Ask MGS: What are Gold Concentrates?

One of the reasons our clients choose MGS is our depth of experience. With more than 30 years in the business, we’re experts on gold. Naturally, this invites lots of questions from jewelers, pawnbrokers, and other professionals who want to learn more about the world’s most popular metal – and we’re happy to oblige! This week’s question is “What are gold concentrates?”
   
While “gold concentrates” sounds like one of gold’s chemically modified derivatives, it is in fact, natural. Better known as “pay dirt,” gold concentrates are sourced in two different ways. The first is through gold panning (or other techniques that use gravity separation). When panning for gold, the objective is to separate the particles of dirt from the heavy particles of gold. In most cases however, gold is not the only heavy material in the pan. This end result of the panning process is the gold concentrates – which must be sifted through manually to extract the bits of gold. Gold concentrates tend to be mostly iron, so they are also known as “black sands.”

Gold concentrates are also made by grinding down ore, quartz, or other productive rock types into sand. This procedure is much faster and easier than panning, but the tradeoff is a final product that has less gold “concentrated” within. The pay dirt bundled with panning kits or sold as souvenirs in gold rush towns usually comes from this grinding method.

In a way, gold concentrates are quite similar to the polishing material and filing dust that collects on a jeweler’s workbench. The main difference is that bench sweeps contain a lot more gold – which is why we buy them. Unfortunately, natural gold concentrates don’t contain enough gold for our refinery to work with, so we don’t accept any from customers. However, we do have clients whio do work with gold concentrates, feel free to call and we’ll send you in the right direction.

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