Gold Market Hardships? Not for Pawnshops

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Precious Metals

Stuck on a rollercoaster ride, the gold market refuses to take a break from this amusement park favorite. After recent financial meltdowns, a growing number of people now stand in line for a wild ride on the gold market’s rollercoaster, hoping to raise their arms — and their profits — at a high stretch.


Photo Credit: Travel and Leisure, “Thrill Rides.”

The “high stretches” are hit and miss. Monday marked the first time gold rose in three sessions, and gold traded at $764.50 per ounce in New York on Tuesday, hitting intraday highs as the dollar dropped against the euro. As investors waited for U.S. election results yesterday, gold reached a fairly steady level. But Lisa Reisman suggested earlier this week that buying gold isn’t the smartest move, especially considering recent downfalls, including gold’s biggest monthly loss in 25 years, and market volatility.

That hasn’t stopped anyone from attempting to sell the metal. Although Lisa notes that it would have been better to sell at the $1,000 per ounce, like the man with a golden palace who sold everything (one exception: his solid gold toilet), certain gold buyers have recently seen business quadruple. Even treasured family heirlooms have found their place in pawn shops, as people scramble to pay mortgages and their bills.

“In Midtown Manhattan, Gene Furman, the owner of Empire Gold Buyers, has seen a roughly 25 percent increase in walk-in traffic since major investment banks and other financial institutions ran into their own financial difficulties,” CNN reports. “The company schedules about 50 to 60 buying appointments a day, and not just with the familiar faces. Furman said he sees all sorts — even the one-time Wall Street powerful — looking for any way to get some cash on hand.”

Several more pawn-based companies can claim rising profits, thanks to metal items sold in times of hardship. It’s a sentimental journey, of course; but some people find few options for financial security, few ways to pay the bills without pawning heirlooms. Whether these keepsakes are traded at jewelry shops, loan shops, or a storefront near Chuck-E-Cheese, there’s a place for everything from power saws to wedding rings.

“I used to be in the jewelry business,” one jewelry buyer says. “I am in the recycling business now.”

–Amy Edwards

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