It's a gold rush to Grand Rapids-area coin
shops By Emily Monacelli
| The Grand Rapids Press
Friday October 03, 2008, 8:46 AM
GRAND RAPIDS -- As the economy continues to
shake, cashing in on gold is sounding better than ever to
And gold dealers are reaping the benefits.
So many people are rushing to buy gold the U.S. Mint last
week temporarily suspended sale of American Buffalo 24-karat
The demand exceeded the mint's supply and depleted its inventory,
according to a U.S. Mint spokesman.
The value is good for gold, with the precious metal closing
at $880.70 per ounce on Wednesday.
That has been good news for gold dealers across West Michigan,
who are getting more calls about buying and selling precious
metals than ever before.
Dan Diemer, of Diemer's Coins, Jewelry &
Collectibles LLC, 4982 Plainfield Ave. NE in Plainfield Township,
is getting 10 to 20 calls daily about gold.
Last year, he was getting about 10 calls a week.
People are seeking gold as an investment, a hedge on the
market and to balance their portfolios, he said. Most popular
are the American Eagle and Chinese Panda coins.
He recommends buying gold not as an investment to sell when
prices go up, but as reassurance.
If someone encounters tough times, such as an illness or
loss of a job, the gold can be cashed in.
"A lot of my clientele is very savvy on the market and
what's going on with international and local markets,"
he said. "They don't trust the government with their
Globally, there's more demand for gold than what is being
produced, said Al Annibali, owner of The Coin Shoppe, 1760
44th St. SW in Wyoming.
"People as a whole don't feel very comfortable with
the direction this country is taking, so they're looking for
ways to diversify," he said.
Because of demand, dealers are paying more for gold.So much
more, in fact, that Chris Miner, owner of Holland Coin &
Jewelry, 12465 James St. in Holland Township, does not buy
gold unless someone walks in to sell it.
His store has been out of 1-ounce gold coins for two months.
"It's a huge increase of demand on any kind of gold,"
Miner said. "It doesn't really matter. People are buying
any kind of gold coins we have."
Dealers typically buy gold under its value, and sell it for
more than its going price. For the first time, Diemer said,
he has seen mark-ups of $50 per coin.
Dan Pelak said he is buying gold and selling silver at his
Wyoming shop, Accent Jewelry & Collectibles, 522 28th
"There's been an everyday rush on people selling their
gold simply because the times are so tough in western Michigan,"
Silver, which closed at $12.72 per ounce Wednesday, is easier
to trade in smaller increments than gold, Pelak said.
While people eager to invest may be rushing to gold dealers,
one financial adviser is urging caution to those considering
a gold investment.
"They need to think through the process," said
Bob Stark, president of Calder Investment Advisors, 96 Monroe
"The whole idea of buying it is having it there when
you need it most, and that's another trip back to the coin
For people looking to buy gold, he has a suggestion: keep
it as cash.
"Normally, when these kinds of concerns are out there,
we're getting close to the end of whatever's happening, and
we're getting close to the next phase," Stark said.
"People don't usually make a lot of money when they