The life of any TV star has its highs and lows. However, what sets a normal celebrity apart from those who are into the reality genre, is that in the latter’s case we usually actually get to know about their life’s events first hand through the shows they’re in.
Being one of the main stars of “Bering Sea Gold” means that showing important parts of her life on TV, is just part of the job for Emily Riedel. While that isn’t exactly bad per se, and has actually positively affected her business, it could also make her vulnerable to the general public’s negative opinions.
Anyway, the attention Emily attracts from fans of the series, and even from those who aren’t into it, is undoubtedly impressive. That’s why we’re going to tell you everything Emily Riedel is up to nowadays, including her professional career, appearances in “Bering Sea Gold”, and her personal life. So keep with us to know more!
- 1 What Is She Doing Now?
- 2 Did Emily Get Married?
- 3 Her Gold Panning Business
- 4 Who Is Emily Riedel
- 5 How Did She Get Into Gold Dredging?
- 6 Bering Sea Gold
- 7 How Is It To Be A Woman In Mining?
- 8 What Was Her Relationship With Zeke Tenhoff?
- 9 How Rich Is Emily?
- 10 What Is Happening To Alaska’s Gold Dredging Business?
What Is She Doing Now?
Fortunately for Emily Riedel’s fans, she’s still a main star in “Bering Sea Gold”. During the show’s 13th season aired in 2021, Emily and her The Eroica’s staff faced several difficulties in their way to make the best out of the gold dredging season.
As she affirmed to the website TV Shows Ace, the COVID-19 contingency was the most defining factor in their success, as it ‘disrupted the entire supply chain’, in addition to increasing regulations for operations in Alaska, even preventing The Eroica from ploughing on as freely as in previous years.
Another factor messing with Emily’s dredging goals during the year’s earliest months, was definitely the rise of market competition resulting from the gold’s prices, which was as high as $2,000 an ounce. Though later these numbers lowered a little, it made her team’s basic requirements such as bidding and leasing grounds for a good price harder than ever.
As well, Emily’s staff went through some changes, with the return of her father Steve Riedel, and her long-time co-worker and team’s creative mind Zeke Tenhoff, both of whom left the show in previous seasons.
All in all, it was a good “Bering Sea Gold” season for Emily, but just in case you want to keep up to date with her, she’s a very active Instagram user and also regularly updates her mining-centered YouTube channel.
Did Emily Get Married?
For being a reality star whose show is centered in such a rustic activity as mining, it’s surprising to see so many people interested in Emily Riedel’s romantic life.
Admittedly, the start of her career on TV was partially marked by her romantic involvement with Zeke Tenhoff. Following the end of the relationship, Emily opted to keep any developments about her personal life low key, but which in the end only served to fuel speculations even more.
It was only in early 2021 that Emily finally broke her vow of secrecy, and showed her unnamed boyfriend to the rest of the world through a Valentine’s Day Instagram post. Judging by the small bits of information she let her followers know, she met her man in early 2020, thanks to her brother’s Paul’s help as a matchmaker. The two lovebirds’ relationship progressed quite quickly, and by January 2021 they were already engaged.
Fast forward to July that year, Emily and her unnamed boyfriend tied the knot in a private ceremony, which unfortunately wasn’t featured in “Bering Sea Gold”. Although knowing more about her now-husband would be great, Emily’s choice to keep his identity a secret is more than respectable. Now we can only wish her a blissful married life.
Her Gold Panning Business
At this point it’s basically a tradition for reality TV personalities to eventually invest in someone else’s business, or start their own.
Although the fame provided by their shows sometimes boost their entrepreneurial activities, some actually work hard to grow their businesses without those influences.
The latter’s case describes Emily Riedel and her Bering Sea Pay Dirt, a panning gold online business she started promoting on her social media late in 2021. So far, the only panning package listed on Bering Sea Pay Dirt’s website is the Eroica Paydirt, which weighs 1.5lbs and is worth $150.
In case you’re wondering why someone would be interested in buying these packages, you might be up for a surprise. Judging by the shop’s customers’ reviews, panning gold is a recreational activity meant for everyone, even despite its seeming complexity.
It’s also an activity worth it for those mining enthusiasts who want to experience finding their own gold, however, small in amount, but aren’t able to just go mining for it.
As stated on the website, Bering Sea Pay Dirt’s products are guaranteed to come directly out of The Eroica’s dredging findings.
Who Is Emily Riedel
Knowing her rise to fame was through her involvement with the gold dredging business, it’s undoubtedly interesting that Emily Riedel’s origins were in a vastly different field. Born in 1988 in Alaska, Emily’s musical talents were evident from her early years, so following her parents’ divorce and her mother’s eventual move to North Carolina, Emily was prompted to professionally pursue a career as a singer, first enrolling into the University of North Carolina’s School of Arts.
Not having any previous musical education until then except for that provided by a summer course she took, Emily impressively passed the University’s audition, but her path in the School of Music didn’t go smoothly at the start. As admitted by Emily, the fact that her early education had been sporadic at best made her adaptation to such an organized institution difficult. Nonetheless, with resilience and self-imposed discipline, Emily crossed that bridge thanks to practice and study.
According to Emily, besides the University’s role of shaping her love for music and sense of responsibility, it also taught her discipline, a positive characteristic which she admits to now applying to every job, including mining.
How Did She Get Into Gold Dredging?
Having graduated from the University of North Carolina with many dreams in mind, Emily Riedel’s primary goal was to further her music studies in Europe.
