Caledonian Deluxe Paydirt

Manufacturer: Caledonian
Availability:in stock 100 item(s)
Product Code:C-Payd

Product Dimensions and Weight

Product Weight: 1050G
£28.50

Caledonian Deluxe Paydirt with a guarantee of 0.3 gram of Scottish gold

The Crom Allt has one of the richest and most diverse mineralisation’s of any Scottish gold burn. The gold layer is accompanied with tell-tale minerals known to panners as "heavies". Unlike the normal gravel, these are hard to wash out the pan and so remain with the gold flakes in the final concentrate. To learn to pan effectively, your technique will improve by practicing on paydirt that includes this material. It helps to "cover" the gold and prevents it washing out too easily, allowing you to finish the pan more rapidly.

There are relatively small quantities of black sand, and the dark grey magnetite portion can be removed with a magnet. This does not make up all the black sand. Other dark parts of the sand might include ilmenite or sphalerite, though at this scale it’s hard to tell. This is all mixed in with fine particles of the minerals mentioned below, giving a raisin-cake appearance to the mix.

The predominant lumps are the reddish brown haematite. These iron oxide pebbles are good to tumble in a polishing drum. They change from rusty brown to a silvery grey and when polished are prized as a gemstone.

Keeping these big lumps in your pan while expelling the lighter pebbles is part of the art. Also often with a similar rusty appearance are pieces of iron pyrites, or fool’s gold. If not already sparkling, when shattered or chipped open the yellow tint and cubic crystal shape can be seen. The colour is much weaker than for real gold, beginning panners need to learn the difference. Some other sparkly small pieces can be hard to tell apart, they could be either chalco-pyrite (copper sulphide) or arsenopyrite (iron-arsenic sulphide) Chalco-pyrite will cause a straight short on an Ohm-meter, it is a good electrical conductor. Of the sparkly minerals, one is easy to identify. The almost rectangular crystals of galena are bright and silvery but with a distinct purplish tint. This is lead sulphide. If the crystals have a rhomboid shape it shows the presence of silver as an impurity, as pure galena crystals are rectangular. These are also one of the heaviest minerals after gold. White pieces that leave a streak when rubbed are lead shot or bits of fishing weight. Sometimes galena will corrode to form a white crust in this manner. One of the very last things to pan out of the fine sand are tiny clear white crystals of zircon. These just look like white dust but stay with the gold at the leading edge of the black sand when the pan is swirled.

Other pebble sized pieces are the white or pale pink forms of barite.

This barium mineral is valued for its use in making heavy mud to plug leaking oil wells. Tell them apart from quartz by their less crystalline, duller and more opaque appearance.

These heavy minerals are combined in the paydirt with a wide variety of lighter rock types, the Crom Allt has a heady mix of shiny and glinting stones, rich in mica and quartz, which cause many a heart stopping moment for even experienced panners, but make this river gravel a joy to pan.

To ensure quality and consistency of your paydirt the components have been separated out then recombined for an authentic river panning experience - enjoy!

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