Bloomberg Businessweek reports that 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.
Terry Soloman decided to turn his lifelong passion for prospecting into a formal business with Arizona Gold Adventures in Congress, Ariz. Soloman gets two types of customers: families wanting an outdoor vacation and individuals serious about prospecting. With his children out of the house and the price of gold rising,
Soloman turned the recreational prospecting trips he had taken for some two decades into a formal business. Now he has about 400 visitors a season. The average customer finds one to two grams, says Soloman, but some get even luckier. "You've got other people who walk away with several ounces," he said. "You've got to have a little luck."
Lucky or not, Soloman says everyone leaves with legitimate prospecting skills for his $349 daily fee. Those wanting more serious skills now make up about 40 percent of his business, double the number before gold surged, Soloman said.
Photo by Arizona Gold Adventures.