|ELECTRUM MINERAL FACTS|
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Electrum Mineral Facts:
Chemical Formula: Au(Ag) Gold and Silver alloy, more than 20% silver by weight.
Colors: Pale metallic gold, streak is the same.
2.5 to 3
Cleavage: Electrum is ductile and mallable. Also sectile, and can be cut with a knife like lead.
Isometric, commonly octahedral.
Luster:. Metallic luster.
Optics: (Refractive Index): Opaque
Nevada Electrum, Tuscarora District
Structure and Associated Minerals:
Theelectrum known to Pliny the ancient Roman historian was probably named on account of its yellow color, from the Greek word for amber, of Strabo. It was defined as a natural alloy containing one-fifth of silver. The term is occasionally used by modern writers to cover natural gold-silver alloys, but has not met with general acceptance, its place being supplied by an extension of the term "gold." Electrum is derived almost entirely from the Tertiary andesitic goldfields of North, South, and Central America, New Zealand, and Hungary. Its color varies, with the percentage of silver present, from yellowish white to pale yellow.
Electrum is more commonly found in gold deposits with a high silver content, and is typically found in epithermal type deposits. Here the gold is still associated with the metallic impurities of the sulfur bearing waters in which it has made its ascent towards the surface. Because of this, it is associated with silver minerals such as the ruby silvers, stephanite and other silver minerals as well as other sulfides such as galena.
Localities and Origins:
In Europe it is known from several localities in Hungary where the deposits are associated with Eocene volcanic rocks. It is also found in epithermal deposits in New Zealand. Probably an unrecognized but significant amount of the free gold recovered from many epithermal deposits is actually electrum. In either case, it is an important ore of gold.
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Please note that the author, Chris Ralph, retains all copyrights to this entire document and it may not be reproduced, quoted or copied without permission.
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