The frenzy on Wall Street has people turning to more secure investments sending gold prices to an all time high. Gold closed today at $1,740 an ounce. That's nearly double from this time last year.
For some, this is a golden opportunity. For many people in Texoma, the soaring price of gold is coming at a critical time. Because of a tough economy and high unemployment, people are really taking advantage of this opportunity. It's helping them buy gas, back to school supplies, and groceries. Business at some Wichita Falls shops that buy gold has doubled in just the last few months. Owners say a lot of people are selling gold because they need the money.
Some say it is the one bright spot in our shaky economy. The price of gold seems to be the only thing these days that is actually increasing in value. That has Texomans searching through their homes for any kind of precious metals they can find. And with the Wichita Falls unemployment rate at 8.2 percent, people really need the money. Beverly Gold Exchange Owner Jim Deatherage says, "People are doing to send their kids back to school, to buy groceries, to buy gas." Wichita Gold Exchange Owner Austin Camp says they see everything from old coins to teapots.
So what happens when you bring it in? Your gold or silver is verified with a gold tester or solution acids to see if it's real. After that, it's weighed and given a price. So what do gold buyers do with the gold? Deatherage says, "We then take it either send it a smelter, to the refinery. Or else we take it to a brokerage to buy." A golden business for these guys that seems to be getting better by the day.
Deatherage says, "Last week was the strongest week we'd had in 4 years that I've been here." He says they sell several ounces of gold per day. And they plan to double their intake over the next six months by increasing their accounts with pawn shops and dental offices whom they are also buying scrap gold from. The cost of silver is also up more than double over last year at almost $40. The owners of the shops say people are also bringing in diamonds. Just in case you have any sitting around the house.