California isn’t called the Golden State for nothing, and even though the gold rush is no more, there are still plenty of gold enthusiasts in the Golden State. In common locations to find gold, the Smithsonian made mention of the Auburn State Recreation Area, which is along the American River. This river known to harbor gold nuggets from snowmelt as it erodes gold flakes off of rocks. The Auburn recreational area allows for the public to collect gold, but the use of all tools is banned, except for the old fashioned gold pan. You’re definitely not going to make any cash via gold panning, and even if you did, the department of State Parks prohibits its usage and sale of commercially. Interesting enough, the term used for gold panning is rockhounding, in which a person is allowed to “only” gather 15 pounds of mineral material (rocks) a day.