Above, a 1.58 gram nugget of gold, resembling a lizard-like creature, with adherent quartz matrix, Zwedru, Liberia.
In the early 1980's a couple of good mates of mine were living in Monrovia, Liberia. While there, Linda & Simon visited an artisanal mining operation where they bought a few ounces of freshly mined native gold.
Most of their gold was sold (to be melted down) when they eventually returned to the UK. They knew I was into mineralogy, and gave me the above piece of quartzite with native gold embedded, and a 1.58 gram specimen of crystallised gold for my birthday. The specimens were obtained from a small operation, 15 miles along an unpaved road, north-east from Zwedru, Grand Gedhe County, Liberia.
The artisanal miners were hard-rock "gold boys," so the "nugget" was unworn by stream action, unlike the alluvial gold I'd laboriously panned in Scotland some years before. Excellent additions to my mineral collection!
The two specimens of Liberian native gold -
1) A quartzite matrix (10 x 4.5 x 1.5 cm, 118 grams) with a visible string of gold particles 1.5cm long (max individual length >5mm) at one end, with a few scattered particles across the surface. Unknown quantity of gold within.
39 second video -
2) A crystallised gold "nugget," resembling a small lizard-like creature (16.5 x 6.5 x 3.6 millimetres, 1.58 grams) with a few tiny adherent quartz matrix particles.
35 second video -
Both specimens mined in the early '80s at an artisanal hard-rock operation 15 miles NE from Zwedru, Grand Gedhe County, Liberia, Africa -
Here's some more photos and videos of the two specimens -
25 second video -
23 second video -
And Now for Something Completely Different