Monday, October 10, 2011

Gold is Falling

 White Sapphire and Sterling Silver Ring with 14K Gold Accents

Or as some investors like to say “The sky is falling!” Gold has taken a drop from a high a couple of weeks ago which was in the $1800 range and above to somewhere in the $1600s. While $200 or more is a relatively big drop, it’s only an approximate 11% drop in total value. Silver during this same period went from around $40 to $30; this is a 25% drop in price. Some economists are linking the drop in gold prices to an overall pull out by investors who are leery over the situation in Europe. They are stressing that cash is king and we may be seeing the beginning of a period of deflation. Economists are predicting that there may be further sell offs of gold stocks which may drive the price of gold down further. All I can say is yeah!

Gold has been so high lately that many of my customers ask about gold jewelry and then dismiss it. These are the customers who love the look of yellow gold and have other pieces in this metal. They are trying to match existing jewelry for a uniform look. Once they hear how much a simple gold necklace will cost or that pair of earrings, they move on. This can be discouraging for both retailer and customer. I love jewelry and I love to show what I have to my customers. I really do want to please a customer and am flattered when they tell me I have beautiful pieces. It is somewhat disheartening when a customer leaves because a piece they admire is so outrageously priced due to gold speculation.

 Matching White Sapphire Bracelet with 14K Gold Accent

Speculation can ruin a market. Just as speculators ruined the housing market, investors in metals are now potentially doing the same thing. This is hard to take because the only speculation I see in metals is whether they should be studded with diamonds or cubic zirconia? Should they have gemstones and what length of chain will look best with this pendant? I like to think about what is fashionable and attractive, not that the price may push it out of the realm of affordability for most consumers. It seems that it only takes a few people to ruin things for the rest of us. If gold pricing continues to either climb or remain unstable, the jewelry markets could see prolonged suffering due to uncertainties and instability in the economy, these factors make for jittery consumers.

I am hopeful for stabilization in the metals markets that will keep jewelry pricing static for a little while. This in turn may create confidence in purchasing jewelry since the consumer will know what to expect from week to week. Some consumers are holding off making large purchases due to fluctuating prices. Why would anyone want to purchase while pricing is probably at historic highs? With consumer confidence at extreme low points, it is hard to convince someone to part with their money, no matter how beautiful the piece. If speculators would stop trying to time the market or make a fast buck the entire economy may benefit, at least I hope so.

1 comment:

  1. I believe we will not see a strong retail environment until consumer confidence is back. That will require two things, stable prices in real estate, equities and commodities such as gold and we must see an improvement in the employment situation. The speculators and day traders are only making things worse for everyday working people.