The New Gold Rush: Kevin Hunt Looks at Who Pays the Most for Your Precious Metals

by Categorized: Consumer Affairs, Data, Finance Date:

For his The Bottom Line column and blog, the Courant’s Kevin Hunt toted two gold coins and a silver bowl to a dozen pawn shops, jewelers and gold-and-diamond exchanges to see how widely prices varied in the booming market for precious metals.

We’ve all seen the ads for Good Ole Tom’s and Fast Eddy, as well as pitches from more-staid buyers, including tony suburban jewelry stores. With gold prices rising and a recession squeezing consumers, it’s a growing business.

So who ponies up the most money? In his column, Hunt said the pawn shops and gold-and-diamond exchanges he visited generally offered more than jewelry stores. But his top advice: Do your homework and know what your goods are worth before shopping for offers.

The chart below shows what various stores offered to pay for Hunt’s bounty, with the highest offer more than 50 percent above the lowest. Click the image for an interactive chart with more figures.

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7 thoughts on “The New Gold Rush: Kevin Hunt Looks at Who Pays the Most for Your Precious Metals

  1. Robert Middlebrook

    The only thing that stinks about this article is you mixed the coins and the bowl in the comparison. The bowl is definitely less defined than a minted bullion coin. I would have liked to see if they list came up the same if you dropped the bowl. There could have been three tests here. The one you did, a bullion test, and a scrap test for the bowl. Bullion and scrap are two different things and as a consumer it would have been nice to see how they stacked up there. The bowl is the only thing that was really subjective here. Poor test with results that don’t tell us much if we had bullion but who might value subjective metal higher.

    1. gary dinowitz

      I was the appraiser who provided the value on the Tiffany Sterling Silver bowl. I factored in the weight and the value of the piece being an antique silver bowl from the early 1900s.

      The same bowl regularly sells at auction, depending on silver spot price, for between $450-$600.

      Nobody in the business would scrap a Tiffany Sterling piece, they are highly prized and all businesses buying precious metals know to look for Tiffany, Cartier and other high end makers.

  2. Matthew Kauffman Post author

    Robert: While the blog post includes only the total amount offered for all three items, the original article includes dollar amounts offered for each item separately. (Click the image in the post to access an interactive graphic, with tabs for the individual items.) I’m not sure if that completely addresses your concern about the methodology, but you will be able to see what the various businesses offered for the coins, independent of the bowl (though I believe one business insisted it would only purchase the entire set).


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