In 1799, a young boy named Conrad Reed found a 17-pound “rock” while playing at a creek on his family farm. He and his family kept it as a doorstop for three years. His father decided to take it to a jeweler who recognized it as gold and bought it for only $3.50. The estimated value of the gold at the time was approximately $3,600, or about $49,000 today. Reed ended up rich anyway. A few years later, he found a 28 pound gold nugget, and eventually started mining for gold.