There's still gold in them thar hills.
Or so some hopeful souls are betting.
With the price of the precious metal touching $1800 an ounce recently, a new generation of prospectors is heading into the hills with picks and pans, following in the footsteps of American dreamers who over the years have pinned their hopes on a lucky strike.
"The higher the price goes, the more people come out of the woodwork," said Tom Pickens, part of a group that prospects for gold in the Llano River in central Texas.
"More and more people are going to come," he added.
Image: The assayor of Dahlonega Mint in the US Dr MF Stephenson was the man who originally famously declared that 'There's gold in them thar hills' in 1849 to try and persuade miners to stay in Dahlonega instead of joining the California Gold Rush. 'Them thar hills' has since slipped into popular usage and was even the title in 1934 of a famous Laurel and Hardy comedy short whose poster is seen here.
Text: Jim Forsyth, Reuters