Photo by: PNL

The Price of Gold

Photo by: PNL

There was a time when I wore gold jewelry. Then, it became too traditional for me, so I wore it less. Finally, occasions at which I might have worn gold jewelry, even if it were not too traditional, vaporized from my life. The timing of these two trends was fortuitous. It would be bad to have a stash of fancy necklaces and bracelets but have nowhere to go to wear them. I forgot about my jewelry. You can wear beads and glass and pearls anywhere, even if you have nowhere to go. I wear beads when I have nowhere to go.

Today, I took my collection of gold jewelry to a store and sold it. It included my old wedding band and other gifts from my then-husband. When we lived in Chicago, our neighbor, Joe, was a jeweler. Most of what I found in my closet last night came from Joe’s business. I’m thinking that he brought it home in his pocket and my then-husband went next door to buy it. It was all very lovely, if you like gold jewelry. Once, Joe pulled out sapphires and rubies from his pants pocket, like jelly beans.

Anyway, while I was waiting for the appraiser to evaluate what I had brought to the store this morning, I listened to a conversation that a woman was having with one of the clerks at the other end of the counter. She had a necklace with a difficult clasp. She could not put it on without looking, and wanted to know how it could be changed.

“It is just me at home,” she said.

The clerk suggested something that might be easier. She called over the jeweler who would make it for her. He told the woman, Barbara, that he would have to readjust the ends of the necklace and fabricate an entirely new clasp. It would cost $95.

Barbara thought for a few minutes. She was in her sixties, I think, and had a grey hairdo and pink lips.

“Not now,” she said, threading the necklace back into its sack. “It’s not that I have anywhere to wear it.”

For now, I have my children at home. If I can’t close a necklace clasp, I can ask one of them to do it for me. If I need a scratch in the middle of my back, they certainly can reach. If there is a bug in my hair, they will tell me. People who live completely alone can walk around with gnats in their hair and not know it. What else couldn’t Barbara do, I wondered, thinking, really, about what I should start practicing. I have figured out the buttons up the spine, the zippers, the attic. I need to work on the sunscreen and the twice yearly bed flipping. It is a challenge to avoid crashing into the ceiling fan. Once, before I was married, I removed a wall-to-wall carpet from underneath a twin bed, desk and chest of drawers, myself, and hauled it down a three-story walk-up to the curb. I can flip a bed.

Before Barbara left, another woman approached the counter, in between us. She was buying cuff links, an anniversary present.

“How long have you been married?” the salesperson asked.

“Forty-two years,” she said, not smiling.

The saleswoman was impressed. The woman said nothing else, returned her credit card to her wallet, and left. Barbara gazed from the end of the glass. I took my money and deposited it in the bank.

Pamela Gwyn Kripke is a journalist who has written for The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Redbook, Child, Parenting and Southern Accents, among other publications.

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The point is how and what Gold Jewelry can be of use to anyone...adornment and self-esteem booster or just hoarding without benefitting out of it in any form or by giving it to loved ones for them to treasure...for me l have lots that in times of immediate financial needs, pawned and retrieved it back because l love to wear them for adornment and someday heirloom for my grandchildren......


If anyone is interested in looking to earn a little extra cash or raise money for a charity or organization, please host a Gold Party. I am a gold and silver buyer certified through Golden Girls LLC.

Hostesses earn 10 percent of the value of the gold I purchase. I also support my hostess' fundraising efforts by contributing a portion of the proceeds from every piece of gold I purchase...

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Thought provoking-thanks, Pamela.

I have a number of rings and some necklaces. All are gold and most have either diamonds or rubies. I love wearing them. Times have been hard so right now, they are all in the pawn shop. At those times, I look at them as assets. Can't pawn hubby's tools because he might need to repair something and he can do it well and cheaper than hiring someone.

Yes, living alone poses a lot of challenges. I lived alone for 15 years...

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I'm not sure that the point of this story is about the value of gold jewelry, she seems to be commenting on marriage. The only married woman is obviously unhappy, and buying jewelry. The other unmarried woman has jewelry but can't wear it. And she, divorced, is selling her jewelry. As in, the price of gold is an unhappy marriage? Again, not sure what the point of this is, but it leaves me confused.

I'm the stereotypical Italian woman-I can't decide what necklace to wear, so I end up rocking them all, "Mr. T" style,it's always kind of been my trademark. Plus, it looks so nice on my naturally olive brown skin. Looks terrible on my husband, whom is blindingly white, though.

could you tell me where you brought your gold jewelry to get pawned or appraised and sold? I want to sell my beautiful wedding band and engagement ring since I am going through a divorce. Do you get close to what you bought it for? Let me know some honest places who will give it's true worth. I live in Vienna. Thank you.

Our needs change. Our ideas about "needs" change. To me, this is about a slice of life and how our ideas change as we age. The woman who came in to buy the cufflinks -- was she happy? It certainly didn't feel like happy to me while reading. This article sums up a lot about being alone, being divorced, which is a very real reality for a whole lot of us who somehow ended up in a relationship that just didn't work. I'm one of these people and this article touched my heart.

After reading this article, I could not help but think wouldn't it have been nice for you to collect the money from the gold jewelry that you didn't want or care about anymore, (which was also probably stolen), and given the older lady the $95. It really would have made the both of you feel great!

My mom passed away 5 years ago and I have all her gold, some of which is bent, tangled or not my taste. The pieces that are sentimental I kept and the others I am melting down to make into new jewelry. In fact, I am making a ring (of their design choice) for each of the women in my family from my mom's gold so that they will all have a little something from her. I go to a class in San Diego, offered by Jay Whaley (at Whaley Studios)...

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Poignant and (bitter)sweet reminder of the things we take for granted and strength we have but don't recognize. Thank you for this post.

I thought this post was beautiful. It made me cry. Great use of an everyday situation to illustrate our phases in life. The lady who couldn't buy the clasp is an example of little things I wonder about all the time in people I see out an about too. I'm grateful for my three kids at home right now as well. Excellent writing.

I understand the story and it's meaning. However, I would like to know how much you where paid per ounce, per gram?? I have some jewlery from the 70's that I would never wear again and my daughter just gives me a funny grin when I ask if she would like it in her inheritance. LOL It's very heavy, some 18K and all have diamonds.....

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it is important to keep ur due time it would be of great help....or just keep those gold of urs to benefit others,ur daughters or grandchildren in the near future...i also love gold and keeping those gold of mine 12 years ago...probably i might give them to my only daughter..hoping that she will value those golds as much as i did....most of those golds are with sentimental value...and hoping it will be safe in my custody..thats it...thanks

I too just sold some of my gold jewelry. I am trying to eliminate unnecessary items from my life. I strongly recommend getting several prices before deciding who to sell to. The first jeweler I took my items to seemed a bit rushed and rude, like he was doing me a favor. I was even told that some of my pieces marked 14K were actually gold filled, according to the acid test. I had actually purchased jewlery from this jeweler. His offer was $195...

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