The gold rush is back! As gold hits a record high of $1,000 an ounce, 160 years after the original California Gold Rush, 21st-century Americans are panning for gold. Even though the original 49ers found $12 billion worth of gold by today's standards, at least 85 percent of California's gold remains undiscovered.
Prospectors include Californians giving up their day jobs to pan gold full time, as well as tourists from around the country trying their hand. One BBC reporter gave it a try and made $30 in 30 minutes. $1 per minute — not bad!
BBC interviewed a full-time gold digger, who said that most short sessions turn up a few flecks. Even though he doesn't make tons of money, he said what he finds is enough to pay the bills and gives him glimmering hope that he may hit the jackpot someday.
With these tough economic times a trip to gold country sounds like a perfect vacation! Perhaps you can make up the cost of your trip, or more, with a few hours spent shaking out some gold. Perfect if you were trying to head out this expensive Memorial Day weekend. Check out these photos and tell me if you want to be part of the new gold rush!