A Modern Day Gold Rush

Chris Prentice

Businesses try to cash in on surging gold prices by selling prospecting gear, storage—and even gold-bar vending machines

Fear of financial collapse has enhanced gold’s glitter, with prices soaring more than 300 percent the past decade, including 30 percent just in the last 12 months. And just as strong U.S. real estate prices a few years ago created a burgeoning ecosystem of entrepreneurs exploiting that bubble, gold’s surge has led to a new crop of prospectors seeking gold and the business around gold.

One is Mark Franklin. About four years ago, Franklin, 52, watched a television show on treasure hunting and decided to try his own luck at gold prospecting. The Dayton electronics technician had never prospected before, but he saw a future in the precious metal—a world awash in debt could trigger inflation and a robust outlook for gold, a so-called “hard” asset that typically rallies in times of economic distress. Gold is now about $1,209 an ounce, near the all-time high of $1,266 per ounce in June. Plus, Franklin says, the quest for gold was a good excuse to get outdoors. He discovers about $50 worth of gold, in flakes and larger pieces called “pickers,” on an average day prospecting in Ohio or on longer trips to Idaho, Alaska, Michigan, and Georgia. His total take? Just more than $4,000.

Franklin is far from a lone prospector. “Every time the gold price goes up, our membership increases,” says Jinny Iodice, customer service manager at the Gold Prospectors Association of America, a Temecula (Calif.) group that provides forums and outings for recreational miners. There have been plenty of new members: The association’s membership jumped 93 percent in 2008, followed by a more modest increase of less than 10 percent so far this year, as the gold bug infects more recreational miners. The GPAA has more than 62,000 members nationwide.

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5 Comments on "A Modern Day Gold Rush"

  1. y3shuA imMANu3l | November 16, 2016 at 1:05 pm | Reply

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  2. y3shuA imMANu3l | November 16, 2016 at 1:06 pm | Reply

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  3. y3shuA imMANu3l | November 18, 2016 at 4:55 am | Reply

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  4. y3shuA imMANu3l | November 18, 2016 at 4:56 am | Reply

    “The universe is upheld solely by the Law of Love. A majestic invisible Protectorate governs the winds, the tides.
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    “…It is so.”

  5. y3shuA imMANu3l | November 18, 2016 at 5:01 am | Reply

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