Hi i have a rock and it has spots of "gold" but i cant figure out if it is real gold or pyrite my science teacher thinks it is gold but i want an expert to look and tell me. I live in troy pennsylvanis and was wondering if you could tell me where to take the rock to find out if its gold on not. Please email me your answer at firstname.lastname@example.org or answer on this site
Hi, Joshua - One place to start is at a local geology department at a community college or on a university campus - Talk to the geologists. Another avenue is your state geology department:http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/topogeo/field/index.htm. Most geologists need to see the specimen to determine if the flakes are gold or not. Knowing the type of rock, where you found it and sending them a photo would be a start.
Looking at the characteristics for gold and pyrite in a mineralogy book is also helpful. Andrew Alden has a website that has good mineral descriptions: http://geology.about.com/od/minerals/ig/minpicsulfides/minpicpyrite.htm