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As investors send prices soaring for not only gold, but now also silver, consumers have been unearthing ancient stashes of silverware, teapots and jewelry from long-discarded beaus, and trading them in at pawn shops or selling them on eBay for cash. More and more cash, in fact, as weeks go by.
“We’re seeing an increase of people coming in from all walks of life because they hear the news — gold prices are at record highs, silver prices are at record highs, so they’re basically grabbing what they have in their home and coming in to pawn, or sell, the items,” said Yigal Adato, an owner of CashCo Pawn in San Diego.
The sharp increase in prices — on Friday, gold hit a new high, not adjusted for inflation, while silver in April had the largest monthly jump in 28 years — has had an effect across the spectrum of retailers dealing with precious metals. Plain old silver enjoys new cachet among jewelers moving away from gold. And jewelry designers are opting for cheaper alternatives than metals — like emeralds, in one case.