Gold Crush

The cost of the gleaming yellow metal may be at all-time highs, but jewelers who can stifle their own sticker shock and sell the aesthetic appeal of gold jewelry can turn a tire kicker into a collector.In the fourth quarter of 2010, a couple in their mid-60s came to K. Jon’s Fine ­Jewelers in Atascadero, Calif., to replace a broken money clip—a 30-year-old piece of substantial weight rendered in 14k gold. “I knew the couple was not current on the gold price, so I said, ‘Let me just calculate the cost to make it,’?” recalls owner Stan Sherwin. The price of the gold sheet alone was $1,500. When factoring in labor costs to replicate the cobblestone-textured surface, set with a U.S.-issued $10 gold bullion coin, the final bill totaled $3,000. Anxious about the price, the jeweler was eager to suggest alternative options so as not to lose the sale. So when the couple agreed to the

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