After agony with my outboards I got these amazing motors! Thanks Dewey's Cook Inlet for making this happen & quickly! pic.twitter.com/tKfy91uPzU
— Emily Riedel (@EmilyRiedel23) June 9, 2015
However, her initial plans of enrolling in an opera conservatory in Germany while studying languages were put on hold due to financial limitations.
Convinced to find a well-paid job able to provide her with enough money to follow that dream, Emily accepted her childhood friend Zeke Tenhoff’s proposal of dredging gold in Nome for the summer of 2011. Having no previous experience as a deckhand, Emily planned on staying in Nome just long enough to save the necessary money for her trip. Little did she imagined back then that by the end of that season, she would be signing a contract with Discovery to appear in “Bering Sea Gold”.
Though her goal of becoming an Opera singer was permanently pushed behind to pursue her new interests, the fact she hasn’t left Nome, her boat and team in almost a decade, tells us she’s more than convinced that the Bering Sea is her place in the world.
Bering Sea Gold
Her beginnings in “Bering Sea Gold” were from the bottom. For the first couple of years, Emily worked as a deckhand, first in Zeke Tenhoff’s boats The Clark and The Edge. Regardless of her humble beginnings, she soon gained fans’ attention, and increased her screen time tenfold as a result.
After then spending an entire season on her father’s boat Steve’s World on Ice, Emily bought her dredge The Eroica. The most important part wasn’t only how setting her own gold dredging operation to increase her earnings considerably, but also the fact she was the first woman in the show, and on the entire Bering Sea to become a Captain.
Since taking The Eroica’s reins in 2014, Emily has panned $100,000 of gold on average per season, an impressive amount which demonstrates her talent as a Captain, but also makes us wonder: what happened to her music aspirations then?
According to Emily, while she hasn’t stopped singing and sometimes even performs at events throughout the country, ‘there is a sadness’ in her heart when the thought of not pursuing her opera-singing dream crosses her mind. Nonetheless, nostalgia isn’t enough to make her leave her job in the mining operation, as she finds it ‘rewarding’ despite the difficulties.
How Is It To Be A Woman In Mining?
Although her performance as The Eroica’s Captain isn’t inherently related to her gender, it’s not surprising that Emily is often questioned on her experience as a woman in a male-dominated job field.
Her opinions on the topic are mixed – on one side, pursuing a career in gold dredging hasn’t been easy for her, an understandable statement considering how low the participation of female workers in the field is.
As well, Emily considers there is a lot of emphasis put on her gender, evident in the show’s promotions. However, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing in her book, as she considers that it possibly encourages other women to enter this industry.
The success Emily has achieved so far is impressive, but also is her resilience and stubbornness to not abandon the industry, regardless of the negativity which comes her way from time to time. Anyway, Emily couldn’t be prouder that despite the many prejudices and biases about her, her accomplishments as a miner and Captain are considerable.
What Was Her Relationship With Zeke Tenhoff?
Talking about Emily Riedel, it’s understandable that the name Zeke Tenhoff is brought up quite often.
For starters, Emily and Zeke had known each other for decades prior to the show.
It was he who offered Emily her first job in the mining field on board The Clerk back in 2011, but their relationship was rusty to say the least, especially in front of the camera. Though they eventually became a couple, the pair’s heated disagreements were recurrent early in the series, leading to the relationship’s end by the first season’s finale.
As expected, both miners’ tempered personalities got in the way of their job after the break-up. A post by Zeke at the time described Emily as ‘an angry, vindictive tyrant’, while Emily professed in an interview that Zeke’s gold fever often overpowered him.
Regardless of their many rifts, the pair continued working together for business reasons, and eventually patched things up in 2017, but the many hurtful words they threw each other’s way weren’t easily erased from viewers’ minds.
How Rich Is Emily?
By knowing she’s the Captain of her own dredging boat, people instantly assume that Emily Riedel is a millionaire thanks to the gold mining business, even if that isn’t true in the least.
Although since its debut in the series The Eroica has certainly had its good times collecting gold from the depths of the Bering Sea, several factors such as operating, leasing and housing costs could reduce the team’s earnings a lot. After these calculations, the crew divides the money as agreed, but that’s barely an opportunity for Emily to become a millionaire.
Unfortunately, the salaries of “Bering Sea Gold” stars are unknown, and so are her earnings from the business Bering Sea Pay Dirt. Regardless, we estimate Emily Riedel’s net worth as close to $500,000 as of late-2021.
What Is Happening To Alaska’s Gold Dredging Business?
Every reality TV show is naturally exposed to critiques, but while many are judged for its ingenuity, or for having too much drama, more serious issues are the source of the negativity directed towards “Bering Sea Gold”.
According to ArcticToday, the show’s popularity hasn’t been beneficial for Nome, the gold market, and especially not for the environment. As stated, prior to the show’s first season there were only five dredging leases active in the area in which the show is filmed. That increased exponentially throughout the years, so nowadays there are 86 existent leases.
Besides the obvious cannibalization of the market, and the difficulties for individual miners to make a living of it now, it’s a concern how oil spills, underwater noise and other environmental issues related to dredging could be severely affecting that area’s ecosystem.
While it would be too much to directly fault the show for what other people do, it’s undeniable that underwater mining was an almost unknown activity prior to the series’ popularization.
Will these issues result in the end of “Bering Sea Gold”? Doesn’t seem likely, but it’s concerning how deeply the media can affect people, and places.