Placer gold grains from the modern streams originating in the Colorado Mineral Belt were examined for silver and copper content on a quantitative basis utilizing the electron microprobe. The variation among grains from a particular locality is large, but the mean silver content of the interior of the placer gold grains from each locality and (or) the variation in copper content may be of value in distinguishing lode sources and gold mining districts. Microprobe analysis of the interior of gold grains is independent of chemical actions that affect the border of placer gold grains during their transport history, and it is shown that distinct compositional groups of different lode sources may be identified even in a single sample--information that may aid in recognizing the existence of concealed lodes that once contributed to a placer environment.

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