In its natural form, gold is very irregular and misshapen when compared to its appearance after it has been refined. This precious metal comes in many different forms and shapes, including plates, scales, microscopic pieces, larger spongy pieces, hackly masses, and slugs. It really can come in just about any shape or size that you could imagine, and often has been given descriptions of wire, nail, mustard, and paint gold, each describing a different style of the naturally occurring substance. Gold is structured like a crystal, but rarely appears as nice and well-formed as other crystals do, because they need space and special conditions to achieve this particular shape.
In large reefs and cavities, this sought after metal can be found in this shape, because it has the ability to push aside other materials as it grows. The most common variety of gold in this form is the octahedron, which is an eight-sided cubic shape. There are other minerals found where gold is located, which can easily label the field’s type, which can either be pyrite or arsenopyrite, or a variety of other minerals that occur less often. These two minerals contain iron and sulphur, which is distinctive to fields of the Victorian gold rush in Australia.
Gold is naturally soft and malleable, allowing it to be easily scratched and manipulated by other harder minerals or grains that surround the deposits. Gold grains generally end up being bent or misshapen, rather than being made smaller by the effect of other elements. If you’ve ever seen a gold nugget, you know how irregularly shaped they can be.
If you can find gold that hasn’t gone far from the original quartz reef, you will find that they will have a basic natural shape and might even contain imprints of quartz crystals. However, finer quality gold will have traveled far from its origin usually by the waters of a stream or river, as can be seen by the wear on the precious metal itself. It seems that this metal found along stream beds will get much smaller and more worn out the further you move downstream.
There is so much gold available in the world today yet not all of it has been found making mining by large companies and prospecting by individuals still viable businesses today. Since gold occurs naturally in quartz reefs, those looking for this shiny yellow metal are best suited to check the areas known for having these reefs as a first option for finding this shiny precious metal. Ultimately, if you are looking to find undiscovered gold in nature, your best chances will be the luck of the draw, because you never know where it will show up next and maybe make your prospecting dreams come true.