Not every California gold claim always pans out, but miners and prospectors are finding more and more of the yellow metal throughout the West Coast.
California has suffered from a record-setting drought over the past few years, drying up lawns and forcing restaurants to forgo the automatic round of water glasses on each table. But this past winter was a bit of an anomaly for the West Coast, as torrential rainstorms and consistent moisture erased virtually all evidence of the drought. While this is a welcome change for Californians up and down the coast, it also created a somewhat unique situation for those who make a living (or at least supplement their living) by prospecting for gold. Riverbeds that were once dry are now being carved up by swift-moving waters, and the flakes and nuggets of gold trapped in the sedimentary layers under and around these riverbeds are swirling into view. Is California is in the midst of a modern-day gold rush?
Where is all the gold?
Any prospector knows one thing: you’ll never get rich if you tell everyone where you found your gold. After all, it takes a lot of effort to find this treasured metal, and you don’t want to do all the work and have someone else find the motherlode. Though the exact location of each productive area isn’t widely advertised, the Northern California region in general is ripe with prospectors on the hunt for gold.
What is causing this Gold Rush?
According to Diana Clayton, president of the Shasta Miners & Prospectors Association, “Folks are finding more gold – ‘flood gold’ – than usual this year.” She indicates that the 350 members of the association are seeing a significant increase in gold finds due to the way the heavy rainfall caused erosion, mudslides, and other earth-moving activities in the Northern California area. As the rain fell, the ground-level movement caused hillsides to expose fresh deposits, bedrock to shift and unbury gold nuggets, and rivers to transport hidden gems into plain sight. The skies opening up and quelling the drought has increased the number of miners and prospectors to the area by about 25% in just the last year.
Can you get rich joining the Gold Rush?
The original California Gold Rush of 1849 saw more than $2 billion in gold being pulled from the area over a three-year period. This was the single largest mass migration in US history, and spawned such industrialists as Henry Wells and William Fargo (Wells Fargo), Levi Strauss (Levi Jeans), Phillip Armour (Armour Meats) and John Studebaker (Studebaker Automobiles). But participating in today’s Gold Rush isn’t, statistically-speaking, the smartest way to grow your portfolio. While there are accounts of some modern-day prospectors finding chunks of gold the size of one’s pinky, there are other, more reliable ways to amass wealth.
What’s the bottom line?
Prospecting for gold today isn’t about getting rich – it’s about having fun, experiencing a taste of what it might have been like for a prospector in the area 150 years ago, and hunting for the chance to earn a little extra money. Though this can certainly be a fun endeavor, investing in gold is the safer and more lucrative option. For more information on how gold can help you balance out your portfolio – no boots and waders needed, contact American Bullion today.