The Mineral calaverite
There are only few minerals that are compounds with gold in their structure. All are rare, though Calaverite is one of the best known. Calaverite is named after Calaveras County, California, where it was first described.
Brass-yellow to silver-white
Grayish yellow to gray
2.5 - 3
9.1 - 9.4
In bladed or elongated crystals, and in short tabular crystals. Crystals are almost always striated lengthwise, and are usually small and in parallel or platy groupings. Also grainy, massive, and as coatings and crusts.
Calaverite is an ore of gold. It is also rare collector's mineral, with special value due to its gold content.
The bulk of collector's specimens of Calaverite are from several of the mines in the Cripple Creek District, Teller Co., Colorado, including the Ajax/Cresson, Doctor, El Paso, Mary McKinney, Molly Kathleen, Portland, and Vindicator Mines. In California, tiny samples of Calaverite have come from the type locality at Carson Hill, Calaveras Co., California, in the Melones and Stanislaus Mines. In Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, Calaverite is actively mined with Gold
as an ore
Common Mineral Associations
Quartz, Fluorite, Pyrite, Gold
Distingushing Similar Minerals
Sylvanite - May be very similar, though Sylvanite has perfect cleavage, and is also slightly lower in hardness.