Lyle Morse said he now keeps a box of tissues on his desk.
The owner of Lyleâ€™s Jewelry and Coin on Medinaâ€™s square said in addition to working as a jeweler as he has for 29 years, heâ€™s recently taken on the role of therapist.
â€œWeâ€™re doing a lot of buying of jewelry. A lot of people are needing money. Theyâ€™re getting laid off, losing their jobs, and they want to know how much their things are worth,â€ Morse said.
Chuck Young of Chuck’s Coin and Gold Exchange in Wadsworth. (Shirley Ware | Staff Photographer)
Sometimes, he said, tears begin to well up as customers let go of some of their prized possessions.
â€œYou can see thereâ€™s something there. You can see theyâ€™re disturbed by some-thing,â€ he said.
Morse said heâ€™ll then draw a tissue, offer consoling words and sometimes even recommend a local pastor.
â€œThey need money to pay their rent. They need money to pay their bills, to buy gas,â€ Morseâ€™s wife, Hazel, said. â€œSometimes we have to go back there and say a prayer and tell them theyâ€™ll get through this.â€
With the economy in a lull, area jewelers who pay for used jewelry â€”for resale and for scrap â€” are reporting a spike in business.
â€œSometimes I get a line of 10 to 15 people in here waiting to sell things,â€ said Chuck Young, who owns Chuckâ€™s Gold and Coin Exchange on Wadsworthâ€™s square and has been in the jewelry and antique business for 35 years. The last time Young saw such a boom was during the economic troubles of the 1980s, when gold was selling at $800 an ounce. Lately, gold has been selling around $900 an ounce, he said.
â€œIf the stock market goes down, the price of gold goes up. If oil goes up, the price of gold goes up,â€ Young said.
So not only do people want to sell their gold to make a little extra cash, Young said, theyâ€™re also buying it for a little more security.
â€œThereâ€™s people that are really, really scared,â€ he said. â€œThereâ€™s certainly people that lost a lot of money in the stock market and theyâ€™re buying silver and gold coins to hedge their bet against the stock market now because they lost so much money.â€
Those people, he said, are hoping the price of gold goes up even further.
â€œEverybodyâ€™s forming an opinion and nobody knows. If I was absolutely posi-tive gold was going to go to $1,500 an ounce, I wouldnâ€™t sell the stuff all the time,â€ Young said.
But he warned that those looking to sell gold likely wonâ€™t get market value when selling it over the Internet or at gold sale events held at hotels.
He said some vendors at a gold-buying event at a local hotel recently offered $9 for a pennyweight of gold. Young said he pays about $20 a pennyweight.
â€œYouâ€™re not going to get market priceâ€ with such businesses, he asserted.
One of his customers, Young said, brought him a collection of gold he had at-tempted to sell to an online-gold buying business. The company offered $107.56 for the manâ€™s jewelry, which included several gold rings. But Young offered him $398.
â€œSo many people come in here before they send their jewelry out,â€ Hazel Morse said, adding she has a growing collection of envelopes from the online gold-buying sites. Customers left them at Lyleâ€™s Jewelry after they received a better price from Lyleâ€™s than they would have if they had sent their jewelry away to sell.
â€œEvery time I see them advertising, I get upset,â€ said 84-year-old Medina resident Ida Fyffe, who sent a couple watches and several bracelets and necklaces to one of the online businesses. She received a check for 96 cents.
â€œI could have had a garage sale and maybe got $40 or $50 for all of that,â€ she said.
Fyffe said she doesnâ€™t plan to cash the check.
â€œNot that I couldnâ€™t use 96 cents, but thereâ€™s no sense in getting it cashed. That couldnâ€™t get a loaf of bread,â€ she said.
Contact Maria Kacik at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.