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Gold bars/FILE

World

2011 Gold rush is on

Gold bars/FILE

NEW YORK, Aug 12 – With the price of gold hovering around $1,800 an ounce, gold buyers haven’t been this busy in many years.

In New York, the buyers and traders of gold have a standing room only business.

Merchants are looking to buy gold, and people are looking to sell.  It was big business on Thursday in New York’s jewellery district.

“Gold is flying through the roof.  Economies are crumbling all over the world.  We’ve seen about 25 or 40 percent increase in the last three days alone of people selling their jewellery,” said Gene Furman of Empire Gold Buyers, an accredited firm with its own refinery.

The evaluation process is a quick, centuries-old process.

“We basically take a piece of gold; we rub it on a stone, which leaves a small residue.  If it stays the same colour, it’s 14-carat gold, if it gets dark, then it’s 10-carat gold,” Furman said.

Mandy, from Brooklyn, was one of five who came to sell during a 30-minute period.  She had a list of reasons for selling her jewellery. “Economy, unemployment, rent,” she said.

Then came the big moment for Mandy, who lost her husband last year and has been unemployed since.  She said the check for more than $3,500 will give her some relief.

“I mean, sentimental value is one thing, but it actually now is helping me live,” she said.

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“I’m going to get some real money today,” said Gene Silverman, a financial professional, was cashing in a gift from a former girlfriend.

“Just looking to get some extra cash, cashing in a little gold.  Gold is a great investment.  I have some in my retirement accounts.  I don’t see it coming down.  I see it as a steady investment – thinking about it as a bank account,” Silverman said.

For some in this volatile market, their dreams are truly set in gold.

This report was filed by Bernard Shusman in New York.

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