Hewing the border between desperation and genius, a Queens man has turned to panning for gold and diamonds in Manhattan. So far, he's made about $850. In one week.
Raffi Stepanian, 43, is a freelance gemstone designer who realized that the streets and sidewalks of Manhattan's Diamond District had chips of diamonds, rubies, platinum and gold that had been unwittingly carried out of its stores. By scraping the mud and debris on the street, or running slurry through a filter in the exact fashion of a California prospector, Stepanian has been able to recover enough precious metals for two sales totaling $819.
You can see Stepanian working Manhattan's streets of gold in the video below via the New York Post: