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Goldbay - Seen On Nat Geo Meltdown reality show

Nat GeoNEWS                                                                     FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE





Motivated by the Thrill of the Hunt and Cold Hard Cash, No Place Is Too Strange and No Corner Too Dark for Unique Breed of Prospectors Seeking Precious Metals

Meltdown Premieres Thursday, October 31, at 10 PM ET/PT

on National Geographic Channel


(WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 7, 2013) A struggling economy has led people across the country to search for profit in the unlikeliest of places. Now, urban treasure hunters have helped turn the search for precious metals into a nearly billion-dollar industry. Go inside the high stakes world of turning unassuming and often discarded objects into profit as National Geographic Channel follows a unique breed of prospectors on their search for precious metals to melt into cold, hard cash.


Premiering Thursday, October 31, at 10 p.m. ET/PT, the new series Meltdown follows three urban treasure hunters as they chase the thrill of the hunt and along the way battle fierce competition, an unstable market, and the occasional dead end, to turn junk into profit. The search takes them from back alleys and scrap yards to high-tech facilities and abandoned bank vaults — no stone is left uncovered in the unpredictable hunt to make a buck. With reputations, businesses and revenue on the line, it’s a high-risk game where one wrong hunch, overlooked object or bad deal could mean a missed payday. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.comand follow us on Twitter at @NGC_PR.


Meet the Treasure Hunters:


Rich Pylehas more than 20 years’ experience as a pawnbroker and gold dealer on the mean streets of Detroit. He recently moved to Los Angeles, where he’s started a gold business of his own. As a tough negotiator and hard-bargaining dealmaker, Rich is actively building a network of friends and clients that will hopefully establish him as the Gold King of Hollywood. Rich’s risk-taking style and scheming ingenuity mean he always has a fresh angle or lead to help him track down gold in strange places.


Dave Varabioffis a professional gold hunter, entrepreneur and self-taught refiner who’s been hooked on the search for gold for almost 40 years. Known around Spokane as “Gold Dave” and “The Gold Guru,” Dave specializes in finding “invisible” gold — microscopic gold that people wouldn’t even know is there from places where people wouldn’t even imagine finding it. The mad scientist does his own chemical extractions and has an array of gadgets that help him find, remove and melt down gold and other precious metals.  


Diego Calinawanis a Desert Storm veteran and the self-proclaimed “jack of all trades” who spent several years as a gold prospector searching for buried treasure in the Sonoran desert. Diego makes a steady income as a bouncer at a Los Angeles nightclub, but spends his free time hunting for gold and precious metals. Fearless and intimidating, Diego is a hard-hitting negotiator who is determined to come out on top of any deal. He’s determined to find a huge score that would help him buy his own nightclub and set him up for life. 


Premiere Episodes Include:


Meltdown: Bite the Bullet

Premieres Thursday, October 31, at 10 p.m. ET/PT

Rich gets exclusive access to a manufacturing equipment warehouse and goes treasure hunting for precious metals in the equipment’s old components. When he finds a robotic arm from an old auto assembly line, he relies on his Detroit background to hopefully turn it into a payday. Meanwhile, Dave knows that catalytic converters use platinum, so he gets down and dirty crawling under every old car he can find — until he ends up at the wrong end of a shotgun. And Diego hits up a firearms dealer in search of guns made with precious metals, and takes an unexpected turn into hunting down a man who has a supply of silver bullets. But the man’s not going to give up his valuable ammunition that easily, and even if he does, Diego needs to figure out a way to get the silver off the bullets.


Meltdown: Break the Bank

Premieres Thursday, October 31, at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT

Dave decides to fulfill a longtime goal and get his hands on some old mining equipment in the hope that it may contain dirt and rock residue that could, in turn, contain gold. He’s hoping for a $40,000+ payday, but soon discovers it’s going to be tougher to get at it than he initially anticipated. Meanwhile, Rich gets a lead on an old building being gutted and rehabbed and has the chance to search it for anything that might contain precious metals. He quickly finds out the old building in fact used to be a bank, but the only problem is that whatever treasure might be there is hidden inside an enormous locked vault. And Diego hits up a tattoo artist to find gold in an unlikely place.


Meltdown: Standing on a Gold Mine

Premieres Thursday, November 7, at 10 p.m. ET/PT

Dave’s crew thinks he’s nuts when he decides to rip up his new property, a former jewelry store and workshop, but he’s convinced there’s gold hidden in and under the carpeting. Dave’s excited when his suspicions are confirmed, but extracting the gold dust from the carpet tiles proves to be a much more frustrating and expensive task than he ever imagined. Elsewhere, Diego gets a lead on a vintage electronics dealer and brings his buddy James along, expecting to find the mother lode in vintage motherboards. What they do find are a lot of headaches. Meanwhile, Rich’s search for precious metals leads him to an antiques dealer selling off an entire storage unit full of items from someone’s estate. But Rich may have gotten more than he bargained for when he finds an urn filled with ashes.


Meltdown: Ready to Rock-It

Premieres Thursday, November 7, at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT

Rich hunts for old rocket parts because he thinks they’re made with precious metals to withstand the intense heat. He meets up with Waldo, a dreamer trying to break the land speed record by putting a rocket engine onto a car. Meanwhile, Dave looks for treasure in the form of a photo processing filter used to recover silver found on photo paper. But will he find enough to make it worth his effort? And Diego looks for a trophy as his prize. As long as it’s made of real silver, any shaped trophy will do, because the trophy Diego really wants at the end of the day is cash.


Meltdown: Coffin Up Cash

Premieres Thursday, November 14, at 10 p.m. ET/PT

Rich wants to buy solar panels for the silver components inside, but new panels are expensive, so he has to buy broken panels. Then he learns that it’s nearly impossible to get the silver out of any solar panels by himself, so he’s forced to pay a professional $1,000 to do the job — a big gamble. Dave is playing it safe, making no initial investment in the used dental X-ray fixer solution he’s gathering up from local dentists. Used to develop X-rays, fixer removes the silver from the film and contains silver residue. But will Dave find enough fixer with silver to make it worth his time? Meanwhile, Diego’s made a reasonable investment of $450 to buy a casket for the gold letters engraved on it. But will the purity of the gold be high enough to yield a profit?

Meltdown: Platinum Payday

Premieres Thursday, November 14, at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT

Diego uncovers a giant score in platinum, but to come up with the cash to make the deal happen, he has to not only liquidate his entire bank account, but also pawn his beloved motorcycle. He’s fairly confident he’s doing the right thing until he begins to extract his platinum, which comes off in ultra-thin, hair-like strands, and wonders if he put his entire life on the line for nothing. Elsewhere, Rich’s hunt for precious metals leads him to a recording studio, where a rapper is trying to sell a bunch of bling. Rich is excited to see the treasure trove laid out for him, until he realizes it’s all fake — a fact that the rapper refuses to believe, questioning whether Rich is trying to rip him off. Meanwhile, Dave uncovers an old cell tower console that is loaded with gold. It’s an epic task to extract all the precious metals, and after Dave refines it, there are problems melting. Did he mess up all his gold and ruin his score?


Meltdown is produced by Brownstone Entertainment for National Geographic Channels. For Brownstone Entertainment, executive producers are Drew Brown, Bob Gillan and James Flint. For National Geographic Channels, executive producer is Stephanie Buxbaum; vice president of production & development is J-T Ladt; senior vice president of production & development is Alan Eyres; president is Howard T. Owens.


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