‘Gold Rush’: Parker Schnabel Once Had to Make a Big Decision With a Devastating Result

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Last year, Parker Schnabel had to make a last-minute decision in order to finish a Gold Rush dig. And the choice ended up costing him nearly a quarter of a million dollars.

The bad call happened during the Season 12 opener titled Ground War. In the episode, Schnabel got into a bind after he realized that his lease at a Mud Mountain site was ending. And his team was nowhere near finished pulling out the gold.

At the time, all the members of Schnabel’s crew were working at two other sites. So the mine boss had to decide between letting Mud Mountain go and pulling people from the other locations. In the end, he chose the latter.

To get help, Schnabel closed his washplant, Sluicifer, and moved all the people and equipment to Mud Mountain. The choice was risky because shutting it down could cost the team hundreds of thousands of dollars. So he needed to be sure that he’d make up the cash at the other site.

The team managed to clear the site in time. But at the end of the week, Schnabel realized he should have just taken a loss of Mud Moutain. Because after the miners counted the gold, they realized that shutting down the washplant cost them around $310,000.

But on the bright side, Parker Schnabel has made far more wise choices than poor. At just 27 years old, the Gold Rush star has amassed a net worth of $8 million. So we’d say he has been successful enough to forgive himself that one time.

‘Gold Rush’: Parker Schnabel Once Unearthed a Prehistoric Treasure

Parker Schnabel has been digging on Gold Rush since 2010. And during his time on the show, he’s unearthed some interesting finds.

But a few treasures dating back over 5,000 years was definitely the most interesting.

“We’ve found some mammoth tusks, which was really cool,” Schnabel shared with The Malestrom. “They’re preserved because they’re ivory and they were buried in the permafrost, so the weather doesn’t really get to them. Some of those came out in beautiful shape.”

It isn’t completely uncommon to find mammoth tusks buried in Alaska. But they’re still incredibly valuable. In fact, there is an entire industry surrounding them. And well-preserved find can sell for over a million dollars each.

However, the price tag didn’t convince Schnabel to sell him tusks. He thought they were way too interesting.

“I usually keep them,” he said. “You’re allowed to sell them. You just need a couple of permits to export them out of the territory, but I think they’re so cool I had to keep them.”