GOLD JEWELRY REACHES NEW HIGH Prospects never looked brighter for your gold jewelry business, based on a recent World Gold Council report that shows 18 consecutive quarters of sales growth. In fact, gold jewelry sales rose 10% in both dollar and unit volume in the first quarter of 1996, the highest percentage increase since the council started to track sales in 1988. First-quarter sales totaling 17.6 million units valued at nearly $1.6 billion followed a record-setting $10.7 billion in gold jewelry sales for all of last year. Increases were reported in every channel of distribution and merchandise classification, says the council. The explosive growth of discount stores in recent years is one catalyst for the growth of gold jewelry sales (they remain the smallest channel, but reported gains of 23% in dollars and 18% in units in the first quarter). Independent jewelers, the second l

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