By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Record price triggers rush to gold sales
David Pearson of New York Diamonds shows a 100-ounce silver bar worth $4,000. With todays prices, if the bar were solid gold it would be worth $175,900. - photo by JASON CAMPBELL

The current economy and the price of gold – is the melding of a perfect storm.

The price of gold at the close of markets Wednesday reached $1,795 an ounce after passing $1,800 earlier in the day. With the price of gold inching higher every day – it is now worth nearly six times what it was a decade ago – many are digging into their jewelry boxes or their vaults looking for anything they can find to help weather uneasy financial times.

Gold buyers such as New York Diamonds in Manteca have seen a jump in the number of people interested in selling gold items since the current stock jitters sent gold upward to record highs.

But what’s the best way to make sure that you’re getting the true value of the items you’re looking to cash in on?

With an industry dedicated to offering cash for gold that seemingly exploded overnight, many consumers are turning to television advertisements and mail-based companies that typically give customers up to three days to take their offer.

The only problem with those outlets, says New York Diamonds jewelry designer David Pearson, is that you don’t have the comfort of dealing with an established business that will make you an offer in person and allow you to walk away if you’re not satisfied.

“There’s always the chance that it can get lost in the mail or that if you don’t like the offer it isn’t going to make it back to you,” Pearson said. “When you bring it in to a store that will make an offer you always have the choice to walk away if it’s not what you want. That’s what we suggest people should do – not just bringing it to us but to anybody.”

And then there are those who are looking to capitalize on the sudden rush for gold.

Pearson said that it’s not uncommon to have customers come in from time-to-time looking to sell gold chains that are stamped to represent either 14 or 18-carat gold, only to find out that it’s fake.

Most of those instances come from buying them from of people on the street, he said, or on the Internet where deals that seem too good to be true usually are.

One of the misconceptions about selling gold to a reputable dealer, however, is that the weight of a necklace or a ring represents the total weight of gold included. Pearson said that a 14-carat gold item contains only 58.5 percent gold – with the rest made up of silver, copper and zinc.

Melting those items down and removing the alloy materials added to it is how companies get pure gold out of the items that they receive.

The best thing that one can do, according to New York Diamonds sales associate Al Talavera, is to shop around for the best price.

Just recently he had a lady come into the store that brought gold to a local hotel conference center that was hosting a weekend sales event. The first offer that was made to her at the site seemed low, and the subsequent increases only made her more suspicious.

She ended up selling $1,200 worth of gold to Talavera that the representative initially offered to buy from her for $300.

“There are definitely unscrupulous people out there that will try and take advantage of people,” he said. “Find a place that you trust and you feel comfortable. That’s where you want to go.”