Gold dealers seeing rush of new business

October 4, 2007

News of gold prices soaring above $700 an ounce is prompting people in the Indianapolis area to sell rings, necklaces and other jewelry, gold dealers say.

Business has doubled in the past few weeks for Matt Dinger, who owns Lost Dutchman Rare Coins near Fort Benjamin Harrison.

Part of the business surge is resulting from the recent death of Engle's Coin Shop Inc. owner John Engle, Dinger said.

However, most of the new business is being driven by people unloading broken jewelry or jewelry they no longer want. Others are investors who bought South African Krugerrands and other bullion and think the time is right to get out of the market.

James Combs, who owns Combs Gold & Stuff at 4004 West Washington Street, said he is buying 50 percent more gold than a few months ago.

"More broken jewelry, stuff people didn't want to fool around with selling before," Combs said. "But now that gold prices are up, it's worth more money."

The metal is trading near $730 an ounce-close to a 28-year high as investors seek safety amid financial and political instability.

Is this a good time to buy gold?

Dinger doubts it: "I'm not one to tell [customers] what to do with their money, but it's not something I would recommend."

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