Gold (Var: Palladian Gold)
Thumbnail, 1.1 x 0.9 x 0.9 cm
Icabaru, Bolivar, Venezuela

From the guy who brought these into the U.S. last year: "To my knowledge, there are only four places in the world where we find gold associated with palladium. They are the Roraima area in Venezuela, two localities in Brazil, and the Hopes Nose mine in the UK. On my recent trip to Venezuela, I was fortunate to buy a batch of super sharp crystals of palladium-rich gold. I do not know exactly how much palladium is contained in this material, as I only ran them on an SEM which gives qualitative, not quantitative data. This material is not new to the collecting world, but I have not previously seen such sharp crystals. They were placer mined by small time operators, and must have been found right at the source. They are so incredibly sharp that they do not look as though they moved at all in the stream. In fact, I would venture to guess that the crystals actually grew in situ in the stream gravels. The metals were probably complexed by humic acids and precipitated at some point in the stream where the chemistry changed. It would make a great Masters Thesis or PhD topic should any of you have interest. In fact, I might be coerced to help fund the research for some graduate student...." NOTE that this, like the others from this find, is a very small specimen, more noteworthy for its rarity and find sharp crystal form than size.