Nome is one of the top 100 placer fields in the world. There are literally millions of ounces of gold all over the area and even under the town itself. Onshore placer gold production from the Nome area between 1897 and 1964 was about 5,000,000 ounces of gold, the greater part of which was derived from placers on the coastal plain.
Profitable gold placers are rarely found more than 6 to 12 miles (10-20 km) from bedrock sources. The Nome Offshore placer area extends from the current offshore beach for 2 miles to water depths of about 60 feet. It extends about 10 miles parallel to the modern strand-line, commencing west of the the mouth of Nome River and continuing westward to the vicinity of Penny River.