Special Report: The Business of Gold

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - If you think the price of gasoline has gone up a lot in recent years, consider these numbers. A decade ago, the price of an ounce of gold was about $270. These days, that same ounce of gold is in the neighborhood of $1,700. Now, you can understand why a lot of people have been selling their gold.

Here are some things to consider about selling gold: Has the stampede sell gold slowed down a bit? And what if you have some gold sitting around, is it still a good time to sell it? How does a jeweler test your gold to see what it is worth? If you are the market to sell, what are the important things you need to know?

The fervor to sell gold may have slowed down, but it is far from over. Just ask Oren Zweig of the Gold Salvage Group.

"Right now, it seems like everybody is buying," Zweig said. "You go to a guitar shop, and they even buy, everybody seems to be jumping in."

Oren Zweig came to the coast from Miami, and opened a gold buying shop just a few years ago. The business has been good to him. It has grown from just one location, to several around the coast. He can attest to the fact a lot of people want to sell their gold.

"A lot of people are just happy to get whatever they can get and that is why a lot of businesses are starting to open up because they see it is a quick way to make money, if people are not doing their homework," he said.

That's why Zweig says it is important to be educated in how to go about selling gold, before you even consider trying it.

Melton Broome would certainly agree with that. His jewelry store, Pav and Broome, has been in the business in downtown Gulfport for 39 years.

"Gold is gold, if it is 14 karat then it is 14 karat. If it is not, then you need to figure out what it is," Broome said. "Test it to be sure what it is."

Broome said he would even test some gold for us.

"What we do is, we take the item that you have and we scratch it on a test stone," he explained.

Then they put a small amount of acid on the gold. Depending on whether it fades or not, that helps the jeweler determine what the karats are. Then the jeweler weighs your item or items, and gives you a price. Keep in mind, they will not be giving you the actual value, because like any other business, they need to make a profit.

Broome said although plenty of people still want to sell their gold, the fervor is not what it was even nine months ago.

"It was really mindboggling," he said with a bit of a chuckle. "To be honest with you, that is about all I had time to do for a while. Test gold, weigh gold and see what it was worth."

If you are still in the market to sell some gold, both Broome and Zweig advise people to shop around, be patient, and it is okay to be curious and ask questions.

Most of the time, gold that a jeweler buys is made into scrap. Both men say, if you gold has some sort of sentimental value, think real long and hard before you sell it. Remember, once it is gone, you will not be getting it back.

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