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The color of pure Gold is bright golden yellow, but the greater the silver content, the whiter its color is. Much of the gold mined is actually from gold ore rather then actual Gold specimens. The ore is often brown, iron-stained rock or massive white Quartz, and usually contains only minute traces of gold. To extract the gold, the ore is .Historically, mercury was used extensively in placer gold mining in order to form mercury-gold amalgam with smaller gold particles, and thereby increase the gold recovery rates. Large-scale use of mercury stopped in the 1960s. However, mercury is still used in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM), often clandestine, gold prospecting.