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Gold Dust

Approximately 70 flakes (2 grams) of gold in its natural form were found in a concentrated area intermixed in a field of lead shot and sand at the south end of the site. Although valuables were not expected to be found on the wreck because of the circumstances of its sinking, several historical accounts place some 20 lbs. Of West African gold dust on board the Concorde. According to Lt. Ernaut, for example, in addition to the 516 slaves, "fourteen ounces of gold in powder" was taken aboard in Judas.

The interiors of several flakes of the gold have been analyzed, and each is between 65% and 91% pure gold, while the exteriors feature a high purity gold rim, nearly 100% gold. This differential layering of gold is typical of grains found in stream placer deposits. Gold of this size and shape does not occur naturally off the coast of North Carolina, and trace elements such as iridium may help to identify its original source.

Coins of all nationality and gold dust would have served as currency to supplement the bartering of goods. Small amounts of gold dust found are pictured here.

Some flecks of gold are even smaller: