Soaring gold price triggers rush to jewelry boxes

Like a winning contestant on a game show, Michelle Dayrit exclaimed with joy as a gold dealer told her what he’d pay for her old gold jewelry.

“Oh my God! Are you serious? I can’t believe it!

“I was hoping for $100,” said the San Francisco State University junior, whose necklace, watch and rings brought in $1,230. “I just bought a computer; this will pay for that and then some.”

As the price of gold has skyrocketed – more than doubling since early 2008 – a modern-day gold rush is occurring all over the country. People are prospecting for treasure in their jewelry boxes or attics. Investors large and small are turning to gold as a safe haven during a time of turmoil on Wall Street and in the worldwide economy. Police in Oakland and other cities are reporting a rash of robberies of gold jewelry from pedestrians. More visitors to California’s Gold Country are trying their hand at panning in the Mother Lode.

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