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Photos: Nome's new gold rush

An underwater gold dredging boat leaves the Nome harbor on August 30, 2012.
Loren Holmes photo
Mark Queen, a cook on a research vessel anchored in the Nome harbor, pans for gold while waiting to go out. August 29, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
One of the many places in Nome where entrepreneuring gold dredgers can turn their gold into cash. August 29, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Gold dredging boats anchored in the Nome harbor. August 30, 2012
Loren Holmes photo
Nome mayor Denise Michels has had to respond to the large influx of gold dredgers flooding the city in recent years. August 30, 2012
Loren Holmes photo


NOME -- Across Seppala Drive from the dock on a rise above a bog, the headstones at the old graveyard on Cemetery Hill loomed white in the sun. Some mark the final resting places of unlucky adventurers who came north planning to get rich quick before returning home at the start of the 20th century.

Gold brought them north then. Gold brings them north now. Sanders said the men hoped to find "a shit load."

With the yellow metal now fetching close to $1,800 an ounce, the reality television show "Bering Sea Gold" fuels the idea it's possible for anyone with basic diving skills and a boat to vacuum a fortune from the floor of the ocean not far from this community of 3,695 some 540 miles northwest of Anchorage. There's no doubt the City of the Golden Beaches is witnessing a modern-day gold rush.

Read more: Nome's modern gold rush