Spike in gold prices draws investor interest

FRESNO, California

The price of an ounce of gold closed at $1,602.00 Monday. On Tuesday it dropped 14 points to $1,588.00. This year gold prices have jumped 12-percent this year and investors have taken notice.

A one ounce gold coin is worth close to 16-hundred dollars. A handful of gold has become more attractive to some investors worried about the stock market. But financial planner Sandy Brown warned reacting out of fear often leads to irrational investment decisions. He explained, "Every single solitary day there is someone who is asking whether they should take their monies out of the stock market and invest in either gold or silver."

Brown said the answer is different for each individual. Investors who years ago looked at gold for its long-term stability are seeing a nice return. Brown said, "It does surprise me. When I got into the business 13-14 years ago gold was $200 an ounce and now we look at a day like yesterday it tops $1600."

The Fresno Coin Gallery in central Fresno has had trouble keeping gold bullion in stock. High prices have people are cashing in unusual gold items aside from old jewelry. Co-owner Philip Foster said, "We've had people bring in large gold nuggets that have been found up north of here. We've had people bring in reading glasses that are made out of gold so the higher price is bringing some items out of the woodwork."

Foster said a lot of customers come in and ask if this is a good time to sell the gold coins they've collected. "For the most part I'm telling people if you don't need the money right now a lot of people are predicting it's going to go up. We don't know for sure."

Because of the rise in gold prices, Foster said sometimes customers sell older necklaces and get back more money than they originally paid for the jewelry.

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