"Triassic Park" of Gold
At some point or another you've probably seen the Hollywood film "Jurassic Park," complete with all sorts of period dinosaurs, including some that ate humans like the tasty snacks they apparently are (for carnivorous dinosaurs, that is). Well, I'm not here to talk about that particular period nor about dinosaurs.
I'm here to talk about placer gold deposits that were laid down millions of years ago in the Triassic Period. I like to call these deposits the East Coast's "Triassic Park" of gold and for those would-be miners back east this information may prove both valuable and interesting.
A Chunk of Gold-Bearing Real Estate
There are other regions both in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world that contain Triassic period gold deposits, but one of the main regions where these gold placers exist is the eastern U.S. As best I can determine, Triassic gold can be found in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. That's quite a chunk of Triassic gold-bearing real estate my friends.
Triassic gold deposits are sometimes called "redbeds" by geologists since much of the rock and silt (as well as the siltstone) associated with them has a distinct reddish or reddish-orange coloration. Whether this color is a result of ferrous sulphide oxidation I can't exactly say...but a mineralogist or geologist worth his or her salt could verify or discount this assumption fairly quickly I imagine.
Mostly Fines and Flakes
At any rate, it's believed these auriferous "Triassic Park" gravels were laid down some 200 million years ago or more which makes them much older than the gold-bearing Tertiary gravels of California. The great majority of Triassic period gravels are formed of conglomerates which are typically rocks composed of smaller stones or pebbles cemented together by fine silts or clays.
As far as gold values are concerned, "Triassic Park" conglomerates are not noted as nugget producers (although a few have been been found in "redbeds"). Typically the gold contained in Triassics is very, very fine (in many instances micron sized) but in certain areas and locales small flakes of placer gold can be found in quantity.
Over and above all, be safe out there and best of luck to you.
If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Learn to Keep Your Mouth Shut"
(c) J.R. 2010
Questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org