John Reeves Net Worth: From Dirt to Wealth

One of the most fascinating stories of Alaskan gold mining is that of John Reeves, prominently known as the mammoth man in Alaska. He has an estimated net worth of 5 million USD.
He searched for precious metals and stumbled upon a treasure trove of Ice Age fossils on his land. John became a household name after starring in the 2012 National Geographic docu-series “Goldfathers.” The show chronicled the adventures and challenges of several miners in Alaska.

John’s land was unique because it was a burial ground for thousands of ancient animals. Woolly mammoths, bison, and prehistoric bears had been frozen under the permafrost for millennia. John’s discovery piqued the interest of researchers, journalists, and the general public, who wanted to learn more about these rare and priceless fossils.

John’s journey was also documented in a film called “Boneyard Alaska” and a podcast episode with Joe Rogan. It’s amazing how John, a gold miner, became a star and a fossil collector.

Net worth

John Reeves is a prominent gold miner and fossil collector with a net worth of 5 million USD. He has amassed his wealth through a successful gold and fossil mining career and wise financial investments.

Located in Alaska, he owns a vast tract of land where he has discovered thousands of Ice Age animal bones, including mammoth tusks. His company, Fairbanks Gold, LLC, holds numerous claims along rivers in state and federal lands and owns thousands of acres of patented mining grounds.

Assets and Properties

John Reeves owns a large tract of land in Alaska where he has discovered thousands of Ice Age animal bones, including many valuable mammoth tusks. Not much information about his cars, houses, and other properties is available, but he apparently boasts about his rare mammoth tusks.

According to Fossil Real, mammoth tusks can be sold for high prices depending on their size, quality, color, and rarity. The average price of a mammoth tusk is around $1,295, and some exceptional pieces can fetch much higher prices, such as a pair of blue mammoth tusks that sold for $625,000 in 2014.

John’s asset can be estimated by multiplying the number of tusks he has by the average or expected price of each tusk. For example, if he has 1000 tusks and each tusk is worth $10,000 on average, his asset would be $10,000,000.

However, this is a rough approximation and doesn’t account for other factors such as market demand, legal regulations, and extraction and transportation costs. Nevertheless, it gives a general idea of the value of his collection. John grew up on an Indian mound in Florida, fascinated by the idea of finding buried treasure.


During the 1970s, John was a talented swimmer for the University of Florida on a full scholarship. One time, during a crucial swimming competition, his coach jokingly threatened to send him to Alaska if he didn’t win. Even though John finished second, he took the comment seriously. Struggling academically, he thought dropping out was his only way to escape inevitable failure.

Inspired by the movie “Jeremiah Johnson,” John became a mountain man and left the university with just $50, a backpack, and a shotgun to hitchhike to Alaska. John took odd jobs in Alaska and slowly built a new life there. Even though he returned to Florida for his junior year, the call of the Alaskan wilderness was too strong, and he eventually returned to the state that gave him a fresh start.

In the 1980s, John moved permanently to Alaska. There, he started a mining career and dedicated himself to preserving historical buildings in the community of Fairbanks, becoming a custodian of Alaskan heritage.

In the 1990s, John’s professional path intertwined with public service as he became an Alaska Department of Natural Resources member and contributed to the Alaska Railroad Corporation. He also acquired the Alaska Gold Company, which owned a substantial 10,000-acre portion of Alaskan territory.

In the early 2000s, John made astonishing natural discoveries on his property, including woolly mammoth tusks and relics from the Ice Age. He developed ways to extract these rarities and discovered gold on his property, making him one of Alaska’s most extensive private land proprietors.

In 2012, John was featured in the docu-series “Goldfathers,” which showcased his relentless pursuit of gold alongside fellow miners. He was also featured in the 2019 documentary “Boneyard Alaska,” which highlighted his impressive collection of fossils.

In 2023, John was a guest on a podcast episode with Joe Rogan. During the forum, he shared the story of his multifaceted life. He made a groundbreaking announcement regarding a mammoth tusk dump site in the heart of New York City.

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