Silver Jewelry Sales on the Rise
Source: China Business News (6/20/11)
"Ever-climbing gold prices have consumers opting for silver."
Local jewelers say recent record gold prices have shifted customer habits from buying new gold jewelry to buying silver, repairing old jewelry and selling unwanted gold.
Those in the business are seeing silver—43 times less expensive than gold at $35.75 per ounce as of Friday's close—starting to supplement gold in virtually every category of new jewelry.
That's even as silver reached its own record high—$49.21—earlier this spring.
"Silver is becoming the new gold," said Jack Turner, an independent jeweler in Hallowell. "Let's say a gold ring is $500. A silver ring that looks just like it may be $80."
Jack Turner, a jeweler with a store in Hallowell, said prominent jewelry companies are rolling out wider lines featuring sterling silver. Kim Colwell, the manager of the G.M. Pollack & Sons store in Augusta, said her store's vendor has also established a new line of silver.
"The prices of gold are making it hard for people," she said. "We're seeing this in a big way."
Colwell said that, even though gemstones in sterling silver pieces are becoming more popular with consumers, engagement ring sales still trend toward gold because it is more durable.
Jimmy Peters, the store manager at GM Pollack's Waterville store, said unit sales there are up, but overall sales are down.
That tells him people are moving away from buying high-end items and looking to repair or sell jewelry.
"People keep telling us they're waiting until gold prices are down, but they just keep climbing," he said.