September 26, 2008

We Buy Gold

Several months ago, a good friend of mine gave me the gold wedding band that she wore during her two week marriage to a compulsive liar/con artist. I told her that I would get rid of the ring for her, as long as I could use the money from its sale to purchase frozen ice cream cakes and Yumster donut holes. She said my plan seemed appropriate.

My delay in selling the ring until last week was not due to a lack of options. In fact, there are several reputable jewelry stores in my area that either buy heirloom jewelry outright, or sell it on consignment. For some reason, however, selling the ring to Zales didn't seem right: a ring with that kind of history, I believed, belonged somewhere more classy and refined than in a mall jewelry store.

Last week, I found such an establishment in a strip mall next to Chuck-E-Cheese. Hanging above the storefront was a large red banner than read simply "We Buy Gold." Upon entering the store, my children and I were greeted by a middle-aged man seated at a card table. The remaining 1998 square feet of store space was completely empty, save several cardboard boxes huddled against the back corner and an abundant supply of electrical wires protruding from the walls, floor, and ceiling.

"You are in the process of renovating?" I assumed.
"No," replied the man in a thick accent, patting the card table. "This is all I need."
"I like a man who gets right down to business," I said.

The man ignored me and held out his hand. I handed him the ring.
My kids watched intently as the man produced a small arsenal of squeegee bottles and eyedroppers from a shoebox underneath his chair. After dropping several chemicals onto the ring, the man examined the ring with a magnifying glass. He was very nice to let my kids examine the ring too.

"Can I drop some of that stuff onto the ring?" asked Camber, pointing at the bottles of acid.
The man put an arm protectively around the chemicals.
"These are expensive," he said.
"And deadly," I added.

After putting the chemicals away, the man put the ring on a small scale. His eyebrows furrowed when he read the results.

"The scale says $44," he told me, "But for you, I will pay $50."

It took me a minute to mentally calculate how many donut holes this would purchase. After determining that the number was satisfactory, I told the man that we had a deal.

After tossing the ring into a Ziploc bag filled with bangle bracelets and a number of handsome gold nugget rings, the man pulled a $50 bill out of his pocket and handed it to me. He then ripped a piece of college-ruled paper out of a notebook and wrote two things on it:


Sliding the paper across the table he said, "I need your signature...for tax purposes."

As I scrawled my name, I felt relieved to know that Uncle Sam was going to get his cut of the sale of the ring. The appearance of the store had made me initially question the legality of the transaction, but I was glad to learn that my concerns were completely unfounded.

As we left "We Buy Gold," the $50 bill began to burn a hole in my pocket. My friend was getting off work in an hour, and we needed to move quickly if we expected to make all of our purchases before she got home.

There was another reason for my urgency: I had a gut feeling that "We Buy Gold" might not be open for business much longer and I had a bunch of gold chains and one large nugget ring that I was anxious to trade in for a dozen creme-filled eclairs.


Elisa said...

It just goes to show that you can find the silver lining in everything. I bet she felt better after you brought her 50 dollars worth of donuts and ice cream!

My Ice Cream Diary said...

Now if only bakeries and icecream shops would cut out the middle man and trade direct. I have several gold items I'd willingly hand the pimpley teenage brat at my local Baskin Robbins for a pint of the good stuff.

'Cuz I Felt Like It! said...

You've been tagged! Have a look at my blog to see what I mean. I'm farely new to the blogging world, so I'm just taggin' people that have blogs I like to read! Hope you'll participate!


WackyMummy said...

Love your posts.

I missed the one about the names, and of course, I have to add my 2 cents. I had to read halfway down before I found "Keiran", which is what I really wanted to name Evan. (But that would have made us KKK --Koreen, Kirk and Keiran-- which I hear would not go over well.) My husband's solution is to spell it with 3 W's and a silent Q. Which ensures it will never be pronounced or spelled properly. Just like my name: Koreen. Happy naming!

Anonymous said...

I was going to say I liked Cohen the best of the bunch because it is so close to Crohen's. But my Word Verification to leave my comment was Cokvjn, so perhaps you could do something with that... said...

Isn't gold like $800 an ounce? I would think it would be worth maybe $150 or so?

Glad you got donuts - at least both are circles of some sort.


'Cuz I Felt Like It! said...

WOW! 50 bucks!?!?! Who knew? I gotta go find me a "We Buy Gold" place!

Jana said...

Shopdownlite: No! Don't tell me this! I couldn't sleep last night, worrying that I jipped myself out of 50-75 additional donuts. Drats! Lesson learned, I guess. Next time, I'll remember to negotiate.

Nana's heart said...

Don't feel too badly Jana, I doubt he would have been willing to negotiate much---not with all that overhead in such a swanky place!