AFP: Thracian Treasures Have Unleashed Gold Rush in Bulgaria's Rivers
The numerous Thracian gold treasures, which have been excavated in Bulgaria over the years, have unleashed a gold rush in the country.
In the past years, more and more Bulgarians have started searching the country's rivers for specks of the precious metal, a recent article by AFP claims.
The article takes readers to the town of Kazanlak and the nearby Koprinka Dam beneath which lies the ancient Thracian town of Seuthopolis - the capital of the Odrysian kingdom.
The abundance of gold deposits in the country is undisputed as the present territory of Bulgaria was the cradle of the Thracian civilisation, known for its gold jewellery and objects.
Gold panning has been a legal pastime in the country since 2009, with currently 1500 Bulgarians practicing it, who have even established their own association.
According to a government report, which was published in August, almost all rivers in Bulgaria are gold-bearing.
However the gold deposits are not sufficient for mining the precious metal on an industrial scale.
For some people panning has become a full-time occupation, although the prospects of getting rich are meagre.
Gold from rivers usually has a lower purity of 20 to 22 karats with jewellers and banks paying BGN 50-52 per gram.
Gold panners are mostly enthusiasts, who practice it as a hobby with unprofessional equipment, which is often made by themselves.
In general, there are no rich panners as the process requires patience and hours of wading through rivers, digging and panning before finding a gold deposit.
Being 19 times heavier than water, gold is harder to move along the curves of the river, so it is usually found in the gravel along the turns, near tree roots, under big stones or inside cracks in the rocks.
Rounded specks hint that the gold was dragged for many kilometres, while sharper specks denote that the vein is nearer.
A vein is worth exploring, if panners get 0.5 to 1 grammes of gold from one cubic metre of gravel.
Read the full article here.
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