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At a Brooklyn pawn shop, customers are flooding in to sell gold

Section: Daily Dispatches

By Yvonne Yue Li, Jack Ryan, and Sybilla Gross
Bloomberg News
Sunday, April 14, 2024

Investors and metals traders can't agree on what exactly is behind gold's recent rally. At King Gold & Pawn in Brooklyn, the customers don't care. They just want to sell.

For some, sky-high values simply mean it's a good time to cash in; It's hard to ignore record prices that climbed above $2,400 an ounce last week. For others, it's a more desperate move to get money for bills and rent. Whatever the need, what's clear is jewelers and pawn shops are seeing a flood of sellers.

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"People are using gold as an ATM they never had," said Gene Furman, owner of King Gold & Pawn and Empire Gold Buyers. At Furman's 5th Avenue store, the number of people coming in selling and pawning gold jewelry is more than three times above normal levels since prices started to rally in late February.

Among them is Branden Sabino, a 30-year-old IT specialist, who sold a gold necklace and a gold ring last week.

"Prices are high, and I need cash," he said, adding that with the cost of rent, groceries, and car insurance rising, he doesn't have any savings.

The speed and magnitude of gold's ascent are astonishing -- since the 2024 low in mid-February, it has rallied 17%. 

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