Jewelers warn of scams as price of gold increases

Local News

If you are looking to buy or sell some precious metals, take your time and get multiple opinions

HUBBARD, Ohio (WKBN) – The price of gold has consistently gone up this year, and currently, an ounce of gold goes for $2,000. 

According to Thom Duma, of Thom Duma Fine Jewelers in Warren, the price of gold has a direct relationship with inflation, and as the dollar weakens, gold goes up. 

This has opened the door even further to scams. 

“Everybody comes in, they buy things off the internet, they think they’re getting a good deal, but usually, if the deal is too good to be true, it probably is,” said Ashley Hawkins, the manager at Hubbard Gold and Coin, which also has a location in Sharon.

Hawkins went on to explain how to spot fake gold. 

“Typically, if you have a 1-ounce gold coin, it should weigh 31.1 troy ounces,” she said. 

Troy ounces are a different type of weight for precious metal.

Weighing it is just one of the tests. They also test if it’s magnetic, and if it is, that’s not good. 

Another test involved placing it on a pad and a special pen is used to touch it, which reads the number of karats in the piece. 

If it’s fake, the meter on the screen shows N/A. 

They can also scratch the item on a stone and then they apply an acid to the scratch on the stone.

For example, to test if it is 14K then they will apply a certain acid to the mark, if it stays, then then the item is 14K, if not, then it isn’t.

Now, if you’re looking to sell, Hawkins said it’s important to do your research and make sure the buyer or seller is reputable. 

“Usually, I tell people you want to come into a licensed precious metal dealer,” she said. “They have the knowledge and the state comes in and checks on everything and makes sure you’re complying with the standards and everything you’re supposed to do.”

Once you walk into their shop, behind the counter on the right is their license from the state of Ohio, which they explained wasn’t easy to get. 

“That should be the first thing you look for because you know they’re doing what they need to do to stay open and protect the consumer,” Hawkins said. 

She also said some people lose thousands of dollars on fake gold, diamonds and coins.

“We try to educate the consumer and the public and try to help them,” Hawkins said.

They aim to be honest with their customers in an industry that is flooded with scammers and change the culture surrounding the industry through education. 

If you are looking to buy or sell some precious metals, Hawkins suggests taking your time and getting multiple opinions. 

“Always ask questions and always shop around,” Hawkins said. 

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