Make cash off your jewelry
It’s not too late to create your own gold rush: The “Gold Guy” is coming to Breckenridge to pay cash for your stash of gold.Ron Denning has lived in Eagle County for 29 years. He’s a jeweler who aims at serving the Western Slope when it comes to offering a line of ski charms he created – including detailed skiers, snowboarders, chairlifts, gondolas, snowflakes and snowmobiles- as well as transforming people’s unwanted gold and silver into cash. He’ll be at Breckenridge Jewelers this weekend.Store owner Danny Badwan brought Denning back into town after he had several requests from customers who missed the first events. Gold is selling at an all-time high, Denning said, because as the dollar continues to slip in value, the worldwide market prefers to put its money into gold. Six years ago gold brought in $300 an ounce, and now it’s at $949.Denning tests every piece presented to him by taking a small scratch of metal from the surface (like chalk on a board, he said), then adding an acid solution to it. Through this process, he can decipher whether it’s 10-, 14-, 18- or 24-karat gold. (14 karat means that 14 parts out of 24, or 58.5 percent, are gold. European jewelry often stamps gold with 585 for 14-karat, 750 for 18-karat, and so on.)Denning said his prices are competitive.”I’m probably paying the same as in Denver, except (you’re saving gas money),” he said.Once he buys the precious metals, he takes them to a refiner in Denver, then buys recycled gold and silver to create more jewelry. Since gold mining is so harsh on the environment, he advocates recycled gold. In fact, 80 percent of sold gold comes back into the jewelry industry.Denning’s passion for designing jewelry started in high school when he took a class, followed by an apprenticeship in Iowa. Denning confirmed his path was destined for jewels after someone stole his construction tool box off the back of his motorcycle in Vail. He didn’t have enough money to replace his tools, so he instead answered an ad for a jeweler at the Golden Bear in Vail. In 1991, he opened his own business with partner Jim Hagius, HD Studios, Fine Designs in Gold and began selling his charms. Breckenridge Jewelers has been carrying his charm line for nine years.
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