Why Not Spend Your Next Vacation Looking at Gold?

Why Not Spend Your Next Vacation Looking at Gold?

People have been enthralled with gold since ancient times. If you love it too, why not spend part of your next vacation looking at it, learning about it – and maybe even finding some and bringing it home?

 Every year tens of thousands of visitors from around the world visit the gold vault ON a free, public tour of the New York Fed. Credit: NY Fed.

Every year tens of thousands of visitors from around the world visit the gold vault ON a free, public tour of the New York Fed. Credit: NY Fed.

There are many ways to make gold part of your vacation. Here is just a small sample of what you can do.

Take a Gold Rush Tour in California

Lots of travel companies have tours that will let you walk in the steps of the famous “Forty-Niners” who prospected for gold 160 years ago. Many tours – including some offered by goldprospecting.com – are family-friendly adventures that offer adults and children the chance to “get their hands dirty” by wading into streams, panning for gold and maybe bringing some home with you.

Go on a Gold Panning Adventure

If you want to skip the history and get right into a stream to start sifting through silt to look for flakes and nuggets, you have many tour options to choose from in Alaska, North Carolina and even West Virginia. There are gold panning tours in Scotland too - search for “gold panning tours U.K.” Who knew?

Visit Gold Mines

Get in an elevator and go underground to see old gold mines and new ones that are still functioning. A quick online search will lead you to gold mine tours in Colorado and Great Britain.

Tour the Diamond and Gold District in Amsterdam

For centuries, Amsterdam has been a center for diamond and jewelry trading. A number of tours there take you behind the scenes to see diamonds being cut and put in gold and platinum settings for rings and earrings. One tour is offered by Coster Diamonds, which also operates the Coster Diamond Museum.

Visit Fort Knox . . . or Skip It?

The United States Bullion Repository in Fort Knox, Kentucky is still very much in operation. In fact, it stores 147.3 million ounces of gold. The problem is, security is so tight that you can’t do much more than look at the outside of the building and think, “Gee, there is a lot of gold in there.” If you’d like to go anyway, learn more at www.usmint.gov. The site has a fascinating history. Over the years it has been used to safely store Gutenberg Bibles, copies of the Declaration of Independence, and many other irreplaceable items.

Visit Gold and Jewelry Sites in New York City

There are tons of interesting gold-related sights to see in New York the next time you are there. Here’s just a sampling...

  • See a room full of ancient gold items from Latin America at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The conquistadors tried to find and melt down every piece of gold jewelry ever created by the Incas and Aztecs. But some of it survived. You can see a breathtaking collection of it in one room on the ground floor of the Metropolitan Museum on Fifth Avenue. There are golden necklaces, birds, earrings and images of mysterious deities. If you love gold, this room is a must-see.
  • Tour the Federal Exchange Bank in New York. An official tour gives you a glimpse into the vault where the Fed stores gold for individuals and foreign governments. Visit www.newyorkfed.org
  • Stroll New York’s Famous Diamond District. This “district” is actually not much more than one street – 47th Street in the heart of midtown Manhattan. When you visit New York, it is well worth walking down the street and visiting display floors where hundreds of dealers display thousands of rings and other pieces of jewelry. If you’re more intrepid, visit the upper floors of buildings where skilled craftsmen cut gems and put them into high-end pieces of 24K gold and other jewelry. Fascinating! Here’s a video that gives a glimpse of what’s going on behind the scenes:

 

And Arguably the Most Astonishing Exhibition of All, in London . . .

 Visit the British Crown Jewels. Shown: St. Edward's Crown was refurbished for Charles II's coronation from an old crown. The gold may have come from Edward the Confessor's crown. Credit: © Crown copyright.

Visit the British Crown Jewels. Shown: St. Edward's Crown was refurbished for Charles II's coronation from an old crown. The gold may have come from Edward the Confessor's crown. Credit: © Crown copyright.

If you’re in London and you want to be floored by what could be the most valuable display of jewels and jewelry in the world, be sure to visit the Crown Jewels in The Tower of London. You’ll see huge gemstones rather than acres of shining gold, but if you look closely, you’ll discover plenty of the metal in crowns, scepters, and ceremonial items. For tour information, visit http://www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon/.

Have Gold Items of Your Own?

If you have gold items that you would like to recycle profitably, call Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners at 800-426-2344. You don’t need to recycle the crown jewels - even one small gold item could be worth much more than you expect. When you call, mention this post and ask about free or discounted costs for shipping your items to us for testing.

Related Posts:

New Book Reveals Best Places in America to Pan for Gold 
How Much Gold Does the Catholic Church Own? 
All that Glitters Could Be Gold . . . In America’s Fading Movie Palaces 
“How Much Gold Is in my Body” and Answers to Six Other Wild and Crazy Questions about Gold