Gold Dust Testing Methods

Not all hidden Japanese treasures in the Philippines are composed of processed gold bars, golden buddhas, old coins, jewelries and other precious metals. There are actually raw deposits and “gold dust” is just one among them. Most amateur THs (treasure hunters) don’t know anything about this, thus they end up throwing them away thinking that it’s just probably an ordinary kind of sand or dirt.

What are gold dusts?

Gold dusts are tiny pieces of gold with some mixtures of sand, dirt and rocks. Although, the small particles of gold can be hardly visible unless you perform some tests. The test involve separating the unwanted materials from the glittery gold.

Most of you (my readers) claims that you recovered dusts consisting of shiny particles but you do not have the knowledge or experience on how to identify it if they are gold dusts. So to help you out, let me share you this following simple methods on how to test a certain glittery particle of dusts if they are “authentic gold” or  just “pyrites”.

5 Simple Methods to Test Gold Dusts

1. Sunlight Method

Take a few sample of the gold dusts that you recovered and expose it under the sunlight. An authentic gold will “shine” but it will not “sparkle”. If the particles sparkled under sunlight, it means that you have found pyrites (also known as “Fool’s Gold”).

2. Magnet Method

You need a strong magnet for this method to work. What you have to do is to rub the magnet over the samples. You have to know that gold is “not magnetic” which means that they won’t be attracted by the magnet.

3. Nitric Acid Method

Drop some of your sample into a nitric acid. If there’s no reaction it means that your sample is an authentic gold dusts. Before you perform this test, make sure that you wear protective gears (eyewear, long sleeves and heavy-duty rubber gloves) because nitric acid is a powerful toxic type of chemical.

4. Gold Panning Method

Put some samples into the pan then remove the large visible rocks with your hands.

Add some small amount of water into the pan. Once done, tilt the pan at an angle then rotate it in a circular motion or you can simply shake it. This process will loosen the sand, clay and other unnecessary particles. You may use your hand to scrape off those unwanted materials.

Continue with the process of cleaning the sediments. And from time-to-time, hold your pan under sunlight to help you spot the gold dust. If you have poor eyesight, you may want to use a magnifying glass.

If it happens that none is found, you have to take another sample and repeat the same process. Perform this test for at least three times on samples taken from different portions of your suspected raw gold dust deposit.

5. Vinegar Method

Assuming that you panned your gold dust successfully, you can confirm its authenticity by using a Vinegar (a much safer alternative than the Nitric Acid). Drop a few vinegar into the sample. Make it sure that the sample is completely submerged from the vinegar.

After 3 to 5 minutes, check your sample. If the color of your sample turned black or dark it means that you found a pyrite. Otherwise, you just uncovered a gold dust deposit.

View Comments (18)

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      Good day Sir Elmo. We have opened the fossilized giant clam shell and we are able to check what is stored inside. What we have found is some kind of white powdered or grinded rocks. We really do not know what it is. Is this possibly a gold that requires some kind of processing? Thanks.

    • It is possible. Since it is color white, it could be “white gold”. You may want to try cooking it to see what will happen.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      Hi Sir. Me and my brother found a man-made mountain then we were surprised when a friend told us that there is a buried treasure on it. My brother has a friend who own a detector where he scanned the site. As a result, he claim positive. So we explore the area for signs and found three strange fern trees planted on different locations. When connected, they forming a triangle.

      Through my brother’s friend who detected the area, he claimed that he picked up something on one of the corner of the fern tree and the object can be reached at only six feet depth. So we started digging and finally reached six feet but we uncovered stones with brown soil. The stones were so easy to break.

      My brother thought that his friend might misinterpreted feet from meter. So we decided to continue digging deeper. We ended up reaching seven feet where we encountered more stones but this time, there were some kind of white power like talcum perfume. This strange power is only found on the spot that we dug, the sides consists brown soil.

      Please help Sir because we are newbies in treasure hunting. Thank you.


      My suggestion is to ask your brother’s friend to re-detect or scan the portion that you dug. Anyway, that white powder that you encountered sounds interesting. It could be an uncooked “white gold”. Thus, I suggest cooking a small amount for testing purposes.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Anonymous says:

      Hello Sir Elmo, just want to ask you how to cook raw gold dust and what will happen after cooking and how to identify it's purity.

      Please help me, I don't have enough knowledge regarding this matter.

    • Simply cook it at a high temperature. Once cooked, it will naturally take its form. As for the purity, there is an instrument used for grading it.

    • You can go to the nearest gold buyer in your place and let them cook your gold, select the kind of cooking if you only want melted or refined processing. If refined you get 999.9% or 24 karats.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Noli Pahela says:

      Hello Sir Elmo. What shall I use to cook a gold dust. Please help me.I am only a newbie in treasure hunting.

      Thank you.

  • Anonymous says:
    • Hello there, I am inquiring about gold, silver and copper testing. We have lots of quartz, granite, limestone and lava rocks on our 2 acres. It has been commented by several people they think we have gold on our property. I found several rocks with what looks like gold. I have done quit a bit of research but I am still very much an amateur and not sure about things. I do see lots of of gold specks and flakes in the dirt and rocks. We have found lots of rocks surfacing- quartz, sandstone, granite through out our property. How is the best way to test?

  • Anonymous says:
    • Datujay Pananggalan says:

      Sir Elmo, we have a big heart stone (1 meter wide and half meter tall) at the river found, how possible the treasure deposit?

    • To make sure that it is a positive site, you must inspect the heart sign if it is authentic or just natural. I just want to let you know that hearts in the form of stone shape or marking is very common in our surroundings. If we consider the heart sign that you found is an authentic sign then it is a confirmation of treasure deposit in the area.

  • Bunny Angela says:

    Thanks for sharing. These are the best alternative methods on how to test gold at home without acid.

  • value frank mwanza says:

    Simple illustration especially gold dust and vinegar.

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