All that glitters might not be gold, but if it is, it can fetch you a pretty penny.
A new business in Minot, Gold Times, is buying precious metals, including gold, silver, platinum and palladium at Minneapolis market prices.
Suzanne Caldwell, who along with her brother Blake Caldwell and Carlos Mathena own the business, said while Gold Times isn't the first to offer this service in the Magic City, it is the first to focus solely on buying precious metals.
"So basically what it is, is if people have jewelry that's out of date that they're not wearing anymore, or bars of silver or gold that they purchased in the '80s or '90s, class rings, anything you can think of that's not gold plated, but real gold or silver," Suzanne Caldwell said, "if you don't want it anymore, that's what we do, we buy it."
Gold Times is located in the Merle Norman building at 14 W. Central Ave. The phone number is 837-0333 and hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. The store is closed Sunday.
Typically, when the stock market falls, gold prices go up, according to Caldwell. That means the price of gold has been on an upward surge lately and perhaps a good time to sell an old piece of jewelry that's broken or simply not worn anymore.
The price of gold Tuesday morning was $1,257 per ounce for pure 24-carat gold. Just one month ago, the price was $1,196. By comparison, in the '80s and '90s Caldwell said gold hovered around $300.
That means that pile of jewelry that hasn't seen the light of day in years might be worth digging out and cashing in.
"If you don't use it, we will buy it and you'll get good money for it," Caldwell said.
A Minot native, Caldwell was working at a jewelry store in Minneapolis when they started buying gold about 2 1/2 years ago. Her family all lived in Minot and she started looking for a way to come back home.
When she checked out the gold buying market in Minot, Caldwell found a few places that did it on the side, but no one had made buying gold a full-time business. That was all the incentive she needed. Caldwell moved back to Minot and around a month ago opened Gold Times with her brother and Mathena.
"The one regret I had living in Minneapolis was I didn't see my family enough because they're all here. And so I thought, I can move back here, live with my sister, and open the store and have a business here," she said. "And that works out, and I'm seeing my family and doing something for Minot, too. So it's a good thing."
Business has been pretty good so far, and once word gets out and their advertising starts to get some attention, Caldwell expects it will pick up even more.
So far herringbone chains, class rings and bracelets have been some of the most common items customers have brought into the store.
"We've been getting a lot of the gold watch cases, like a pocket watch," Caldwell added.
Other items they've bought include coins, silverware and even a silver cup that looks to be quite old.
When items are brought into the store, a magnet is passed over them to do a quick check on the quality. Anything that isn't pure enough to be purchased will stick to the magnet and be given back to the customer.
The remaining items are then checked with a small probe and sensor to determine their exact quality. A small amount of gel is put on the tip of the probe, which is then placed on an item that has been attached to a sensor with a metal clip. The current running through the metal allows the sensor to determine its quality.
The items are separated into piles by quality and finally weighed to determine their value. Caldwell then uses Minneapolis market prices, which are updated daily, to figure out exactly how much to write the check to the customer for.
Caldwell stressed the condition an item is in has nothing to do with its value. Jewelry or other items that are tarnished or broken are just as valuable to her as a new item that has never been worn. The weight and quality of metal are what fetch a good price at Gold Times.
"The heavier the pieces are, the more money you get," she said. "It's not the number of items or the condition they're in, it's the weight. It's all based on weight."
She also noted they will try to remove as many precious stones attached to the item as possible and return them to the customer free of charge.
Caldwell doesn't care about the condition of the items because rather than resell them to other customers, she sells everything to a refinery in Minnesota, which in turn brings money back to Minot from out of state.