The New York Post reports that area man, Raffi Stepanian, has been making a living as a prospector mining for gold, diamonds, gems, and other precious metals around the Diamond District.
On his expeditions, Stepanian is equipped with a butter knife, tweezers, and cup as he scours the streets around 47th St. This modern day urban prospector finds the bits of jewelry and loose gems that get dropped as the local business owners and shoppers transport their goods. The best finds are diamonds that get knocked loose from jewelry and drop into street cracks or get embedded into the blackened gum wads. Stepanian reported that, “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.”
Stepanian, 43, started his trade several years ago when he realized that there were tiny scraps and bits of gold on the floor of a local diamond exchange. Since then, he has taken to the streets daily on his urban prospecting mission. He stated, “The stones are already ut and manufactured – it’s a step above a mine. I’m finding them already cut and polished,” and he also added “The percentage of gold out here on the street is greater than the amount of gold you would find in a mine.”
With a his trusty butter knife, Mr. Stepanian scrapes of mud and dirt from crevices and cracks to take back to his home to pan the dirt for valuables. He does it the old fashioned way as he sifts through the mud for precious metals and gems.