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The Origin of gold

One subject that has always piqued my curiosity is the origin of
gold. I know that there are some substances that are found on the
earth whose origins are completely celestial, for example iridium,
which came to the earth from asteroids. However, I wonder if gold is
the same. I read a year or so ago that research suggested that there
was a correlation between volcanoes, the ocean and pressure.
Although I drew the inference that gold had been created in these
areas, it could be that there was just a lot of gold found in areas
that were once under an ocean that had volcanoes. Perhaps the
valcanoes just brought up the gold and deposited it in quantities
that we find desirable to mine.

Does anyone have any that suggests that gold is
terrestrial or celestial in origin? Perhaps it could be both, I
don’t know. I wonder if gold could be created by molecular decay
from contact with the radiation and pressure at great depths in the
earth’s crust, as well as from celestial sources such as asteroids.

Anyone care to comment?

Larry Seiger

are not we all celestial? space is our environment… gold is
attracted to iron ions… the concentration of gold is caused by
that attraction generally as a secondary deposite as the gold is
brought up as chlorides which combine readily with silica… this
usually occurs during and in the slow shutdown and cooling of the
volcano. these gold formations are brought to the surface as pockets
during magma extrusion. cinder volcanoes have gold but only in tiny quantitys. jh

All things on earth, including ourselves, are made of the stuff of

Some metals are the bones of radioactive elements that decayed. Some,
like iron, (still the core of our world) condensed out of the plasma
formed at the beginning of time. Gold, like Iron, is a stable element
and not part of the process of decay. (I think!)

Tony Konrath
Gold and Stone

LS, Gold is commonly associate with quartz out croppings called
pegmatite’s it is eroded from these pegmatite’s by water as in streams
and rivers where being heavier than other materials tends to be washed
together with other pieces of gold that have been eroded away from the
source creating alluvial deposits.This is probably what early man
found first as natural gold in large pieces tends to stand out as it
is very yellow.Maybe somebody threw some in the old campfire and bam a
ring.Best J Morley Coyote Ridge Studio
Where the hay is in the horses are fed and it is raining AT LAST!

I can answer the following question as far as I know. My major in
university and graduate university was particle physics and

Roughly speaking, heavy (high atomic number) atoms needs high energy
to be created. For example heavier atoms than iron (Fe) cannot be
created in the earth and also in the sun. It is because the
temperature and pressure in the core is not sufficient for heavy
atomic fusions.

To create heavy atoms from lighter atoms, atomic fusion is needed and
the energy level is at least from a few million electron volt to giga
electron volt. One electron volt means about 10 thousand Celsius
(about 20 thousand Fahrenheit). Even nuclear bombs is far inferior
from such a high energy level.

Then it causes a question: where heavier atoms came from? The answer
is from the universe. Only the super nova can create heavier atoms
than iron. All atoms heavier than iron on the earth came from the
universe as meteors.

Meteors, which includes heavy atoms, crashed with the earth and went
deep under the ground. And some event, for example volcano eruption,
carried such heavy atoms to the ground.

If you want to know details, please let me know.

			Takashi Tomoeda

Larry -

All elements were formed during the creation of the universe:
Hydrogen, from the collision of subatomic particles, and helium, and
greater atomic weight atoms, from the collision of lighter-weight
atoms in the interior of stars.

Here on earth, once the planet condensed, it already possessed all
the atoms it would have (although radioactive elements such as uranium
will eventually decay, and there is some addition due to the impact of
extraterrestrial bodies, as you mentioned). However these atoms can
combine with other atoms to form molecules of various sorts. Thus,
gold, an atom, may combine with other atoms to form molecules, or it
may combine into a “solution” with other atoms to form an alloy.
Gold (according to the Simon and Schuster Guide to Rocks and Minerals)
“occurs primarily in high-temperature hydrothremal quartz veins in
extrusive rocks.” This would account for the correlation between
gold deposits and volcanoes.

I also know that the oceans do contain gold in solution but not so as
anyone has been able to extract it. Finally, I am not aware that gold
has been found in meteorites which are mostly nickel and iron. And
decay processes usually stop at lead.

Cheers -
Debby Hoffmaster –

G’day Larry Steiger; Gold originated in a supernova, together with all
the atoms of high atomic weight, after iron. The lighter atoms
originated in a sun, made in the giant nuclear furnace there, and are
made from the fusion of hydrogen atoms. The elements up to iron can be
thought of as the ashes from the nuclear fusion furnace. But it takes
a great deal more energy and a much higher temperature than a sum to
fuse atoms to higher atomic weights, like gold, etc. So it goes like
this; When a sun like ours has converted all it’s atomic fuel
(hydrogen) to other atoms, is suddenly collapses, due to the pressure
of it’s own radiation failing to overcome the immense gravity of it’s
core. Almost instantly it expands and begins a new cycle of fusion
and atom making, until once more it goes haywire and explodes in an
incredibly violent supernova explosion, blasting off all it’s outer
material to collapse right down to an incredibly dense neutron star
only about 50 kms in diameter. But if it is big enough, it will
collapse again down to a black hole; virtually out of this universe.
But the debris of that vast supernova explosion flies out and on …
and on… until it gathers in clumps producing enough gravity to
attract further material. And so, eventually in the billions of
years, a planet like ours is formed, hot and churning. It slowly
cools, but forces are still at work. The huge amounts of steam
condenses as water, and some lies on the surface as oceans, where it
continues to evaporate and condense as rain. But the inside of the
planet is still churning away, and there is still water, along with
everything else, but under enormous pressures which are so great that
the water cannot change to steam, so that liquid water can exist at
temperatures at least up to 500C. At that temperature it is
literally the Universal Solvent that the ancients were searching for.
It dissolves silica, for instance, then cools and precipitates it to
become quartz crystals, or sometimes combines with various metals to
form coloured agates. So the small amounts of gold lying about
underground is also dissolved, and that also gets precipitated, often
along with the quartz. Some is washed from mountain deposits into
streams and rivers to what we call alluvial gold. Some stays
virtually put and is mined as reef gold veins. So to sum up, it is
interesting that every atom in our bodies was made in monstrous
nuclear furnaces!

	John Burgess;   @John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ

Hi John Burgess, Thank you for a wonderfully concise exposition on the
origin of gold. What a thrilling material we jewellers are privileged
to use! Kind regards, Rex

Dear John, Bully for you…your dissertation on the origin of gold
is one of the finer essays I have ever read on a complex scientific
subject! You rank right up there with Stephen Jay Gould and Isaac
Asimov. If Orchid ever has a contest for the best writing you will
surely deserve the highesthonors.
Thanks for a job well done. Ron at Mills Gem Co. Los Osos, CA.

Larry, Gold is an element, (see “The Periodic Table of Elements”.
It is present in the earth’s crust, mostly dispersed in very small
quanties. But sometimes nature conspires to concentrate, (by various
means) gold into a small area from which it may be mined. This is
what prospectors search for. Occasionaly they find it . But most gold
mined is in concentrations of less than .5 oz. per ton of ore.
Sometimes it is much better - several years ago the "sixteen to one"
mine in northern Calif. hit a good find, - they took over a million
dollars in gold in a 10 hr. day. (ok, maybe it was 11 to 12 hrs.)
This gold can be seen and purchased at many gem shows. It is snow
white quartz with gold thickly veined through it. VERY cool
material!! Visable gold in matrix is very rare.( My brother is a
geologist who specializes in precious metals.) Later, Mark Thomas
Ruby SunSpirit Designs p.s. if you want more gold stories - contact me,
I got lots!