How to Navigate the Modern-Day Gold-Buying Market

Over the past couple of years, soaring gold prices have inspired many retail jewelers to reclaim their gold-buying heritage. However, the tactics they use in approaching the secondary market have evolved considerably since the 1980s—the last time ­jewelers needed to market their gold-buying services to the public. “For the first time in a long time, retail jewelers are actually taking back what business they lost, namely to less reputable gold-buying outlets,” says Patti Geolat, founder and CEO of Geolat Companies, a specialist in appraising, brokering, and selling fine jewelry.A brief history of the modern gold-buying market should help put things in perspective: Retailers gave up their hold on the secondary gold market in the late 1980s, when the advent of shopping malls gave rise to retail chains that soon began to outnumber family-owned and operated jewelry stores. Managers of

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