Gold prices at record high, many trading in or stocking up - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Gold prices at record high, many trading in or stocking up

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- The debt ceiling debate and the struggling US economy have driven the price of gold to a record high.

Gold was valued at $1,641.80 per ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange Tuesday,

The employees at the Coin Cradle in Kennewick say they've been very busy especially in the last few months. They buy and sell gold as well as commodity coins.  Brent Davis, a worker there says while some people sell what's in their jewelry boxes, there are people who are nervous about the economy and are turning to buying gold as an investment.

"We also have a lot of people buying because it is so high, they feel it may go way higher and they want to protect their investments with something that's solid like gold or silver," says Davis.

Randy Harris, the owner of Ace Jewelry & Loan in Kennewick says business has gone up about 20% this year and even more last month.

"I would say just last month another 40% over what we usually see.  There's a whole bunch of people realizing the value they have in their jewelry boxes," says Harris.

Harris says, the pawn shop deals mostly with buying gold rather than selling it.  He says they give about 60% to 70% of the market value for the jewelry that comes in.

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