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Tourists Join Full-Time Gold Prospectors in Gold Country!

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!


Gold country — not just for tourists anymore.

Hopefully you'll recoup the cost of the supplies when you strike it rich!


The supply business is as good as gold!

You can pan, sluice, dredge,use a metal detector for gold. Just register whatever you find!

Huh? San Francisco<br />
s football team the 49ers have the Gold Rush cheerleaders!

The original Gold Diggers.

You can spend your finding on a souvenir!

You'll have to get dirty!

But this could be your reward!
Join The Conversation
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
Me and me pappy once tapped a vein in the Sierras. Almost laid our claim until the McGinty clan up and stole our picks and shovels. Well, anyone who knows a spit 'bout minin' knows you ain't gonna pull a speck a dust out dem hills without yer pick and shovels. In the end we moved to Sacymento and opened up an internet design shop. As for the McGinty clan, funny thing was they all got golf fever. Killed each other over what was about $4,000 in yellow rock. :fogey:
Megatron Megatron 9 years
My mom used to take us gold panning all the time when my brother and I were little. I agree with graduatedsqueaks, I cannot imagine actually doing it for a living.
graduatedsqueaks graduatedsqueaks 9 years
It reminds me of some sort of fun field trip sort of thing, something you'd do in elementary school to see what it was like during the gold rush. I guess it is fun to try your luck and see what you might find. It's similar to the Herkimer "Diamonds" in New York State. You may find a lot, or you may find nothing. It's a fun activity, but I couldn't imagine doing it for a living.
idawson idawson 9 years
saw this story on bbc world news america. maybe it will stimulate bits of the local economy in those areas.
LibertySugar LibertySugar 9 years
Good point, janneth. The higher the price of gold, the more likely big companies are to spend the cash to find the gold (which is an expensive process, all the easy stuff was found in 1849, I guess).
janneth janneth 9 years
How do they know that 85% remains undiscovered? If that is true, why doesn't everybody go there to prospect? Or at least some big company who can afford it?
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
All I can think of is that Austin Powers Goldmember movie.... "GOOOLDDDD!"
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
My boyfriend is a goldsmith at a jewelry store that only uses 22K gold. It's super upscale and they make huge gaudy rings and necklaces. The funny this is they have this frying pan. It looks just like a regular frying pan except it's made out of SOLID GOLD! Apparently it was a joke or something but I can't help but wonder how much the dang thing is worth!
stephley stephley 9 years
Please don't tell my kid this - she'll stick me in overalls and drop me off at the nearest riverbed in a heartbeat. From the time she first heard about this in the 3rd grade she's been sure I'm in the wrong job.
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