April 16, 2014

Medina
Mostly sunny
44°F

Selling golden memories

Maria Kacik
The Gazette

Lyle Morse said he now keeps a box of tissues on his desk.

The owner of Lyle’s Jewelry and Coin on Medina’s square said in addition to working as a jeweler as he has for 29 years, he’s recently taken on the role of therapist.

“We’re doing a lot of buying of jewelry. A lot of people are needing money. They’re getting laid off, losing their jobs, and they want to know how much their things are worth,” 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.

“You can see there’s something there. You can see they’re disturbed by some-thing,” he said.

Morse said he’ll then draw a tissue, offer consoling words and sometimes even recommend a local pastor.

“They need money to pay their rent. They need money to pay their bills, to buy gas,” Morse’s wife, Hazel, said. “Sometimes we have to go back there and say a prayer and tell them they’ll get through this.”

With the economy in a lull, area jewelers who pay for used jewelry —for resale and for scrap — are reporting a spike in business.

“Sometimes I get a line of 10 to 15 people in here waiting to sell things,” said Chuck Young, who owns Chuck’s Gold and Coin Exchange on Wadsworth’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.

“If the stock market goes down, the price of gold goes up. If oil goes up, the price of gold goes up,” Young said.

So not only do people want to sell their gold to make a little extra cash, Young said, they’re also buying it for a little more security.

“There’s people that are really, really scared,” he said. “There’s certainly people that lost a lot of money in the stock market and they’re buying silver and gold coins to hedge their bet against the stock market now because they lost so much money.”

Those people, he said, are hoping the price of gold goes up even further.

“Everybody’s forming an opinion and nobody knows. If I was absolutely posi-tive gold was going to go to $1,500 an ounce, I wouldn’t sell the stuff all the time,” Young said.

But he warned that those looking to sell gold likely won’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.

“You’re not going to get market price” 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 man’s jewelry, which included several gold rings. But Young offered him $398.

“So many people come in here before they send their jewelry out,” Hazel Morse said, adding she has a growing collection of envelopes from the online gold-buying sites. Customers left them at Lyle’s Jewelry after they received a better price from Lyle’s than they would have if they had sent their jewelry away to sell.

“Every time I see them advertising, I get upset,” 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.

“I could have had a garage sale and maybe got $40 or $50 for all of that,” she said.

Fyffe said she doesn’t plan to cash the check.

“Not that I couldn’t use 96 cents, but there’s no sense in getting it cashed. That couldn’t get a loaf of bread,” she said.

Contact Maria Kacik at (330) 721-4049 or mkacik@ohio.net.