Anyone wanting to become a full-time miner should probably head north to Alaska, because there are vast areas of Alaska where prospectors with modern gold mining equipment have never set foot. In fact, one of the biggest advantages that modern Alaskan prospectors have over their Klondike Rush ancestors is that bush planes, four wheelers, and snowmobile make it much easier to transport modern gold mining equipment and other supplies to remote back country locations. So, you can spend more time looking for gold and less time looking for food.
However, some of the best areas for modern prospectors may be in Virginia, Georgia, and the Carolinas on the East Coast and in Colorado, Arizona, and Nevada in the Rocky Mountain region, and Washington, Oregon, and Idaho in the Pacific Northwest, because all of these areas had significant historic production, but have not been mined as intensely as the California gold country. So, if 90% of the gold has yet to be mined in California, 95% or more has probably not been mined in these states.
Also, there are a handful of states like New Hampshire, Alabama, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Tennessee which have had very limited commercial production, but have never had a huge strike.
If I was betting that’s where I would bet that the best chance for a huge strike to occur, because there is gold in those states. That’s a fact, but it is probably not as accessible to primitive production as in other states. These are mostly states with small, well-worn mountain and any large viens are probably buried deeper in the more gentle terrain. Remember, in the West it was the erosion that made the gold there obvious. The Appalachains just aren’t steep enough to reveal their riches so easily.
Also, it is just not as much a part of the culture, so people may actually not recognize the signs of gold. Remember, it was the small contingent of Union soldiers from California that first discovered gold in Maryland, because the were nearly all miners.
So, if prospectors really begin to carefully work those areas with modern equipment, such as gold detectors, there is a chance to really hit something monutmental.