Unlike many success stories — in which someone becomes obscenely wealthy overnight with a little luck and a lot of ambition — this particular tale ended with a twist... with one of those individuals killing his partner.
No, this isn't the story of Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson... but it could have easily been the focus of one of their period movies.
Boise Basin Gold
In 1862, on the banks of the Boise River in Central Idaho, a party led by two men with the colorful names of George Grimes and Moses Splawn made one of the largest precious metals discoveries in U.S. history.
The party was only passing through the area. But Splawn, a hardened prospector, self-proclaimed 'Indian fighter,' and the party's hired guide, had heard stories about gold literally flowing from the banks of the river.
His plan to use the expedition for his own purposes paid off well.
In the months that followed, this 300 square miles piece of dense wilderness — inhabited not only by the Grimes party, or the 6 million ounces of gold that the region would produce in the years to come, but also the Shoshone Indian tribe — became home to between 30 and 40 thousand new arrivals.
The only thing on anyone's mind: a piece of what Grimes and Splawn had found.
Of course, by the time this ramped into a full on gold rush... Splawn was already rich and on his way to establishing one of the region's prominent families. But Grimes was in the ground with a bullet in his head.
Local papers played on the terrible turn the men's discovery had afforded, and the legend of the often ill-tempered and ultimately ill-fated George Grimes fueled the story of the gold find.
Perhaps not the ideal way for Grimes to step onto the pages of history, but the effect was undeniable.
Idaho's Boise Basin was now the stage for one of this nation's greatest gold rushes.
Amazingly, even a century and a half later, the story of George Grimes and Moses Splawn still echoes through the U.S. gold industry.
Investing in Idaho Gold Today
With gold's recent resurgence, and its historic breach of the $1,000/ounce milestone, the gold rush that put Boise on the map and Idaho on the road to statehood has just gotten its second wind.
It's one of the few unavoidable — yet positive — aspects of the global economic downturn.
We've seen the mechanism before and it's never been stronger, or more pronounced, than it is today.
With paper currencies weakening and debt mounting across most of the major global economies, the demand for hard assets like gold goes up.
As increases in price alter previously established profit margins, older abandoned business models are revisited and reconsidered.
Today, properties which have long ago been retooled to mine for metals like silver and materials such as phosphates and even gravel are once again starting to produce gold.
But even more dramatically, exploration companies hoping to capitalize on record-setting prices are showing the world what can happen when modern technology is applied to geological formations previously analyzed and evaluated with tools no more sophisticated than a pickaxe, a tin pan, and some running water.
For the last few weeks, my colleague Luke Burgess has been following one of the brightest stars of this remarkably prospective sector.
With close to 600,000 ounces of gold confirmed to exist within their Central Idaho property, this company is valued at under $30 million and has mineral assets worth more than $690 million.
That's 23 times the company's own market cap.
And with recent drill results supporting geological projections, recent gains in stock value are a clear indicator of where this company is going.
Just earlier this week, assay results from three drill holes indicated gold concentrations ranging from 2.6 to 9.1 grams/ton.
It didn't take the news long to make its impact...
The very next day, the stock soared as much as 27% in one of the heaviest trading sessions in the company's history.
More drill results are due out in the coming weeks, but based on all available indicators, the remaining samples should show similar — if not superior — mineral concentration figures than the first batch.
In a time when gold is all you hear about when it comes to safe, wealth-preserving investments, companies like my new Idaho gold recommendation, with a 6.4 to 1 percentage gain advantage over gold itself, are redefining the concept of precious metals investments.
Of course, as economies gradually stabilize, and as more investors pile into the mining exploration companies in the quest for rampant earnings like these, the opportunities will dilute rapidly.
To read Luke's new research, just follow this link.
Editor, Wealth Daily
Investment Director, Mining Speculator and Greg McCoach's Insider Alert