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Native platinum ore nugget?

Posted by KEITH A WILLIAMSON  
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KEITH A WILLIAMSON December 12, 2016 04:39PM
Hi everyone,

I need your help on this head scratchier. I purchased this specimen a couple days ago and I knew there was a question that had to be addressed. Maybe someone who is familiar with the geology of the Kondar Massif region could weigh in on this. Sold as native platinum in ore from Kondar Massif. It weighs 75.5 grams and is 4 cm x 3 cm x 3 cm. Heavy for its size.

My question was “is this a slag specimen?” I checked the metallic areas and they “are” platinum. When I saw the pockets in the matrix I thought they looked like the air pockets in slag. I’ve visited many old gold mines in central North Carolina and I’ve seen a lot of slag. When I looked close at the holes, they looked like something spherical had decayed out. I found a couple that haven’t totally rotted out. You can see platinum in the bottom of one hole. The matrix, under magnification looks like a fine grain iron and quartz. I see no evidence of melting of the material.

Has anyone seen another specimen like this? I think it’s real. A native platinum ore specimen that is water worn. Or I’m just nuts which happens on occasions.

Thanks for you help,

Keith



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Pavel Kartashov December 12, 2016 06:28PM
First of all, there isn't platinum itself on Konder massif. There is isoferroplatinum Pt3Fe which is slightly magnetic (with enough strong magnet). Neodymium magnet keep it on the weight.

Secondly, the sample don't similar to platinum nuggets from Konder by colour and outer appearance (cf. http://webmineral.ru/deposits/gallery.php?id=2936&filter=21140 ). Note dark, grey colour of this metal. Your sample is much more bright white, similar to aluminium or silver.

Thirdly, large isoferroplatinum masses grow at Konder in chromite nodules or into chlorite pockets (in case of well known crystals). Your matrix is more similar to slag glass with air bubbles.

In other words, you has apparently manmade metal clod from waterworn slag.

You should to try to determine specific gravity of your sample (I am suppose it will be about 10 g/cm3 - what is good for silver). For isoferroplatinum it is 16.5 g/cm3. Or try to obtain direct compositional data.
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Matt Neuzil December 12, 2016 06:44PM
Some of the stuff on there looks like white paint to be honest.
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Ben Grguric (2) December 12, 2016 09:00PM
Could be ferrochrome from a chromium smelter intergrown with slag, which someone has thrown into a tumbler to look like a nugget.
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Pavel Kartashov December 12, 2016 09:20PM
Ferrochrome is very hard and scratch a glass well. From other hand it can't to be scratched by steel needle. Ferroplatinum is much more soft and malleble, it able to be scratched by usual sewing needle easily.
Besides that ferrochrome specific gravity is far under 10 g/cm3.
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KEITH A WILLIAMSON December 12, 2016 10:01PM
Thanks for your help Pavel! I'm sending it back to the seller.
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Ken Doxsee December 13, 2016 10:42PM
Looks like someone may have painted or melted some metallic material onto a random rock. I think your decision to send it back is wise. --Ken
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KEITH A WILLIAMSON December 17, 2016 01:19PM
Hi everyone,

Here is the response from the seller when I requested to return the specimen.

“"Hello Sorry to hear you dont like the piece. I do have a problem with some things though. One is im not sure who got slag stuck in your head but this is not slag. Slag is a mixture of slop metals combined. Thereis no possible way almost pure platinum can be sticking out all over the specimen. It would be melted in and be in the mixture of junk or muck. So who ever told you this is full of it. Second is the fact you didnt take it to a professional you asked someone on a forum on line. You dont know this guy and I dont know the guy. For all I know he isnt a geologist he may be a used car salesman from Detroit. If you were to do a search on the net type in platinum nugget and or platinum ore. You will then see that 95% of all bigger platinum nuggets are chock full of holes or as we say air bubbles. This is caused by the epithermal reaction when it surfaces and mixes with water or ice ( more common in Russia ) it then becomes steam and yes it leaves air bubbles. I am adding some pictures to show how a lot of the platinum in Russia looks like. Almost always coupled with other metallics so as there is almost always rust and completely covered in holes. Just know it is impossible for the platinum NOT to be melted and mixed in if it were any kind of slag. Remember mother nature has no blue prints and every specimen is and can be totally different even when found in the exact same location. So im not sure who filled your head with the slag info but its quite impossible. Look up pictures of slag it just dont look anything like this. Im sorry they are wrong. Look at the pictures and info because that should show how little this person who identified the specimen to be slag knows.”

Does anyone else have an opinion? I have to add the metal “is” more dull steel like. I took my poor quality pictures in bright light.

Thanks for your help,

Keith
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Reiner Mielke December 17, 2016 04:07PM
Pavel probably knows more about platinium than anyone, however it sounds like the seller does not want to return your money.
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph December 17, 2016 06:11PM
I hate to be the one to say this, but what did you genuinely expect when buying a "platinum nugget" on ebay?

Jolyon
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Matt Neuzil December 17, 2016 07:02PM
The sellers response made me laugh. I think if you had came here and looked at what platinum looked like before purchasing, there would he little problem. I haven't seen platinum that looks like that.

I am not aware the price you paid, but if the auction had the weight of the piece you could have seen the price of platinum, the weight of your piece and put 2 n 2 together.

