Treasure Hunting Shows

Gold Rush: White Water – 24 karat or fool’s gold?

Whilst there are a few aspects about Gold Rush: White Water that seem too good to be true, other aspects of the show seem very real.

The stars of Discovery’s high-stakes gold-hunting show Gold Rush: White Water are heading towards the end of one of their most successful seasons to date.

However, while we have seen Dustin and the real of this now, well-oiled machine work through difficult weather conditions, equipment struggles, personal issues and more, over the course of the show’s last seven seasons – there are still viewers who question the show’s legitimacy.

Is Gold Rush: White Water real or fake?

Questioning the “reality” of your favorite reality television shows is certainly not a new phenomenon.

But, the question of whether Gold Rush: White Water is real or fake, somehow seems all the more pertinent, now that Dustin and his team are reportedly looking at walking away from this most recent season with hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of gold.

Gold Rush: White Water season one to seven

Before we dive into the finer details of whether or not Gold Rush: White Water is real, it might be time to take a look back at how far the show has come since its premiere.

Over the years, Gold Rush: White Water has established itself as one of the most successful Gold Rush spin-off shows and the show has now aired more than 100 episodes (including a few specials) over the course of seven seasons, as follows:

Gold Rush: White Water season Episodes (including specials) Premiere date
Season 1 9 January 19, 2018
Season 2 12 December 28, 2018
Season 3 14 November 1, 2019
Season 4 17 November 13, 2020
Season 5 18 November 5, 2021
Season 6 19 November 8, 2022
Season 7 12 (to date) March 1, 2024

Why people think Gold Rush: White Water may be fake

Just like with the reportedly unscripted reality shows on the air right now, there is no real way to know whether or not Gold Rush: White Water is truly real – outside of joining the show’s production team, that is.

But, since we cannot follow Dustin and the crew to the remote Nugget Creek quite yet, we have rounded up all the reasons why some viewers think that the show might not be as real as it claims to be:

  • Repeating storylines – probably the most common reason why some viewers believe that Gold Rush: White Water may be scripted in some way, is because the show always seems to follow the same pattern. And, occurrences such as equipment failures, floods, and the movement of a looming widow-maker, usually happen just ahead of or just after a big gold find.
  • The value of the gold – another point of contention for the Gold Rush: White Water fandom over the years has been the value of the gold, as portrayed on the show. The value for gold found on the show, is usually based on the value of jewelry-grade gold. However, natural gold often contains impurities and can be worth significantly less.
  • The huge finds – some viewers have also pointed out that the show’s “huge” nuggets, could easily have been planted in the sluice box between takes and.

Faking allegations in the Gold Rush franchise

Unfortunately, another aspect that counts against Gold Rush: White Water whenever the show’s legitimacy is being discussed is the fact that its parent-show Gold Rush has also been accused of being scripted.

A former Gold Rush cast member named Jimmy Dorsey infamously confirmed that the show is “scripted” shortly after his exit from the franchise a few years ago.

And, while there is certainly a difference between producers scripting a few scenes or interactions and a completely fake show – this evidence is certainly difficult to ignore in the face of the more recent allegations against the Gold Rush: White Water spin-off.

The aspects of Gold Rush: White Water that are probably real

Just like it is pretty unlikely that absolutely every scene in Gold Rush: White Water’s seven season-run has been completely authentic and real – it is also unlikely that everything has been scripted or faked.

And, just like many critics have been quick to call out aspects of the show that seem less-than believable, real gold prospectors have come out to say that it is one of the more realistic shows in the Gold Rush franchise.

Mining for gold in real life is often more tricky than it seems on-screen and while the most recent seasons of Gold Rush have seen its stars take home multi-million-dollar paydays, the amount of gold collected on Gold Rush: White Water does seem more realistic.

And, so does the crew’s struggles with their equipment and the unpredictable Alaskan weather.

How much is Gold Rush: White Water’s nugget really worth?