Commercial enterprise now found open roads between the Aegean and India; the new Greek cities made stations in what had been for the earlier Greek traders unknown lands; an immense quantity of precious metal had been put into circulation which the Persian kings had kept locked up in their treasuries (cf.
Ponce's hospitable reception by the native chief, Aquebana or Guaybana, and his fairly profitable search for the precious metal led King Ferdinand in 1509 to give him an appointment as temporary governor of the island, where his companions had already established the settlement of Caparra (Pueblo Viejo, near the present San Juan).
Gold is often present, and in many gold-mining districts the precious metal is obtained mainly from auriferous pyrites.
Richter in Catalogue of the Cyprus Museum) shows more than five-and-twenty settlements in and about the Mesaorea district alone, of which one, that at Enkomi, near the site of Salamis, has yielded the richest Aegean treasure in precious metal found outside Mycenae.
Skey showed that in substances which contain small quantities of gold the precious metal may be removed by the solvent action of iodine or bromine in water.
The dressing or mechanical preparation of vein stuff containing gold is generally similar to that of other ores (see ORE-Dressing), except that the precious metal should be removed from the waste substances as quickly as possible, even although other minerals of value that are subsequently recovered may be present.
In the placer or alluvial deposits, the precious metal is found usually in a water-worn condition imbedded in earthy matter, and the method of working all such deposits is based on the disintegration of the earthy matter by the action of a stream of water, which washes away the lighter portions and leaves the denser gold.