Gold Found in California! New Rush Begins

Lindsay Mannering

goldNow is the perfect time to plan that family trip to Disneyland. California might not have that much going for it right now, what with state deficit, not to mention potential clouds of radiation, but it's got gold. Gold I say! 2011 is the new 1849.

With gold soaring to well over $1,000 an ounce, would-be miners and fortune seekers are panning old go-to spots to see if they can't land a nugget or two of the elusive precious metal. It may sound a little nutty, a little desperate, but it's not -- some guy just found a hunk of gold weighing 8.2 pounds.

And it sold for many, many, many, many, many pretty pennies. Enough to send all your kids to college and have dough left over to buy a boat.

His chunk of gold sold for $460,000 at auction. The smaller pieces he found weighing four ounces and eight ounces sold for $7,000 and $17,000 respectively. This is not chump change. Technically speaking, this money is for realsies.

The '11ers (as opposed to 49ers, but you knew that) are keeping things retro in their treasure hunt. They're heading to the bitter cold streams of the Sierra Nevada Mountain foothills with their pans, gloves, and waterproof boots. (Some of the modernists have metal detectors, which just seems obviously smart to me.)

Mines in the area have reopened and are producing beyond expectations. A mine in Death Valley has surfaced more than $30 million in gold since 2009 and scoffs at anyone who suggests that the gold mining business is all dried up.

Some people buy gold bars and coins as an investment, others buy gold jewelry (and call it an investment.) I can remember when gold was less than $600 an ounce -- 18KT jewelry was just flying off the shelves. Now all you see in stores is sterling silver or gold-plated. Or worse: enamel. I hope we find more gold in California not only for the sake of our economy, but for the sake of our fashion.Ha.

So when planning that Disney vacation in Anaheim, add in a day or two to head to northern California. Put your kids to work finding gold in the streams -- who knows, that Disney trip and oh so much more could be paid for like that.

Thinking of heading to California now?

Photo via D'Arcy Norman/Flickr

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