The Curse of Oak Island: The results are revealed for scientific analysis of gold found at Money Pit

Rick Lagina tells the others about Spanish gold
Rick Lagina was excited to tell the others about his theory of ancient Spanish gold. Pic credit: History

On this week’s The Curse of Oak Island, the team had a piece of gold found at the money pit analyzed by chemists at a laboratory, and the results were very promising.

Last night’s episode was difficult to watch in some places as, much to the team’s frustration, Nova Scotia’s Dept. of Communities, Culture, and Heritage ordered them to shut down operations in the swamp area (follow the link to read about that situation.) However, there were also many positives to last night’s show, and one of those centered around a small piece of metal.

The metal piece in question was found a week ago at a depth of approximately 90 feet in the D-2 borehole in the Money Pit area. The guys put it into their new XRF machine, which suggested it contained some gold.

This obviously caused great excitement and led to the team wanting to find out more. With that in mind, Marty Lagina, Craig Tester, and treasure hunting veteran Dan Henskee took the mysterious piece of metal to expert chemist Dr. Christa Brousseau at her laboratory in Nova Scotia’s St. Mary’s University.

Metal composition determined Oak Island team’s focus for the year

Marty left Brousseau and us viewers in doubt as to how important these results would be; he said, “What happens here today influences what we do for the rest of the year.”

Brousseau’s colleague, Dr. Xiang Yang, fed the piece into a scanning electron microscope, which uses a beam of electrons to magnify the metal’s features to get a clearer picture of its chemical composition. The first bit of news revealed an absence of manganese in the iron, which dated the piece to before the 1840s.

Yang then upped the tension by identifying some pyrite, aka fool’s gold. But as a few more tense moments passed by, he eventually came up with the goods and found some actual proper gold!

Within that piece, they found gold at about 65 percent, copper at approximately 26 percent, and a small amount of silver. Brousseau explained that it was likely what’s known as rose gold, which was often used to create rose-colored jewelry, particularly in 19th century Russia. However, the practice dates back to the middle ages.

Piece of gold found on Oak Island
A computer-generated magnified image of the gold found on Oak Island. Pic credit: History

Is the Oak Island metal Tumbaga gold or rose gold?

Later in the episode, an excited Marty reported these findings to his brother, Rick, and the rest of the team, and he had another theory about the gold. He had been examining the chemical composition of Tumbaga gold and found that it was also similar to their piece.

Tumbaga gold might be even more exciting than rose gold because this was the name given by Spanish Conquistadors to the gold made by the Aztecs and Incas in central and south America. One Oak Island theory has long speculated that the Conquistadors may have buried treasure plundered from the indigenous peoples and buried it on the island.

The prospect of ancient Spanish or Aztec gold obviously caused the guys maximum excitement, and they agreed that they need to place a ten-foot steel caisson shaft over the D-2 borehole and try to dig up any more treasure.

Viewers should expect to see this happen in the near future.

The Curse of Oak Island airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on History.

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