformed bullet????? It weighs nearly an ounce! (29 grams). I wish it were yellow. Maybe if I paint it... haha

1610526281_pxl_20210113_081608999.jpg
1610526355_pxl_20210113_0815023142.jpg
1610526282_pxl_20210113_081946246.jpg

Last edited by UnderEmployedGeo (13 January 2021 07:58 pm)

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#2

mbasko
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From: Central West NSW
Joined: 27 January 2015
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13 January 2021 09:21 pm

Bullet shrapnel


Everything we use comes from mining or farming.

#3

Gold Mbr2020
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13 January 2021 10:44 pm

I'd guess it's molten lead considering it's pretty small and the colour and weight, but how it got there is another question. Far too big to be shrapnel from a bullet and not the right shape to come from an artillery or anti tank round plus unless you were anywhere near a military range that wouldn't be likely. Awesome shape for a nugget though.


Sdc2300

#4

UnderEmployedGeo
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13 January 2021 10:46 pm

mbasko wrote:

Bullet shrapnel

Really? how would it get so deformed and nugget-like? And 29 grams seems a lot for shrapnel?

#5

UnderEmployedGeo
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13 January 2021 10:48 pm

Gold Mbr2020 wrote:

I'd guess it's molten lead considering it's pretty small and the colour and weight, but how it got there is another question. Far too big to be shrapnel from a bullet and not the right shape to come from an artillery or anti tank round plus unless you were anywhere near a military range that wouldn't be likely. Awesome shape for a nugget though.

This is from near Daylesford (Old Toms) - unless people where packing canons I can't see it lol. Yes could be molten lead - perhaps someone was making bullets here back in the day and this was some spillage. Assuming it is in fact lead.

#6

mbasko
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From: Central West NSW
Joined: 27 January 2015
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13 January 2021 11:02 pm

UnderEmployedGeo wrote:
mbasko wrote:

Bullet shrapnel

Really? how would it get so deformed and nugget-like? And 29 grams seems a lot for shrapnel?

The weight of an old minie ball projectile could be up to ~32 grams

Historynet wrote:

"The Minié ball, or Minie ball, is a type of bullet used extensively in the American Civil War. The muzzle-loading rifle bullet was named after its co-developer, Claude-Étienne Minié."

"The soft lead that allowed Minie´ balls to expand within the rifle barrel also caused them to flatten out and/or splinter when they hit a target"

I've found several of them around old diggings mostly intact or slightly flattened but I've found a few that were flattened right out. Maybe hit large rocks etc.?
At first look I thought of them due to the rounded centre (where the hole is) & how it's split/flattened out.
On second look I'd probably more agree with MBR as molten lead.


Everything we use comes from mining or farming.

#7

UnderEmployedGeo
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13 January 2021 11:24 pm

Very interesting!

#8

mbasko
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From: Central West NSW
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13 January 2021 11:26 pm

If I think of it tomorrow I'll dig a few intact ones out for show & tell big_smile
I've got a pretty large musket ball out in the shed somewhere too.


Everything we use comes from mining or farming.

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#9

UnderEmployedGeo
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13 January 2021 11:32 pm

It's the nugget shape that is unusual here - looks so natural (like a nugget).

#10

mbasko
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From: Central West NSW
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13 January 2021 11:38 pm

Mate I find nugget shaped lead all the time, it's not that unusual really.
Get's the heart racing until you scratch or rub the wrong colour up.


Everything we use comes from mining or farming.

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#11

silver
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14 January 2021 04:21 am

It's housefire lead.... runs off the roof into the gutters and gets spilt out onto the ground.


What a great day ! ,... " I'll see you in the field ".

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#12

StayyerAU
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Joined: 30 March 2019
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14 January 2021 05:52 am

G'day

Looks like lead to me, back in the day apart from bullets many cans and tin items were sealed or joined with lead solder, so it could just also be from a campfire or rubbish pile that was burnt, could even be old battery lead as well, I have found large lead pieces very similar to that many times, most are early projectiles and easily identified but but some look very nugget like when you first dig them inlove and its a tad disappointing when you rub the dirt of them awful

cheers

stayyerAU

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#13

Nightjar
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From: Waikiki, WA
Joined: 26 September 2013
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14 January 2021 09:56 am

Maybe remains of a 12g shotgun slug, they weigh approx òne ounce?


