LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The high price of gold has the local pawn shop businesses booming, as more people dig through their jewelry boxes for gold items they can trade or sell for cash.
On Friday, an ounce of gold cost $1,092.00. Though that was down 11 points from the previous trading day, the price is still near its record high. That means gold is one of the most valuable commodities right now.
Butch Tinker, owner of Big A Pawn Shop on Prien Lake Road in Lake Charles, says more customers are finding gold and pawn shops a great combination, especially since it's hard to get fast cash from banks and other lending institutions.
"A lot people have single earrings, broken rings or necklaces that they're not going to repair," said Tinker."With the record price of gold now, a lot of times they're pleasantly surprise with how much they can get for it."
Many people are also mailing in their gold to companies who advertise frequently on television. Recently several of these businesses have come under intense scrutiny. New York Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) has even called for the Federal Trade Commission to look into one company's "deceptive practices," after hearing several complaints from sellers who say the company didn't give them the promised price for their gold.
Tinker says it's best to just go local when you put your gold items on the market.
"These are local customers [in our shop]. We know these people. These are people who know us and we treat them fair," said Tinker.
Keep in mind, jewelry is not pure gold. So, customers more than likely won't be walking away with more than a few hundred dollars.
Experts say before selling or trading to any gold buyer, consumers should get several quotes from different brokers.