"Prospectors" follows a group of miners searching for the rarest gems in order to strike it rich. However, they risk life and limb daily as they face extreme climates, weather and other ... See full summary »
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"Prospectors" follows a group of miners searching for the rarest gems in order to strike it rich. However, they risk life and limb daily as they face extreme climates, weather and other perilous conditions in every step of their pursuit. Written by laurenh458

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26 March 2013 (USA)  »

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Engrossing TV, beautiful location
29 October 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I stumbled onto this Weather Channel series checking for local storms - thank you! This is not only gorgeous western scenery but engrossing TV, following a few "old style" prospectors, using pioneer methods to find rare gemstones in the high Rocky Mtns of Colorado.. most are hiking up above the timberline, and the best "pickins" seem to be above 14,000 feet, so expect a strenuous climb, with backpacking gear, just to get there.. after that, you have to negotiate over scree and boulder slopes that often drop off 500-800 feet, so if you slip, that's where you stop.. cast member Amanda (?) mentions seeing two fellow miners die in rock slides.. These are so common that an area nearby is off limits, due to slides every two minutes, constantly monitored by USGS equipment.

The only time the prospectors can get to these barren peaks is about 100 warm days from July to September, the summer months.. once the snow clears, there are still thunderstorms obviously w lightning that sends everyone scurrying off the peaks a.s.a.p., sometimes leaving equipment behind.. and if you've ever backpacked in the American west, you know that a sudden snowstorm can blow in at high altitudes at any time of year, and with only a few minutes warning.. one cast member even blames "God", saying "now this snowstorm.. dunno why he's angry with me" (I have to laugh at this, as many of us blame "the gods" when our machines break down and inclement weather throws a wrench into our plans, as if an intelligent deity wants to mess up our day for some obscure reason, as if we as individuals have any significance in the "infinite cosmos")

Add to this the knowledge that the film crews are enduring the same hardships, including toting heavy equipment up the mountains (as the cameramen voted to take the better resolution, bigger cams up rather than small handhelds, in order to "get better footage for TV", a great decision - one you can see in a 30 minute special about the filming of the series, which is also a highly recommended "must-see" watch for all fans of series of this type

How about this tidbit to whet your appetite: Steve Brancato found, before the series started, a largish stone (still less than a foot, and maybe 5-8 lbs) w a rare formation of one of these gems (aquamarine?), worth, I think they said, a quarter of a million - now displayed in a museum with his name, as the largest of its type ever found - and Brancato likes to prospect either alone or with one partner. There's a family mining a larger area using an earth digger (which costs them 1k a day) that finds a pocket of amazonite and smoky quartz together, very rare, and their one day dig is later evaluated at 500-600k when finally sold to collectors and museums. Not bad for a day's haul, even if split among 5-7 family members!

All in all, a very pleasant surprise for reality TV, and to me, much more engrossing and beautiful to watch than the other mining shows, though I did enjoy the unique environment of mining under the sea in Bering Sea Gold. IF you've ever hiked in the Colorado Rockies, you know how beautiful this scenery is, it's an alpine wonderland.

They will show a 'marathon' of season one b/c season two just started - I watched the whole season in one sitting, then the premiere of season two, it was that riveting for me! -- the Jman


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