Monday, June 20, 2011

Precious Metals, Gemstones: 'Prospector' scours sidewalks for precious bits "Streets Literally Paved with Gold"

Or are they Pavé with gems?
From the New York Post:

There's gold in them thar sidewalk cracks!
A Queens man has discovered enough hidden treasure -- bits of diamonds, rubies, platinum and gold -- on the gritty sidewalks of Midtown's Diamond District to make a living.

"The streets of 47th Street are literally paved with gold," a giddy Raffi Stepanian, 43, of Whitestone told The Post last week when a reporter discovered him on all fours -- armed with tweezers and a butter knife -- digging through cracks in the sidewalk in a driving rainstorm.

The freelance diamond setter explained that he was sifting through "very valuable" New York City mud for tiny diamond and ruby chips, bits of platinum, white-gold industrial loops for jewelry assembly, and gold earring backs and loops from broken chains, watches, broaches and necklaces -- all carelessly dropped and now his to mine.

"Material falls off clothes, on the bottom of shoes, it drops off jewelry, and it falls in the dirt and sticks to the gum on the street," he explained.

"The percentage of gold out here on the street is greater than the amount of gold you would find in a mine . . . It comes close to a mother lode because in the street, you're picking up gold left by the industry."...MORE