Gold mine a true Australian story
Gold in Victoria Australia
I was a little boy of five the first time I saw gold in it's raw state. It had come straight out of the gold miners pan and in to a pickle bottle!
We were living deep in the Australian Bush. Our neighbour's ancestors had hacked a farm out of the dense forest with little more than an axe after WW1. It was to become an established dairy farm.
A creek ran through a section of the farm's old growth forest. The creek was only about 2 foot wide and a few inches deep. The gold that this family had collected came from a few small deep corners in the running stream, and over time they had collected enough gold to almost fill their large pickle bottle.
This little creek is rich in gold due to quite a few gold bearing quartz reefs close to the surface that continuously become exposed through soil erosion breaking the surface allowing gold to be flushed in to the creek.
In some placed the rich quartz reefs crossed the creek or ran alongside it allowing a sedimentary deposit of gold to be continuously washed into the creek.
Panning for gold in Victoria.
The unique colour and shape of gold nuggets make each one an individual gem.
I love the colour and feel of the small odd looking rock like shapes that small nuggets come in, and the color is reflected differently from each shape, making each nugget almost as unique as people are! Being around gold prospectors, often with their nugget collections allowed me to see lots of gold nuggets
Something grew then in my young boy's imagination at that time, and I just loved gold!
Where we lived in Victoria there are a lot of famous goldmines. Many inland cities like Bendigo were built on the site of the bigger gold mines with large cities springing up because of gold all over the state in the early years of our development as one of Australia's premium states.
For many years I panned for gold with my father in streams throughout Victoria in places like Walhalla (where the world famous 'Long tunnel" mine is located,) to the upper Thompson river where the Chinese had mined, stacking large terraces of Pudding stones as they washed the gold with a mountain river sluice that had involved moving the river water in to a long canal to wash the soil away to collect the gold.
We worked in the bush, and played there too, so panning and exploring mines was a great hobby to have on my doorstep, exciting and scary!
The real value of gold
My dad was a very good watchmaker and jeweller, although self taught, he had learnt from others, and would listen intently for any knowledge he could use to make something, usually for a family member.
If someone in the family thought dad's time and the beautiful jewellery he had given them deserved a payment, at least for the gold, dad would tell them the gold came out of the ground and had no financial value to him, it was all about what he could make with gold and that they liked it.
I grew up, moved to the city and started a family and a business.Within a couple of years my business had grown as had our two kids and so we had more time to go bush again.
That is when a group of us re-discovered the BBQuartz mine, another story, from inside a mine that has been closed for many years, and was still testing high for gold when it finally closed as the price of gold dropped to around $8 an ounce.