Record gold prices lead to modern day gold rush

April 19, 2011 5:35:40 PM PDT
A modern-day gold rush is fueling a record-breaking run-up in prices and both buyers and sellers are rushing to cash in. Monday, the precious metal reached an all-time, topping $1,500 an ounce, before settling just a few dollars at $1,494. The price of gold has more than doubled in the last five years.

With the price of gold at record levels, Van Boschetti decided it was time to cash in on his gold money clip.

"Read in the paper and saw on the news about the price of gold and it's gone over $1,500 hundred now; I had this gift that was given to me, gold piece and I decided to come in and get it assessed," Boschetti said.

Barely open a week, one gold-buying store has seen a rush of customers looking to capitalize on the precious metal's historic highs.

"We get a lot of coins," store manager Sal Villanueva said. "We get bullion bars and we get a lot broken jewelry or just unwanted jewelry."

While some are selling, others are looking to buy into the bullish gold market. Financial planner Mary Brooks cautions against putting too much of one thing into one's portfolio, but she does see opportunity for some in the gold market.

"The exchange traded fund is usually what I recommend; it trades like a stock, it trades every day on the New York Stock Exchange, you can get a price any day and if you decide you don't want to own it anymore, you can put an order in and that order is executed immediately," Brooks said.

Mike Dunn owns Concord's Goldpan California. His weekend gold-panning classes are packed and Dunn has a backlog of orders for gear and prospecting equipment, much of it heading overseas.

"There's a gold rush going on pretty much world-wide right now," Dunn said. "We're getting a lot of orders for a new high-tech recovery system we've developed that can capture the really fine gold. Everyone can catch the chippy gold, that's easy, but there's a lot more fine gold out there than there is chippy," Dunn said.

If one is looking to sell gold, Consumer Reports recommends shopping around, getting at least three bids and if an item is an antique, it might be best to hold onto it because it could be worth more intact than it would be melted down.

Contact information for those featured in our story:

Mike Dunn
Gold Pan California
1021 Detroit Ave. #D
Concord, CA 94518
(925) 825-4653 (GOLD)

Mary Brooks, CFP
Senior Vice President, Investments
Integre Wealth Management of Raymond James
(925) 952-5258

West Coast Gold
2905 N. Main St.
Walnut Creek, CA 94597

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