San Francisco, 1849.  Alaska, 1897. New York City, 2011? Is there a new gold rush in the Big Apple?

There is for Queens native Raffi Stepanian, who literally struck gold after discovering he could make up to $300 a day by 'mining' the sidewalks in Manhattan's Diamond District for the tiny bits of gold, platinum and rare gems that fall from the clothes of workers when they leave their shops.

"The streets of 47th Street are literally paved with gold," is how Stephanian succinctly puts it.

Watch the urban prospector use tweezers, a brush and a butter knife to pan for gold from the sidewalk in the videos below.

[via Gothamist]