Discovery's "Gold Rush," which follows modern-day miners trying to strike it rich, isn't quite a competition series, nor is it quite a lifestyle series. There is no prize for the person who finds the most, but they do still tally up their earnings at the end of each season, and that’s one of the major factors we’ve considered in this ranking.
Former Army medic Fred Lewis first appeared on the spinoff "Gold Rush: Parker's Trail," before joining the main show in Season 11. Sadly, his crew really struggled, only coming up with 6.4 ounces, worth about $11,400, but he is back for Season 12 to find more.
Veteran miner and quarry expert Dave Turin was brought in during Season 1 to assist his friend Todd Hoffman, and he even received a spinoff. Since he was never a crew leader, his gold yields were not tallied, but he earns his place on this list by the major improvements he made to the Hoffman crew.
Much like Turin, Dodge was on hand to assist the Hoffman crew in its first two seasons, before joining the crew (and the show) full time in Season 3. While his tallies have not been counted, his trusted place with any crew he assists makes him one of the most successful cast members.
Miners "Dakota" Fred Hurt and his son Dustin, known collectively as the Dakota Boys, became regular cast members in Season 2. While they had their challenges, their three seasons on the show yielded them over $930,000 in gold, before receiving two spinoff shows.
Known for his tattoos and consistently sleeveless shirts, Ness was Parker Schnabel's longtime operator and foreman, before starting his own crew in Season 9. He has had plenty of struggles, but he has still yielded a total of 2,732 ounces, worth $4.8 million, in his three seasons as crew leader.
Todd Hoffman had some real struggles on the show, including a disastrous first season and an infamously bad trip to Guyana, but he stuck with it for eight seasons. By the time he left the show, he had yielded 8,039 ounces of gold, worth $14.3 million.
With his wild beard and foul-mouthed demeanor, Dutch miner Tony Beets was seemingly made to become a breakout reality TV star, and he is an incredibly skilled miner to boot. With the assistance of his wife and daughter, Beets has mined a total of 16,261 ounces of gold, worth $28.9 million.
Starting as a 16-year-old in Season 1, Schnabel emerged as a camera-friendly mining prodigy, saving the Hoffman crew from their own incompetence more than once. Since starting work on one of his grandfather's old claims in Season 2, Schnabel has mined an incredible 39,910 ounces, worth $67.8 million.