Near-record gold prices —approaching $1,000 an ounce—and a weak economy are two reasons gold-selling parties are popping up around the country.
"Gold parties work similar to Tupperware parties," says Katie Kupferschmid, who buys the precious metal at such parties in the New Jersey area. "A hostess invites all of her friends ...They come, bring all their gold, I weigh it and test it and pay them out money for their old gold scrap."
The reasons people sell their gold vary, according to buyers. Some are looking to recycle old jewelry while others are hoping to make a little extra cash in hard times.
"I was at a party recently where there were nine women, and seven of their husbands were out of work," says Kupferschmid. "One of them made about $1,000 and she was thrilled and had tears in her eyes and said now I can pay my mortgage this month."
The payout depends on the karat and weight of the gold, and, of course, the closing price of the commodity that day. Kupferschmid, like the many others who facilitate these parties, buys the gold, sells it to a refiner and keeps a portion of the sales.