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Gold is an element (Au) and a mineral – one of the few single-element minerals. Gold on Earth is rare, valued and extra-terrestrial, originating from star explosions and possibly brought to Earth by catastrophic asteroid bombardments around four billion years ago. With time, gold has been concentrated in the earth's crust by a variety of geological , physical, chemical and biological processes, locally forming ore deposits.
The above Gold Nugget is known as the “Welcome Nugget” which was one of the largest nuggets found in the world at the time, and to this day, remains the 2nd largest nugget ever found.
A great site to answer this questions is Exploring the Earth There is a video here as well for those who would like a very detailed answer.
Image Anatoli Lvov


We had such fun Gold Panning and Sluicing. A great activity to support units of work on Gold as well as Weathering, Erosion and Deposition. Of course, we used Fool's Gold, which is still heavier than sand and pans and sluices quite nicely.


BBC Earth Lab Where does gold come from before it makes its way into jewelry? Helen Czerski explores the methods old prospectors used to find gold. Also explores weathering, erosion, deposition.


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The National Museum of Australia has great study resources with accompanying videos on The Gold Rushes. One of the best resources. There is a great Timeline and excellent classroom resources based around splendid questions.
State Library of Victoria
fabulous collection of resources, images and information. Newspaper articles. Includes section on Life on the Goldfields. Lots of primary source material and CC images.
Image Date(s): 1875/1930 Creator: Harvey, John Henry 1855-1938 photographer.No copyright restrictions apply. State Library Victoria.
Also great images for - re-use at National Museum of Australia


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Explore the Super Pit at Kalgoorlie, one of the biggest open cut mines in the World. Take a look at the Video
This is how some gold mining is done today. Why do they spend so much money on gold mining? 
Well you can….
…….check out today’s Gold prices as well Love this graph. You can see the fluctuations over the last hour, week, month, year, 30 years. Splendid. Work out how much you would make if you had 20kg of gold in  2021 and 2012.

Link to Wiki Commons Image credit.


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Eureka Stockade - National Museum of Australia - comprehensive coverage of the 1854 Rebellion.
The NMA has a  wonderful comprehensive setup for teaching resources with questions images and videos on the EUREKA STOCKADE check them out.
Image CC - National Museum of Australia - eduational use.


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The Early Australian Prospectors Part 1 (21m) and Part 2 (25m) take an informed look at the Gold Rushes and early prospecting in Australia. The Video covers the first Gold Rushes of the 1850's and how other discoveries unfolded around the country. It tells the story through 'old film look' recreations, presentors and paintings from the era.

Image: 1861/1867 Creator: Gill, S. T., 1818-1880, artist. No copyright restrictions apply. State Library Victoria

© Cathy Brown 1998 - 2024 © All images & Videos Cathy Brown Located in Sydney NSW Australia all rights reserved.
No unauthorised reproduction without written permission. Webmaster & Designer - Cathy L. Brown

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