As viewers of Discovery’s Gold Rush are well aware, Tony Beets is quite fond of his million-dollar bucket dredge. Some might go so far as to say he has treated the floating machinery just like a 75-year-old, 350-ton adopted child. So, I suppose it would make sense that Tony would want to add the dredge to his rather short list of tattoos that includes the names of his wife and his four other children.
And that’s exactly what Tony did! (In other words, he made it happening.) Here is the finished result:
Tony got the dredge tattoo seen above during a recent three-hour session at Rock N Robyn tattoos in Maricopa, Arizona. The photo is right after he finished that initial session, and it is unclear if he plans to return for color.
But Tony wasn’t the only one to go under the Rock N Robyn needle! Tony’s wife Minnie Beets also got in on the tat party with her own new ink:
The Jasmine tattoo is in honor of Minnie and Tony’s daughter who passed away at a very young age. You can find out more about that sad event, as well as the rest of Tony’s amazing story, by catching last week’s special episode of Gold Rush titled “Klondike Legend.”
Getting back to the “Viking Dredge,” here’s a photo of it as well as the full 411 from the Gold Rush Wikia:
“The Viking” Tony Beets’ boat is a 350-ton, 75-year old floating industrial bucket dredge, built in 1939. Tony bought it in Season 5 when it was on Clear Creek. Prior to his $1 million purchase, the dredge had not run for 30 years. When it became operational, it was the only currently operating industrial gold bucket dredge in North America. The dredge is to be moved to Eureka Creek onto his Eureka Creek Claim and operated by his Beets Crew.
The dredge ran for 22 years, catching $55million in gold. The dredge was idled when gold prices fell. Then in the 1980s gold went up, and the dredge was refurbished, and run until 1988, when gold dropped again, and was not used until Tony Beets bought it. At the time Tony bought it, it had not run in 27 years. The best season the dredge had, it caught $5 million in gold. The dredge’s trommel was originally installed before WWII. The buckets processed over 2yd/min lifting paydirt 60 feet to the trommel. Before Tony bought it, the bucket chain had not been moved for 30 years, and was rusted together.