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Help me identify this rock please?

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posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 12:24 AM
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I'm not sure where to post this, or even where to go to get help in identifying this, but I found this rock and the story behind it interesting enough to try. My Mom found it about a year ago, and just showed it to us today. She had been working for this old lady who passed on recently. She told us she was doing garden work for her in this one area of the yard, pulling weeds. The first week she had been doing it, there was nothing odd. However, the following week, she said there was this rock where there wasn't one the previous week. The thing that struck her odd was that the rock smelled bad, and there was burnt earth around it. The grass was burnt around the rock. But she said there were no crater marks or impact holes where it was laying. Just the rock, and burnt grass in a circle around it. And it left an impression in the ground where it was laying. She noticed shiny stuff on the rock and decided to put it in a tin and bring it home. That's where it has been up until today.
She showed it to us because my niece is interested in rocks. When she opened the tin, you could immediately smell a burnt sulfur type odor, and the rock was completely covered in white and gray ash. The ash was all over inside of the tin too. The rock was in several pieces. One piece is about the size of a softball. Upon inspecting the rock, there were quite a few things that caught my eye. First off, it's heavy. Heavier than what it should be. I have no way to weigh it, but I know it feels dense for it's size. Second, it had alot of gold sparkling hexagonal crystals on it, and beneath the ash, the rock as a whole appeared to be some type of alloy, but looked like petrified wood. I asked her if I could bring it home, and try to find out what it was for her. After all, if it is something of value, it may save their financial situation. So I brought it home. First thing I did was brush the ash off of it onto some paper, and saved the ash in a sealed bottle. Second, I tested it for magnetic properties. It's not magnetic. Nothing sticks to it, however, it does give off a magnetic field, because it affects a compass. See the video below. Third, I took a multimeter to it just for the heck of it to see what it would do. To my amazement, it is registering DC Voltage. It's minute, but it registers readings. I tested same on a Geode my niece has, and nothing on the multimeter at all. So, by now, I'm thinking this rock is odd, and I'm scared of radioactive properties. Since I'm already exposed to it, I decided to clean it, and see what was beneath the ash. Once I put it in water, the smell about killed me. It was sulfur like, but burnt, and it was strong. I finally got it all cleaned up, and whatever it is, it's beautiful. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. It seems to me to be some type of alloy with different mineral deposits in it. In researching naturally occurring gold crystals, the crystals that are in veins on the rock appear to be similar, if not the same. There are also clear crystals on the rock, diamond or quartz? I don't know. The entire stone and it's smaller pieces have a faint goldish-gray color, and it resembles metal. Also, once I cleaned the rock, the readings on the multimeter were much stronger. See the video for the readings I did. If someone could identify what I have here, I would be grateful. Or if you could tell me where I might be able to take it to have it analyzed without someone destroying it, or stealing it, that would be great too. Thank you in advance.
I'm curious if it could be platinum with gold in it? That was my second thought after Uranium Ore. I was also thinking meteorite, but it's not typical for a meteorite. Or is it an off kilter hunk of pyrite?

Here's the slideshow. I apologize for some of the pictures. My hands shake really bad:

Slideshow of the Rock in Question

Here is a Video of it and a couple of tests I did on it:



[edit on 10-8-2009 by Oreyeon]

[edit on 10-8-2009 by Oreyeon]

[edit on 10-8-2009 by Oreyeon]




posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 12:35 AM
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sorry missed that part in your thread about it not being magnetic as I watched the video.

Take it to a local college and a Geology proffesor would probably tell you in about 10 seconds. Its hard to tell from the video and not see it in a microscope or hold it.

Does it scratch apart easy?

What state was it found in, even better would be a city and state.

[edit on 10-8-2009 by whoshotJR]

[edit on 10-8-2009 by whoshotJR]



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 12:37 AM
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I find it interesting aswell! I dont know much about rocks, so I am sorry I cannot help you identify it. It sounds like it could be a meteorite- but without a place of impact it is iffy. Perhaps- when it landed it bounced off of something and landed where you mother found it?



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 12:42 AM
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reply to post by Oreyeon
 


It's not a meteorite, I can tell you that, it's just some run of the mill quartz/iron mix mutt rock, I am not a geologist either, but I do hunt for meteorites occasionally and after looking for years one thing I've learned is exactly what a meteorite does not look like, heheh.



