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Turquoise Collector, was given 250 lbs. of Silver Ore from 92 yr. old miner's Wife

November 3, 2008

Hi, I collect, and buy old Natural Turquoise Rough parcels, and different kinds of rough Gems & Minerals. I cut some of them into cabs for my custom Professional Jewelry work. I have been a Rock hound, and Artisan for over 30 yrs., living in Jerome Az.Just as long. I met a 92 year old Woman, who had a large Beautiful Rock garden, that her late husband collected for her, during his mining days. He was a miner that worked in Nevada and Arizona over 60 yrs., and his father also worked as a miner, all over the southwestern states mining Copper,Silver,& Gold. He loved bringing his wife all kinds of pretty rocks, and unusual specimens. She was having to move, and sell her house, due to needing to move into assisting living. I bought some wonderful rocks from her, including some very rare beautiful turquoise. She gave me a huge rock that took 2 men to carry it for me. She said, her husband told her it was a very rare rock. Thats all she could remember about it. I wasn't really interested in it, but she was so sweet,I certainly didn't want to turn down her beloved gift. My son tried to break it with a sledge hammer, and he worked at it for some time, eventually he was able to break off some smaller pieces. The pieces were so heavy,I knew it had to be some kind of metal. I Googled Images for silver ore, and found a Image of a specimen, that looks exactly like this rock I was given. I showed some pieces of the rock to several elderly miners,that never left Jerome, and retired there. Both of them told me it looked like a type of Silver Ore from Nevada, that gold also ran through it. Where do I go to have this ore looked at, and how I would go about having it refined? I can't remember the name of this kind of silver ore, but I read it produced one of the highest yields of silver, and some gold! Can anyone help tell me how to go about confirming what I have exactly, and is it worth having it refined? When I file on the rock, a bright silver color shows up.It's hard, and has some banding of Quartz going through it, with some yellow rust looking spots in it. Googles Image, said, this was actually a combination of silver, and gold. But to me it looks like molten silver, with lines of quartz banded in stripes in some area, and also has fine lines of silver looking threads in some of the quartz lines. I'd really appreciate any info from anyone, and if it's worth the expense of bothering with this 250 plus ore? Thank you, Kindly,

Lauren labarr
Designer,Jeweler,Lapidary Artisan - Jerome, Arizona, USA

November 19, 2008

Hi Lauren,
There are small mining companies in Arizona and Nevada that would probably willing to take a look at it. As you may already know, mining silver and gold is a very complex and lengthly procedure. Crushing the rock, 2 stage grinding, gravity separation, and the processing goes on! Hey, what do you have to lose? The rock could also contain some lead, which would explain a good portion of the weight. I would cut off a representative sample and see if one of the smaller mining companies would assay the values for you. Good Luck!

Mark Baker
Process Engineer - Syracuse, New York

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