Happy Hunting, Nightjar.

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#14

XLOOX
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From: Inglewood Fault, QLD
Joined: 21 August 2019
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14 January 2021 03:19 pm

This should help you ID it

https://www.prospectingaustralia.com.au … 12#p562512


1985-2005 Garretts ADS Deepseeker x 2- now THATS a slow learner !
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#15

goldierocks
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14 January 2021 03:23 pm

As a geo you would know that SG and hardness are critical info - otherwise everyone is guessing....


Robert Benchley...
I have kleptomania, but when it gets bad, I take something for it.

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#16

XLOOX
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From: Inglewood Fault, QLD
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14 January 2021 03:34 pm

sometimes it is just fun to play with knives, acid & fire smile


1985-2005 Garretts ADS Deepseeker x 2- now THATS a slow learner !
2017-2021 Whites TDI SL 16V+Sadie, Makro Gold Kruzer, QED PL3+14x9 Evo, Elite18

#17

UnderEmployedGeo
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14 January 2021 07:04 pm

goldierocks wrote:

As a geo you would know that SG and hardness are critical info - otherwise everyone is guessing....

Well yes, though I don't even have a measuring flask or anything to actually measure SG, and who the hell carries around a set of Mohs Hardness testing tools! tongue NOT ME, and I'm a geologist! It's not something I ever used professionally - hand waving and having more opinions than there were geos in the room, now that's more like it!

#18

goldierocks
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14 January 2021 07:47 pm

UnderEmployedGeo wrote:
goldierocks wrote:

As a geo you would know that SG and hardness are critical info - otherwise everyone is guessing....

Well yes, though I don't even have a measuring flask or anything to actually measure SG, and who the hell carries around a set of Mohs Hardness testing tools! tongue NOT ME, and I'm a geologist! It's not something I ever used professionally - hand waving and having more opinions than there were geos in the room, now that's more like it!

The hardness is easily tested - lead can be readily scratched by a gold coin, unlike other metals. Very few geologists carry Moh testing kits - you only need your fingernail, gold coin, steel needle and a bit of quartz for most things. Lead has a hardness of 1.5, so even gypsum and calcite will scratch it. A fingernail is 2.5 so even it can scratch lead. If it is slightly alloyed with something in a synthetic alloy it might be a bit harder, but still very soft compared to other metals.

The arm-waving starts once some properties are known playful

Last edited by goldierocks (14 January 2021 07:52 pm)


Robert Benchley...
I have kleptomania, but when it gets bad, I take something for it.

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#19

XLOOX
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From: Inglewood Fault, QLD
Joined: 21 August 2019
Posts: 93
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14 January 2021 10:58 pm

I have always struggled with getting much useful info from density since when faced with a heavyish-for-size lump of grey metal my question is mainly is it silver or is it lead.

SG of Pb=11.4 & Ag=10.5 so a 5g nugget of lead has a volume of 0.44ml & silver 0.48ml. Even a 30g nugget is 2.68ml vs 2.86ml

Good luck measuring to 0.04ml or even 0.18ml precision on a measuring cylider with a diameter big enough to take your nugget & even if you get a result you believe to be an accurate SG then so what? - with the strong likelihood that the silver or lead is alloyed the SG you get is not that helpful in differentiating the two metals.

Add in the impact of crevices holding micro air bubbles & dirt or meniscus & wetting issues if using mass of overflow methods & it is not generally not worth the effort in measuring SG on small lumps unless you suspect Pt (SG 21.5) & even then with a 5g nugget it only 0.21ml difference.

Hardness is a very strong indicator & melting point is a clincher as all Pb/Sn/Sb/Bi alloys will have MUCH lower melting points than any grey Cu/Ag/Au alloy (which would have to be at least 70% Ag to be grey).