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 12:48 AM
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My main question is, why would it be covered in ash, and why would it be in someone's yard with burned grass around it and under it? The lady my Mom worked for was in her early 90s, so she wasn't in the habit of going outside and setting rocks on fire. I'm going to see if the University here in the area has a Geologist I can get ahold of. I don't think it's just a run of the mill quartz/iron mix mutt rock. As I said, it's not magnetic anywhere. Nothing sticks to it. But it is putting out a slight magnetic field, or something that affects a compass anyways. And it is putting out DC Voltage. Since when do rocks do that?

[edit on 10-8-2009 by Oreyeon]



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 12:49 AM
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my guess from just pictures, which it is a bit hard to tell with just pictures, would be that it is not a meteorite.
the red is likely iron oxidizing, no?...the clear is likely quartz possibly a small vein or two of gold maybe and it looks like maybe pyrite. the darker shiny part looks a bit like galena, to me. other than that, i couldn't say what the base rock is, but its cool anyway.

i'm not a super-expert, but i give the owner of the local rock and mineral store a run for his money...

edit:
what about magnetite? maybe its magnetite, not necessarily magnetic but it could give possibly affect a compass, maybe?

as for the burned grass and ash, who knows. why don't you take it to a geologist and update us!


[edit on 8/10/2009 by double_frick]

[edit on 8/10/2009 by double_frick]



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 01:13 AM
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reply to post by double_frick
 


I thought possibly magnetite also until I saw it wasn't magnetic at all.

It's probably just some basalt with quarts and ferrite in it. Location would be a very big help though.

As far as the Multimeter readings go you didn't really show anything at all. You can do the same thing you did and get the same readings on just about anything. You put the positive and ground on the same surface and had it on a sensitive setting.



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 01:18 AM
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reply to post by Oreyeon
 


Definately iron ore by the way you did an ohm test on the rock it doesnt measure voltage is measures resistance what you proved its matalic. Though judging from the meter its not entirely iron ore there was too much resitance. If i had to venture a guess without seeing it up close id say its probably Taconite. As to why it was burnt and setting in the yard the only explination i can think of is blasting for construction somewhere. Be interested to see what you find.



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 01:22 AM
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Well, I can tell you that the lady lived in Central Illinois in the middle of a small town. There was not blasting or anything like that going on in the area. I'll update you all once I find someone to look at it hands on. I know next to nothing about rocks. Thank you all.



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 01:40 AM
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reply to post by Oreyeon
 


Here is a link for somebody that's probably near you and could help.

www.isgs.uiuc.edu...

You could even just email them the pictures and they could probably guess but I would call or stop by.



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 01:44 AM
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Wish I could see it, at work I cannot view any type of video, like many of us here on ATS. Only stills.



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 01:53 AM
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It is more than likely in the sulfide minerals class. Some of the minerals in this class will give off slight magnetism and will emit a sulfur odor (they all contain it, hence the name
). Pyrite is in this class. Also, they are known for their high density.

As for how and where it was found, no idea. Is it not possible that it was just overlooked previously?



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 01:58 AM
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reply to post by glitch88
 


i was thinking this same thing.
here is a link with sulfide mineral pictures...very similar looking. www.johnbetts-fineminerals.com...



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 02:10 AM
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I was trying to find a gallery like that but I failed. Thanks double_frick!

Here is an article talking about the minerals found in limestone quarries around that area. Apparently sulfides are common there.

The Minerals of West-Central Illinois



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 04:17 AM
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If it's not a meteorite, i know how it probably got burned. Lightning.

You mentioned that it has some ferrous metal content. I'd be willing to bet that the metal "rock" would be a LOT more likely to be struck by lightning than all the other non-metal rocks. Ever seen lightning hit something? Even striking the ground, it melts the sand in the soil into what looks like glass tree roots.

It could have been struck where it sat, or could have been part of alrger chunk of mineral that was struck and this piece could have dislodged and end up landing where it was found.

A shiny metal rock would probably absorb a lot of heat and energy in a short time, and what's left of it will sit there and cook whatever grass and stuff that's around or above it as it cools.

As for what the metallic mineral itself, i'm no geologist, but i'd be willing to bet that if it didn't fall from space then it's most likely tht it was the product of a lightning strike.

Either that or some neighborhood kids were playing with fire and shiny looking rocks when nobody was looking.



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 01:36 PM
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I have a degree in hydrothermal geology, and it looks like what's called an MVT deposit. That stands for Mississippi Valley Type, which do exist in Illinois. They are quite valuable as iron, lead, copper, zinc, and tin ore, but do contain traces of gold and silver on occasion. Yes, it is definitely a sulfide, as some others have suggested, and the ash you brushed off the outside could be pulverized limestone dust, which is the host rock for this hydrothermal alteration. If you saved some of the "ash" drop acid on it if you have any. If you don't, try vinegar or lemon juice and look for fizzing. If it's quality limestone, you might be able to nail this down. As for the burnt vegetation around it, no ideas. The lightning one sounds good, but highly coincidental.



