Galena & Pyrite on Quartz


Likely from either the Commodore Mine or the Galena Queen Mine near Creede or Ouray in Mineral or San Juan County, Colorado

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It also somewhat looks like there may even be a little bit of Gold on this rock, but it hasn’t been confirmed nor denied with any tests or assays, and while Gold does present with Fool’s Gold at times, there’s obviously Fool’s Gold on this already which may be fooling us… So, what do you think?

Galena, Pyrite and Quartz have ratings on the hardness scale of 2½, 6 – 6½, and 7, respectively, and they have a corresponding specific gravity of 7.6, 4.8 – 5, and 2.65 -2.66. All three minerals are quite common, and quite distinguishable from one another, in addition to many of the other minerals, as well.

It’s stated “likely came from” because it’s not guaranteed, but out of all the mines in Colorado known for pyrite and galena, it looks to have come from either Creede, or the San Juans? Judging from pictures of the Amethyst Vein and the other Quartz/Galena/Pyrite specimens to have come from there, this looks identical. Appearances don’t mean everything, though. With all certainty, however, it can be told to you that this was a part of a collection that was donated to, and then purchased from, the Grand Junction Gem and Mineral Club, and likely came from somewhere nearby, possibly following an estate liquidation, along with additional pieces you’ll see from that collection, which also appear similar to other Commodore Mine specimens. Therefore, it’s not 100% certain that this is from the Commodore Mine, or even Colorado, but it’s probable, and an awesome rock all the same!

This isn’t any exceptionally remarkable collector’s piece, but it’s a vintage piece and a part of a collection that was clearly cherished since its original excavation. Regardless of whether there’s actually any visible gold or not, there’s likely some trace amounts, at least! In addition to that, there’s a chance there could be some Silver, as well, or possibly some Zinc or Copper or Cadmium or Magnesium or another element in possible Sphalerite, Greenockite, Chalcopyrite, Bornite, Tennantite, Manganite, or some other additional Sulfides that may also be on this rock, especially if it came from the Commodore Mine (or any other similar mine which produced similar looking rocks and similar elements from the ore). While you could collect this as a sample for Lead, Iron, Sulfur, or Silicon, it’s possibly a little too big to sit next to its (possibly smaller) neighbors, and probably a little more valued by Colorado rock collectors than the generic Galena you could also get…

Be sure to keep your eyes out for a rock like this while out on your next hike, and while it might not make you super rich if you do happen to find one, look around the rocks and see if there might be more valuable metals nearby, as well! But, you need not study this too closely to recognize it in the future, as, if you’re out on a hike and see any rock with any kind of shiny metal like this, it’ll definitely catch your eye anyway!


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