Last edited by XLOOX (14 January 2021 11:52 pm)


1985-2005 Garretts ADS Deepseeker x 2- now THATS a slow learner !
2017-2021 Whites TDI SL 16V+Sadie, Makro Gold Kruzer, QED PL3+14x9 Evo, Elite18

#20

UnderEmployedGeo
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15 January 2021 07:41 am

Yeah, given that that the main question (is it gold?) is already answered in the negative, I personally I'm not gonna go crazy investigating what else it might be. Really it comes down to lead/silver and lead is many times more likely (native silver being quite rare). Platinum almost impossible unless you were in a known platinum area. All fascinating stuff tho!

I was more curious to hear about others finding similar or happening to know.... which has been answered I think, thanks all!

#21

goldierocks
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15 January 2021 08:28 am

XLOOX wrote:

I have always struggled with getting much useful info from density since when faced with a heavyish-for-size lump of grey metal my question is mainly is it silver or is it lead.

SG of Pb=11.4 & Ag=10.5 so a 5g nugget of lead has a volume of 0.44ml & silver 0.48ml. Even a 30g nugget is 2.68ml vs 2.86ml

Good luck measuring to 0.04ml or even 0.18ml precision on a measuring cylider with a diameter big enough to take your nugget & even if you get a result you believe to be an accurate SG then so what? - with the strong likelihood that the silver or lead is alloyed the SG you get is not that helpful in differentiating the two metals.

Add in the impact of crevices holding micro air bubbles & dirt or meniscus & wetting issues if using mass of overflow methods & it is not generally not worth the effort in measuring SG on small lumps unless you suspect Pt (SG 21.5) & even then with a 5g nugget it only 0.21ml difference.

Hardness is a very strong indicator & melting point is a clincher as all Pb/Sn/Sb/Bi alloys will have MUCH lower melting points than any grey Cu/Ag/Au alloy (which would have to be at least 70% Ag to be grey).

Rare to get natural native silver lying at surface - it rapidly oxidises to things like chlorides. Agree re crevices etc but a lot of things other than Pt can still be determined (eg W has same SG as gold}! And is a lot more common than platinum. Don't know why you are using a measuring cylinder though.


Robert Benchley...
I have kleptomania, but when it gets bad, I take something for it.

#22

jethro
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From: North East , VIC
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24 January 2021 09:20 pm

Some Years Ago I was detecting just north of Maryborough Vic near the Nuggety Gully Reservoir and started turning up lumps of nugget shaped lead of about 410 grns give or take. When I got home I did a bit of research and found I was about in line with the old rifle range track from the late 1800s up until WW1. The lead I was finding was from stray rounds fired from Martini Henry rifles chambered in 577/450. The standard Infantry and cavalry rifle carbine of the british empire from the 1870s until the advent of cordite powder in the late 1890s, and the adoption of the 303 british round. The nugget shaped appearance was caused by bushfires over the last 100 yrs. The infantry rifle round fired a 480grn paper patched lead projectile with a charge weight of 80grns of Black powder. The Cavalry / artillery carbine rnd fired a 410grn paper patched lead projectile with a charge of 72grns of black powder.

Footnote: I own a sporting rifle chambered in 577/ 450 built around 1880 (dated from Proof marks) Firing this old girl with a 480grn projectile and 78grns of black really gets my attention and I'm about 95kg. I can imagine that the average british infantry soldier of the victorian era probably weighed in at somewhat less than 70kg. So these rifles would have been a real handful to shoot from the prone or kneeling position volley fire accurately.
If anyone wants to have a look at the old rifle in action I have short clip of its first shots here

Last edited by jethro (24 January 2021 09:28 pm)

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#23

SteveG
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From: Cairns, QLD
Joined: 04 April 2019
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25 January 2021 10:53 am

I can't believe a Geologist is asking this question? It's lead slag.

#24

UnderEmployedGeo
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25 January 2021 10:59 am

SteveG wrote:

I can't believe a Geologist is asking this question? It's lead slag.

Haha you'd be surprised then how much geos don't know or have forgotten. Identification of lead slag is not on the test lol, nor is it something you generally come across in actual geological exploration!

#25

goldierocks
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25 January 2021 11:04 am

SteveG wrote:

I can't believe a Geologist is asking this question? It's lead slag.

To be fair he asked in the first post "Just slag or a weirdly deformed bullet?????"


Robert Benchley...
I have kleptomania, but when it gets bad, I take something for it.


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