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 03:03 PM
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Originally posted by JudgeSawyer
I have a degree in hydrothermal geology, and it looks like what's called an MVT deposit. That stands for Mississippi Valley Type, which do exist in Illinois. They are quite valuable as iron, lead, copper, zinc, and tin ore, but do contain traces of gold and silver on occasion. Yes, it is definitely a sulfide, as some others have suggested, and the ash you brushed off the outside could be pulverized limestone dust, which is the host rock for this hydrothermal alteration. If you saved some of the "ash" drop acid on it if you have any. If you don't, try vinegar or lemon juice and look for fizzing. If it's quality limestone, you might be able to nail this down. As for the burnt vegetation around it, no ideas. The lightning one sounds good, but highly coincidental.


How would I go about finding out how much it is worth if it's what you think it might be? I will go try the ash in some vinegar or lemon juice and reply back. I saved alot of the ash.



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 03:19 PM
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Well, Oreyeon, when ore deposits are considered valuable, this means by the metric ton, unless there are veins of gold, silver, or platinum, which have value due to their current price in the stock market. For iron, lead, copper, and tin ore, value is determined by percentage in the representative rock of the respective minerals within. In all reality, a rock of this size, even with sizable amounts of these ores, it would be worth mere dollars as raw material. It comes down to the refining process on a large scale. If we could determine where the actual deposit was, and it's size, you might be on to something, but then you would have to find an investor to set up a refinery. Alas, the nature of the minerals business. In terms of gold and silver, (extremely unlikely there is platinum here) it's hard to tell what you have from pictures alone. The crystalline gold and silver colored stuff is pyrite, galena, and perhaps sphalerite, all worth very little in small amounts. If you take a very close look at the quartz veins (the whitish, translucent parts running through the rock) and see smears of gold or silver, not crystalline, then you have native gold and silver. I haven't been keeping up on mineral pricing lately, but gold is very high right now. Now that's by the ounce, so it doesn't take much. Purity is the other question. One last thing, wash your hands after messing with it. That lead is in pretty high concentrations, and can enter your bloodstream. Don't get too alarmed if you handled it a lot though. It would take a pretty high amount of galena (lead sulfide) to affect you in the short term. Hope I could be some help.



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 06:31 PM
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Originally posted by JudgeSawyer
Well, Oreyeon, when ore deposits are considered valuable, this means by the metric ton, unless there are veins of gold, silver, or platinum, which have value due to their current price in the stock market. For iron, lead, copper, and tin ore, value is determined by percentage in the representative rock of the respective minerals within. In all reality, a rock of this size, even with sizable amounts of these ores, it would be worth mere dollars as raw material. It comes down to the refining process on a large scale. If we could determine where the actual deposit was, and it's size, you might be on to something, but then you would have to find an investor to set up a refinery. Alas, the nature of the minerals business. In terms of gold and silver, (extremely unlikely there is platinum here) it's hard to tell what you have from pictures alone. The crystalline gold and silver colored stuff is pyrite, galena, and perhaps sphalerite, all worth very little in small amounts. If you take a very close look at the quartz veins (the whitish, translucent parts running through the rock) and see smears of gold or silver, not crystalline, then you have native gold and silver. I haven't been keeping up on mineral pricing lately, but gold is very high right now. Now that's by the ounce, so it doesn't take much. Purity is the other question. One last thing, wash your hands after messing with it. That lead is in pretty high concentrations, and can enter your bloodstream. Don't get too alarmed if you handled it a lot though. It would take a pretty high amount of galena (lead sulfide) to affect you in the short term. Hope I could be some help.


I really appreciate your insight on this. I wore gloves while handling it, so no worries there. I also ran the lemon juice/vinegar test on the ash. No fizzies. I'm starting to think that the lightning striking it makes sense. It's possible anyways. That might also explain the weak magnetic field maybe? I dunno. Definitely no expert here. I may take it over to the university here. Been talking back and forth with the geology professor there. Waiting to see what he thinks. I was hoping that it was worth something. Not greedy by any means, but if it was, it would certainly help my Mom and Dad out financially, even if it was a small amount of money. When you have no money, any amount helps.



posted on Aug, 10 2009 @ 07:00 PM
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I put several river rocks inside my propane grill to evenly distribute the heat. Cooks everything perfect. When i clean the grill out and dump the rocks in the yard before cleaning them, they fit the description of your rock.




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