18 Apr 2013

Bargain hunters join the gold rush as prices drop

Sales of gold bullion and gold chains are boiling over as Sydney buyers rush to buy at bargain prices of around $1332 an ounce, about $200 cheaper than four days ago and $400 cheaper than when the price peaked two years ago.
Not since the global financial crisis have the phones rung so hot from gold buyers, said Jordan Eliseo, chief economist of the Australian Bullion Company on Pitt Street.
- Chasing a good deal: members of the public line up at the Australian Bullion Company on Pitt Street to buy gold. Photo: James Brickwood
Sales had been so strong the company's phone system nearly crashed. The company had to hire temps to deal with customers phoning and waiting in queues of up to 60 to 80 to get into the company's already crowded salesrooms.
The company's chief executive, Janie Simpson, only had time to email, ''OMG, it is bedlam - has been like that for 3 days!!!!''
Mr Eliseo said more than 95 per cent of the company's business right now was selling gold.
''Everyone who wants physical gold is seeing it [the drop in the gold price] as an incredible buying opportunity instead of seeing it as the end of the gold market,'' he said.
It's not just sales of physical gold that are booming.
Roy Cohen, director of The Gold Company and First Gold, said interest in gold savings accounts were also ''exploding''.
Froy Fernandez, manager of pawn brokers Andrew Cash & Co in Blacktown, said sellers were hanging on to gold but there were plenty of people buying gold, especially 18 and 22 carat bracelets and chains. He'd been surprised by how many savvy buyers checked the gold price before visiting the store.
For consumers, the drop in the gold price to a two-year low means a chance to buy something impressive for much less. Builder Craig Kilby of Windsor, who was shopping at Linda & Co Designer Jewellers in Broadway this week, said he was ''definitely'' making plans to buy some gold jewellery to give his wife on Mother's Day.
The impact of the fall in the gold price had been ''massive,'' said Michael Sobbi, manager of the jeweller.
''We are selling a lot of solid gold chains,'' he said. A heavy gold bracelet which normally retailed for $10,000 would be about $1200 cheaper after the fall in the gold price was taken into account


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