Heavy Metal

High-price gold is here to stay for awhile, and jewelry retailers, manufacturers, and consumers are coping in various ways, despite the recession. Last year, the trade struggled with zig-zagging gold prices. Gold ended 2008 at $874 per ounce (average price) and briefly topped $1,000 last year (the high was $1,002, according to a chart on Kitco.com). In January it topped $900. Many analysts expect its average to pass $900 this year and hit $1,000 in 2010, boosted by institutional and individual investments (up 20 percent in 2008) seeking to preserve wealth and find refuge from bank failures, a U.S. dollar made volatile by recession and inflation, a weak world economy, and global politics. Meanwhile, worldwide gold jewelry demand, dampened by growing global recession, fell 11 percent in 2008, the lowest since 1989. The United States accounted for one-third of that decline. The 2008 Gol
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