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Is there gold in that ring?
Jewelry store has state-of-the-art analyzer to certify jewelry
Patty Reece of New York Diamonds jewelry store on South Main Street requires documentation including a photo ID and a left thumb print before she accepts precious metal items that customers ask to be recycled for cash. - photo by GLENN KAHL

New York Diamonds in the Walmart Shopping Center is more than just a jewelry store.

Using state-of-the-art equipment, the store also helps customers determine if their rings, necklaces, bracelets and other valuables are genuine.

That’s the job of New York Diamonds’ goldsmith, David Pearson. He serves as a 21st-century “assayer” certifying the gold, silver, platinum, nickel and copper content of valuables being recycled at the store.

Business owner Patty Reece trumpeted Pearson’s skills and his use of a state-of-the-art Thermo Scientific X-ray energy analyzer, testing everything that comes in the door.  She compared the process to that being used in the Gold Rush days when miners had to take their nuggets and gold dust to the assay office in town.

And customers have brought more than rings, pendants, necklaces and bracelets to New York Diamonds.  Present-day gold miners who trek to the Mother Lode in the foothills have brought in the nuggets they have discovered in their gold panning to determine the gold content.

Reece recalled having members of the community come in saying other recyclers claimed that their rings or bracelets had no gold content.  A radiation test with the analyzer often proved differently, she said.  For a charge of $15, the store provides a printed certification of the precious metal content of a particular item that customers may keep for further reference if they don’t wish to sell the piece immediately.

“We recently had a man come in with a nugget that had been passed down over generations in his family.  It was mostly gold in addition to some sand,” the jewelry store owner said.

Reece said their certification is the same as an assay report from an assay department. 

No stolen items have come into her store as far as she knows, Reece said. The average age of those asking to recycle precious metal items is between the late 20s and early 30s, she added. 

What admittedly breaks her heart is when a mother needing to put food on the table sells her valuables - things that have meaning to her heart, not for just the cash value.

“I’ve never had anyone leave because they had to give a thumb print.  I have had them leave because they had no identification,” she said.