Sorry you found a bad seller on ebay, but they are there. A little searching on platinum would have likely prevented this.
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Paul Brandes December 17, 2016 08:10PM
I would personally ask the seller how they know it is "native platinum"; how was it tested and confirmed? Did they actually dig it out of the ground themselves or obtain it from someone who just "assumed" it looked like platinum, therefore it must be? confused smiley

I'm sorry it appears you may have been taken by an illegitimate seller on ebay (like that's never happened before), but I believe ebay has buyer protection so you should be able to get a refund on this even if the seller is being difficult......
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Jolyon & Katya Ralph December 17, 2016 09:28PM
Well, here is how I would approach it.

Tell the seller that you believe this item is fraudulently listed as a natural 'platinum nugget' and you wish to return the item for a refund.

Remind the seller that if they refuse to take the item back at this point you will get a professional and independent analysis through a mineralogical museum (we can help arrange this) and at this point if the item is proven fraudulent ebay & paypal will certainly refund your money regardless.

One route can lead to good feedback for handling the situation well. The other will not.
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Alexander Ringel December 20, 2016 12:31AM
Whenever a seller requires a professor to make a "legitimate" doubt for his specimen, something is definitly wrong.
Second is the fact you didnt take it to a professional you asked someone on a forum on line.


I doubted several specimen of several sellers and most of the sellers who were definitly wrong asked me if im a professor and wanted to finish off the conversation with this. So whenever someone replies a doubt with asking about you being a professor you have the reason to be very very doubtful.

My two favorites where a hexagonal quartz X on hematite from great britain sold as spinel from burma and some kind of carbonatic precipation with growth rings sold as fulgurite from arizona, both sold by people, who actually should have known better and had actually a quite good reputation. But still they put the professor card on the table and continued to sell their bullshit.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/20/2016 12:34AM by Alexander Ringel.
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Alfredo Petrov December 20, 2016 12:42AM
A very simple test is take a normal electric tester (ohmmeter) and touch the probes to different metallic spots on the surface. That will immediately tell you whether it's a nugget or just spots painted on the surface. Doesn't need a "professor". winking smiley
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Tim Jokela Jr December 20, 2016 06:59AM
Ten bucks to get it analyzed, for pete's sake.

People still buy platinum nuggets on ebay???

The seller's explanation is horsepuckey.
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KEITH A WILLIAMSON December 20, 2016 12:26PM
Hi everyone,

I did a Hail Mary on this specimen, but I’m getting my money back. To make some extra cash I scan the web looking for specimens mislabeled or way under priced and flip it. I mainly look for gold in quartz specimen that is heavy for its size. I can make from a few hundred to a couple thousand dollars in profit from others mistakes. About 90% of purchases I make are good. I hate to say it but I use ebay because of the money back guarantee.

Keith
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Scott Rider December 20, 2016 09:31PM
To be honest, all you have to do is contact eBay and tell them that seller was not honest, and under the Buyer Protection they should refund the money themselves (eBay). They will then go to the seller to get that money back... I know this for a fact as I have purchased stuff from some Chinese irreputable dealers, and they wouldn't give me my money back. So I went to eBay and they didn't even ask for proof or ANYTHING!!!! I got my money in 2 days...

I would advise only purchasing specimens that are obviously what the seller claims them to be... Ie. quartz, fluorite, topaz, calcite, etc. When you are online and deal with alloys, metals, gems, etc you run the risk it being faked. On Ebay there are a lot of fakes and fruds when it comes to gemstones and "nuggets." I purchased a "real" sherry topaz that ended up being a faceted Quartz with limonite staining and the dealer used some photography tricks to make it more sherry/pink in color. I got it and it was straight up yellow.... Paid almost nothing for it so it was more a test than anything. I sometimes test dealers when I try to acquire stuff.

My advice is to contact eBay if the seller won't refund it.. Did the seller have a refund policy?
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Pavel Kartashov December 21, 2016 12:04AM
Being simultaneously buyer and seller on eBay (for purchasing of something I should to sell something), I am able to state, that I much more often suffer as a seller from unscrupulous buyers, than the buyer from unscrupulous sellers.

I see situation at eBay from both sides. And able to explain, how their "protection service" works. They hasn't any insurance funds for indemnification of the parties. They simply arrests funds on seller's paypal account. If seller's account is empty - you'll receive noting. All is very simple.

They don't need in any explanations for this - a seller is always guilty. If in seller's policy is written, that returns not accepted - this means nothing. Money at his paypal account will be arrested in any case and buyer will receive refunding.

For example one guy from Germany bought two my lots of certified ferroplatinum from Ethiopia one after another. Month later he decided to return both them. In my return policy is written "refunding after return sample in initial state". I received from him 20 mixed grains in one bag (instead of sent 11 and 11 in two bags) and without certificates. More intimate looking at these grains had shows, that he returned me another material - unanalyzed ferroplatinum from unknown source different in colour and shape from sent to him material. In other words, he took my analyzed grains and returned to me his own unknown grains.
Correspondence with eBay support service don't brought to me any succes - he obtain my grains and analytical data and was completely refunded, while I lose my money and obtained the pinch of his bullshit. Case is closed. This is the fifth case for three years.
I myself as buyer used eBay support service only once for this time - one guy from Canada sold me fake coin and didn't answered me at all during a month.
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Reiner Mielke December 21, 2016 02:12AM
That is why I will not sell on Ebay. Too many dishonest buyers out there.
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Jasun D. McAvoy January 11, 2017 03:38PM
For what it's worth, I sell native platinum and related species on ebay with relative frequency. Sometimes they are nuggets valued into the thousands.

There are *some* honest sellers out there and some amazing specimens to be found. However you should always check the sellers reputation/feedback and possibly ask the seller some questions about the specimen. Usually that will give you a good sense of things. Beyond that, eBay does have VERY good protection policies in place if you are defrauded in some way (something you do not get buying at a show or privately on line).
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