Gold Rush star Parker Schnabel has proved time and again that he is one of the most successful miners to ever cross through Alaska and the Yukon. Throughout his years working beside his grandfather and becoming a star on the show, he’s unearthed hundreds of thousands of ounces of gold. In all his time raking through paydirt, you’d think he would create a collection of some of the biggest pieces he’s come across.
But according to a past interview with Starcasm, the Gold Rush star revealed the biggest nugget he’d ever wasn’t all that spectacular.
“Maybe a quarter ounce? $400-$500,” Schnabel shared.
He also added that the Gold Rush stars don’t really find a lot of nuggets in Dawson. For every 1,000 ounces of gold they uncover, the team finds one or two quarter-ounce nuggets, Schnabel estimated. Just as we see during their operation, the majority of the metal they find are flecks and flakes. Perhaps this isn’t as exciting for viewers, but these tiny pieces of gold are what supply the crew members their sizeable salaries.
However, there was one Schnabel family member that was pretty talented at finding nuggets.
“My grandpa would find 3-4 ounce nuggets back in the day in Haines.”
Still, Schnabel doesn’t seem too concerned with those rare chunks that he may or may not come across. Ever the successful miner, he knows to focus on the big picture, so that means finding as much of those tiny, valuable flakes of gold as possible – even if that means working incredibly long hours.
‘Gold Rush’ Star Says His Team Works 11 to 12 Hours a Day
Between the prep work and extensive precautions that the Gold Rush crews have to complete, the actual time that they spend sluicing and digging up paydirt is much shorter than you might think. So, to Schnabel and fellow mine bosses, every minute on the site counts.
That’s why his crew works literally from sunup to sundown.
“We usually work 7-7, but late in the year it’s way too dark at 7 in the morning to start working, so we change it to, like, 8 to 7,” the Gold Rush star explained.
Within those long days, the crew members are constantly moving and operating huge machinery. On the show, we hardly ever see much downtime for the teams, and this probably is an accurate representation of their workdays. Not to mention, sometimes, crews put in six or even seven days of work a week.
Thankfully, though, after all of the blood, sweat and tears they may literally shed during the mining season, they get to take the rest of the year off to relax and recuperate before Schnabel calls them back for their next mission.