The leadville mining district is described in "Colorado Gold", an article
by Ed Raines,
and in 'Rocks and Minerals' magazine, Volume 72 September, 1997.
"Leadville District: 3,250,000 ounces (of gold). Gold occurs in
in disseminated mineralization in the porphyritic rocks of the stocks, and
mantos along with zinc, lead, and silver ores. More than one hundred
veins are known in the Breece Hill area. Most gold occurs as microscopic
in the gold-rich areas of the stocks, gold flakes, leaves, wires, and spongy
have been found (Emmons, Irving, and Loughlin 1927; Behre 1953; Thompson and
Ibex mine (including the Little Jonny, Uncle Sam, Little Stella, and other
Ibex is, by far, the district's best-known soiurce of fine gold specimens.
Irving, and Loughlin (1927) mention that gold specimens were especially
small seams within the oxidized ores of the third level, where sixteen sacks
were bagged with at least 50 percent gold. A specimen that is probably from
location consists of a honeycombed quartz seam partially covered with crusts
limonite after pyrite. Very fine flattened wires and nests of wires are
all over one surface of the seam. The wires are quite small, measuring .1
to .2 mm
across by 1-3 mm in length.
These researchers also comment on gold found in the primary sulfide ores
sixth level. This deeper location was the source of several specimens
the Ibex Company's office. On one specimen, sphalerite crystals were
coated by "films" of gold. The other specimen consisted of both sphalerite
crystals on a quartz seam that was shot through with small vugs containing
A 5.5-ounce Ibex specimen at the Denver Museum of Natural History (#11203)
of intergrown wires up to 5 cm in length. The author has observed wires up
to 8.5 cm
long. Spongy crystalline masses of wires and flakes up to 8 cm across have
Another article on the Leadville district, "The mines and minerals of
written by John M. Shannon and Geraldine C. Shannon, in the 'Mineralogical
Volume 16, May-June, 1985, has some relevance.
"During Campion's days, miners found the 'golden stairs' and
on the third level between Numbers 1 and 2 shafts of the Ibex (Number 1 was
Jonny). The stairs, a steep fault, had wire and sheet gold; the chamber, a
similarly inlaid. 'It (the gold) could be pried off with a chisel or
said one observer" (Gilfillan, 1964).
values are not just based on
but rather the
shape and configuration
of the piece.
Crystalline gold . .
the rarest and most
beautiful form of gold
Crystalline gold is
especially valued by
collectors all over the
world because of its
bright color and unique
To view some of our crystalline gold offerings just click on the links