May 11, 2022


Hello, my name is Dave Varabioff. I have been crazy about gold since I was 11 years old when my dad took me gold panning for the first time. One of the things I wish I knew early on in my early prospecting days was what to do with gold that is still encased with quartz. Let me explain a little bit more about that.

Theories On Where Gold Came From

Gold was not created or formed on earth. There wasn’t enough temperature or pressure in the formation of the earth to create the nuclear fusion required to create the gold particles that we find here on earth. The gold on earth came from stars that exploded early in the formation of the universe that eventually found their way to earth and impacted the planet in its early stages from meteors.

Gold could be found on earth in many different forms. Gold is so rare that the estimates are only 5% of the gold that is on this planet has ever been found. Of the 5% of the gold that has been found on the planet, only about 5% of that gold is in the form of visible gold that you can see with your naked eye. 

How is Gold extracted from the ground?

gold panning

If you’re reading this article obviously you have an interest in gold so let me explain the ways that gold is generally found. Of course all of you are familiar with gold panning and metal detecting for gold nuggets. That type of gold is called placr gold. That gold at one time was encased in quartz veins or other variety of host rocks that gold can be found in. Those rocks eventually found their way to the surface of the planet in then through the natural processes of erosion. The gold liberated out of the rocks through tumbling and falling down mountain sides and finding its way into ancient and modern waterways and was smooth off and rounded off by natural erosion processes. This type of gold is the type that most of you are familiar with and are out there trying to find. 

There is another type of gold on this planet and I’m gonna call it finely disseminated gold and what that is, is that is large ore bodies or large areas of gold that’s still in place in the host rock. And it’s generally microscopic in size and the large mining company around the world will excavate and crush thousands of tons of rocks into a very fine powder like consistency. And then that gold that is not visible to the naked eye is extracted chemically to then be poured into gold bars which then get used for jewelry, electronics, etc. 

There is another type of gold that’s still found in rock and that is called coarse gold and you might find small little veins of gold in quartz veins or serpentine and other variety of host rocks. Then there is larger pockets of gold that are also found in veins structures where the gold is much more visible, larger in size and can take on many different forms. The most common form of pocket gold is what’s known crystalline and this gold is easily visible to the naked eye. You can find it with metal detectors and it is very bright in color, it’s very yellow because it still in the rock that are originally form in. And it is called crystalline gold because it has a random structure to it. The gold is random shapes and random sizes and does not have crystal structure to it. Which leads me to the very last type and the rarest type and the most valuable type of gold and that is crystallized gold. 

crystal gold quartz

Crystallized gold is similar in nature to crystalline gold and that is still in its original rock that it forms in, however it has crystal structure to it, it has geometric shapes to it. And it’s the rarest and most valuable kind of gold that there is. Crystallized gold is often 3 or 4 or 10 or even a hundred times more valuable than just the gold value itself. 

The value of a natural gold.

So why am I saying all of this? I’m saying all of this because on Facebook and other social media platforms and even articles on the internet, I see so many people giving the advice to crash the rocks and pan it. And in some circumstances that is appropriate however it’s also very bad advice for the simple fact that one’s you crash your rock you have destroyed any of the value that that rock might have as a natural collectible specimen. 

I have been chasing gold since I was 11 years old which means that’s 47 years and my focus for the last 5 years has been mining the very rare crystalized gold and also buying gold from other people that have this type of gold. A lot of times there’s no way to see what kind of crystal structure might be, encased on the rock and it takes someone with knowledge and expertise to maximize the value of those rocks that might contain crystallized gold. Just recently, I paid a prospector $70,000 for a rock that had 5 ounces of gold in it. And you might think that is crazy, however the rock is much more valuable as an intact specimen that museums and collectors are looking for.

In 2019, I found a piece of gold on my property, on my mine, I own a gold mine. And the gold only weighed a quarter ounce (7 grams) and if I was to take that rock and crash it and melt it down. I would get about $400 for that rock however as a very rare crystalized gold specimen it’s sold for over $100,000. And there were more than one buyer that wanted this piece.

This piece I called the angel and as you can see by these pictures it is fabulously stunning crystal form that is ultra-rare and so my recommendation is to at least get some advice or input from someone who deals and specializes in gold that’s still in quartz host rock before you crush it. You might be throwing away a large amount of money by taking what in my opinion is bad advice and panning it out and melting it down.

About the Author

I started Goldbay in 1999 as a response to man-made or fake gold nuggets being auctioned on Ebay. I wanted a site that could control the authenticity of products and connect gold nugget buyers with a reputable source

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  1. Hello I enjoyed your article it was a good read very good information. I do have some quartz gold and was considering what I should do with it in the rocks of it soon so I want to keep it as is your information really help. Now I'm just trying to figure out where can I go about trying to sell this who purchases stuff like this and maybe you could give me some ideas of where to look. I sure appreciate your time hopefully I hear from you have a good day.

  2. Hey Dave, I appreciate you running a legit, honest business more than the gold itself. I was on ebay since 1998 and in 2008 I got cheated on a silver eagle. And no satisfaction from eBay. Haven't been there since.

    Anyway, just bought the three pound cheaper than spot bag. My second purchase from you. And on my first go through. I planned 2.95 grams. I thought well, pretty damn close. Just about to go to bed I thought I'll just do a scoop from the tailings. Dang if I didn't find another.07 g . Redid the whole thing again and came up with .06 g for a total 3.08g. with gold at 59.5 at the time. It comes to $183.26 not more than shipping but more than spot. Thanks again. However, I think I'm leaving some in the pan. There are tiny flaky particles that that gets past the black sand. I'm thinking most must be mica, but some pieces break with a point. Others will bend. How do I tell the difference?

  3. Hi,

    I've been ripped off so many times by sellers promising a certain amount of gold in their paydirt and thete was either very little specks of gold or no gold at all.

    The biggest rip off artist out there is Goldn Paydirt.

    So, I'm hoping I have found a good source for gold now.

    A lot of people have recommended you guys so I want to give y'all a try.

    I have.cancer and cant go hunting for it so I have to get paydirt or buy gold. There are so many people ripping folks off that I cant afford to waste any money at all.

    So, hopefully you guys will be a good honest place for me to come to.

    Thanks so much.

  4. Thanks Dave for expertise to n gold knowledge for some of us country boys with not so much gold in Texas I’m sold on goldbay. And you fair attitude thanks again joe

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