If you find gold in your backyard there is a law which states you have to turn it over to the folks in Albany. 

FORTUNE -- I'm standing in a stream in upstate New York shoveling dirt into a bucket. Danny Miller, a 58-year-old retired industrial engineer, shows me how to scatter the dirt into a sluice propped against rocks in shallow water. He dumps the residue from the sluice into a green plastic pan and shakes it, looking for "color." "I almost thought I saw a little piece of gold," says Danny, who heads the New York chapter of the Gold Prospector's Association of America. "Boy, I thought I saw a speck there for a second."

Read more at money.cnn.com/2010/12/08/pf/investing/gold_fever.fortune/index.htm