One Thursday in 2008 the price of gold went above a thousand dollars an ounce for the first time in history. All over the world, at least in countries with gold-bearing soil, people with no experience of prospecting began shopping for shovels and pickaxes, gold pans, tents, generators and all manner of equipment they had no idea how to use. And off they went mining. In 2013, Steve Boggan followed them, packing his bags and flying to San Francisco to join the 21st century's gold rush in a quest to understand the allure of the metal - and maybe find a bit for himself, too. Meeting a selection of colourful characters, he gets a crash course in small-scale prospecting while learning about the history and economics of gold.