A video from Penn & Teller for their Discovery Channel program on gold mining in New York City has gone viral.
The show features a true story of “city miner” Raffi Stepanian earning about $300 per day from this craft.
A video posted on YouTube of the program has become widely viewed. A video of the program hosted on Discovery’s Web site is below.
Earlier, the New York Post also profiled Stepanian (video below).
Stepanian said he mines New York City’s jewelry district, which is on 47th street between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue.
He explains that workers in this area often have specks of precious materials like gold, silver, platinum, gems and diamonds stuck to their clothes.
Once they step out of their stores, some of it falls to the ground. The specks of precious materials are then kicked around and jostled until they land in a crack on the sidewalk. Then, because they are heavier than dust particles and cheap metallic materials, they nestle in and sink to the bottom.
Stepanian walks around 47th street and hunts for good “cracks.” Then, using a wide range of tools -– including a butter knife, a tweezer and a pan –- he scrapes clean the cracks and takes the pile home.
Then, using tools like a gold pan and a magnet, he ferrets out the precious material.
In the Discovery segment below, Stepanian is seen finding a gold chain link worth $5 and a single cut diamond worth $30.