Gold prices soar, consumers cash in - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Gold prices soar, consumers cash in

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March 14, 2008

Albany -- If you're looking for that lucky pot of gold this St. Patrick's Day, it could be as close as your jewelry box.

"We've got a lot of people coming by and selling gold since we do specialize in jewelry," said Jason Sheffield.

Sheffield, a master jeweler with Dawson Road Jewelry and Pawn in Albany has witnessed first hand the 21st century "gold rush" of sorts - sparked by recent record high gold prices. But consumers aren't just selling their gold.

He said, "We've had a lot more people inquiring about the prices being higher. They're asking about getting into gold because of the investment side rather than just buying it because of the emotion involved with jewelry."

In a time of economic uncertainty in the stock market, the price of gold has sky rocketed in the commodities market as insurance against rising inflation. And with the value of the U.S. Dollar hitting record lows this week, the price of gold reached an all time high - just over $1000.00 an ounce.

"I remember in the 1970's when it went up somewhere around $800.00. But a thousand, well, that's new territory," said Chuck Roberts with John Ross Jewelers in Albany.

Roberts has seen the ups-and-downs of gold prices, but doesn't think the recent gains will have a tremendous effect on the price of jewelry.

"Most jewelry is not that heavy unless you want the big heavy men rings or something like that. The average ladies ring doesn't have a tremendous amount of gold in it. But where mounting used to be around $100.00, it's probably going to be around $160.00 or $170.00 now," he said.

And while the saying goes There's gold in them thar' hills, it could be the gold in your grills that could earn you a little extra spending money.

But the rush could be short lived. While some analysts predict the price of gold could go as high as S1200.00, others warn the price is directly tied to the value of the dollar which is expected to strengthen within the next few months.

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