Modern-day gold rush on

With gold selling for record prices, many people are parting with family heirlooms

Geoff Beattie of Barclay’s Fine Custom Jewellers in Oak Bay acid tests a necklace to determine the karat quality of the gold.

Geoff Beattie of Barclay’s Fine Custom Jewellers in Oak Bay acid tests a necklace to determine the karat quality of the gold.

Ounce for ounce, pound for pound, few things are worth more than gold.

It’s the hottest commodity around and it’s becoming even more popular for investors.

This modern-day gold rush has people rummaging through jewelry boxes and drawers to trade yesterday’s treasures in for cash.

Some of the reasons for selling are practical. When Shelley Smith needed money for grad school two years ago, she  sold  off  gold  jewelry that belonged to her mother, who had recently passed away.

She didn’t want to resort to student loans and said the gold had no meaning to

her. “I know my mother

would (approve of) me using it for betterment,” she said.

She made $3,500 from the sale, half of what she needed to obtain her degree.

Geoff Beattie, owner of Barclay’s Fine Custom Jewellers in Oak Bay, has been buying gold on a daily basis from clients like Smith.

He knows the rush is on.

“Everyone is aware that gold is at an all-time high,” he said. “People read it in the paper and since it’s been peaking, it is now at $1,500 an ounce. People are bringing in their gold if they are not wearing it.”

About 12 years ago, he said, gold was selling at between $350 and $400 an ounce. “We did do the odd trade of gold, but it wasn’t anything near what it is today.”

Brian Kotila, manager of Olde N’ Gold on Fort Street, said the reasons for people selling are as varied as the customers.

“But there are two main thrusts: people who need the money or don’t need the merchandise,” he said.

The past two years have been busy for Beattie. “Once it got over $800 and broke $1,000 it was seen as a milestone. Who knows what will happen? It could go up or down. It’s not the first time that gold has spiked and dropped dramatically.”

Bruce Crowle, vice-president and investment advisor for RBC Dominion Securities Victoria, said the pricing is a matter of supply and demand.

“The gold market is not a huge market. One of the big factors in gold pricing is the fact that no additional supply from mines has come into place in the last 10 years and the demand for gold for investment purposes has skyrocketed in recent years,” he said.

India, Russia and China are buying much of the gold. The sixth-largest holder of gold is SPDR Gold Trust, which trades on the New York Stock exchange and owns more than $53 billion of the material.

“When you buy gold and hold it in vaults around the world, there is less supply in the marketplace,” Crowle said.

Years ago people wanting to buy gold would purchase it through a jewelry store or their local bank and then pay to insure it and store it.

These days it can be bought and sold on a daily basis in RSP accounts, investment accounts and exchange-traded funds.

“Historically, gold has had a relationship with inflation and a lot of investors move to gold when there is uncertainty in the world,” Crowle said. “In our opinion, gold is meant to be a portion of a client’s overall investment portfolio and not to make up their entire portfolio.”

For those looking to divest of gold, ads on TV suggest mailing it in for cash. Beattie doesn’t recommend it, adding that people looking to sell should go with someone they trust.

“We are recyclers of gold. People sell it directly to us and then we send it to the refinery in Toronto.”

There are many other jewellers who are reputable and safe for this transaction, he said.

“A lot of people are reluctant to put metal into an envelope and send it off to a business. The prudent thing to do is deal with people you know and shop around to see if you are getting a fair price.”

Beattie has had people in his shop looking to sell more than $5,000 of gold jewelry, but the majority are in the hundreds.

Past predictions of gold’s pricing have been inaccurate, Crowle said, but it has been in a bull (rising) market for 10 years after a few decades of underperformance.

– with files from Emma Prestwich

editor@oakbaynews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alphabet Zoo Early Learning Centre wants to relocate from Langford to 3322 Fulton Rd. in Colwood, but has not been approved for a P-6 zoning by Colwood council. Residents who neighbour the property, have expressed concern to the Goldstream Gazette regarding the potential daycare site. Neighbours Ryan Landa and Selene Winchester said the noise of construction has been disruptive to the area, and the property is not suitable for a daycare. (Photo contributed/Ryan Landa)
Proposed West Shore daycare stirs up controversy amongst neighbours

Neighbouring property owners are concerned about traffic, noise that a daycare would bring to the area

Oaklands Elementary’s Division 5 Grade 4/5 class posed with Leila Bui (middle), her dad Tuan Bui (crouching to her left) and mom Kairry Nguyen (right) after presenting the family with a cheque for $710 raised by the students during a necklace sale in December 2020. (Photos courtesy Kairry Nguyen)
Victoria students raise funds for girl seriously injured when struck by vehicle in crosswalk

Oaklands Elementary class contributes to purchase of all-terrain wheelchair for Leila Bui

According to Statistics Canada, new housing starts and value of building permits in Greater Victoria rose in January 2021 compared to January 2020. (Black Press Media File)
New housing starts, value of building permits up in Greater Victoria

Cost of new housing also rising in region, now in excess of $1.15 million for a new detached home

Saanich Fire Department. (Black Press Media file photo)
Fire displaces three Saanich families from two homes

Saanich firefighters found the fire had spread to a neighbouring home upon arriving

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
‘It’s been a good week’: Tam hopeful on vaccines as pandemic anniversary nears

Tam says the addition of two new vaccines will help Canadians get immunized faster

A woman walks through Toronto’s financial district on Monday, July 30, 2018. A new poll suggests most Canadians believe there’s still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in this country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Canadians, especially women, say gender equality not achieved in Canada: Poll

Poll results themselves underscore the challenge, with more men believing equality had been achieved

This image provided by Harpo Productions shows Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, left, in conversation with Oprah Winfrey. (Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via AP)
Race, title and anguish: Meghan and Harry explain royal rift

Meghan said she struggled with concerns within the royal family about her son’s skin colour

Const. Allan Young. Photo: Abbotsford Police Department
Manslaughter charge laid in Nelson death of Abbotsford police officer

Allan Young died after an incident in downtown Nelson last summer

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is administered to a personal support worker at the Ottawa Hospital on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 in Ottawa. Doctors in Alberta have signed an open letter asking for prioritized vaccination of health-care staff who work directly with patients on dedicated COVID-19 units. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
COVID vaccines for seniors in B.C.: Here’s how to sign up

Seniors 90+, Indigenous seniors 65+ and Indigenous Elders can book starting March 8

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

The Port Alice pulp mill has been dormant since 2015. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Parts recycled, life returning to inlet as as old Port Alice mill decommissioned

Bankruptcy company oversees de-risking the site, water treatment and environmental monitoring

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Most Read