Calaverite from Cripple Creek, Colorado

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Closely related to Krennerite (coming soon!), Calaverite was first found in 1861 and then named seven years later by Fredrick Augustus Genth after its TL – the Stanislaus Mine, in Calaveras County, California. Its hardness is 2½ – 3 and its specific gravity is 9.1 – 9.4, and it’s most often a brassy-yellow to silvery-white metal, which, can sometimes share the color of Pyrite.

With around 84 known locations in Colorado alone where this has been found, and maybe 400 known localities worldwide, it seems as though there’s almost more Calaverite in Colorado than anywhere else! Keep an eye out for this valuable rock, at 43.56% Gold! And, according to wikipedia, up to 3% silver! It’s also pretty closely related to Sylvanite, but there’s more Silver in Sylvanite.

Around 130 years ago, Australians confused this mineral for Fool’s Gold and used it as a filler for foundations under buildings and streets, until it was correctly identified a few years afterwards resulting in a gold rush and the excavating of the city’s streets and buildings. Outside of Colorado and California, it seems China and Australia posses the majority of the rest of the Calaverite around the world, but wherever you are, keep an eye out for this near you, and double check your Fool’s Gold – it might just be Gold!.


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