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With Gold Hitting New Highs, There's Cash in Them Thar Jewelry Boxes

Gold and silver prices are soaring, prompting Plainfield folks to unload grandma's silverware and old class rings, necklaces and earrings.

With the price of topping out at $1,500 an ounce Tuesday afternoon, a new record, folks are digging deep into their jewelry boxes to turn broken earrings and old gold chains into serious cash.

Jeweler Mark Peters has been buying precious metals and gems in Plainfield for 20 years. But he’s never seen anything like the gold and silver boom sweeping the country right now. He’s seen his buying business triple over the last year, Peters said.

“It’s a very steady flow,” Peters said. “People are bringing in their gold chains and things that were popular in the '70s and '80s, and either taking the cash or trading them in for new.”

A large men’s class ring, for example, can fetch $300 to $500, he said.

Michelle Waldorf, a Plainfield mom, says her family sold some silver and coins two years ago, when the price of gold was $1,150 an ounce, she said.

“It is enticing when things get this high," she said. “Everybody has some broken necklaces laying around their jewelry box they can get rid of.”

The price of silver is soaring, too. At $43 an ounce, silver is bringing in more than it has in the last three decades, Peters said. It's worth about eight times what it was 15 years ago, experts say.

People who are “sick and tired of polishing the family silver” are bringing it in and using the money to help feather their retirement nest, Peters said. It is not uncommon for Peters to pay $1,000 for a silver tea service, he said, and he has forked over as much as $1,800.

Debbi Moore, a Plainfield mom, said the high-flying price of precious metals has her and her husband talking.

“I wish I had some family silver or some extra gold laying around,” she said. “If I had something I didn’t want, I would definitely be selling it now.”

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