CANNY divorcees are taking advantage of record high gold prices and selling off their wedding rings to beat the credit crunch.
One jeweller has received more charms in a fortnight than during the last decade with its own staff even trading in their unwanted items.
The demand has led to shops extending their opening hours to cope with the number of customers wanting to cash in their ‘old gold’.
Jewellers are now encouraging anyone with unwanted trinkets to earn themselves some extra Christmas cash.
Despite the current economic uncertainty gold has surged in value and recently hit a 25-year high price.
During the past twelve months alone it has gone up a massive 60 per cent.
Wholesale jewellery company, Macintyres of Edinburgh, say they have been inundated with trade-ins from opportunist sellers.
Steve Turner, 50, owns the New Town shop with his wife Gaynor who lends her maiden name to the business.
Steve, from Edinburgh, said: “During the past two weeks we have taken in more old gold than in the previous ten years – about £10,000 worth.
“Some people are even returning items which they bought from us a few years ago and are getting the same amount back due to the increase in gold’s value.
“The current economic climate is the obvious reason for the surge in trade-ins but the fact gold currently isn’t in vogue is also a factor.
“We’re happy to pay cash for all gold so long as it has a UK hallmark – people are certainly taking advantage.”
Macintyres have recently extended their opening hours and customers are keeping them busy with a variety of unwanted items.
He said: “Just a few days ago a customer came in with a chain which was too big for our scales so we had to take it to the post office to weigh – it was like something Mr T would wear.
“It’s all about turning a redundant item into cash and our staff have even been taking advantage.
“Many people bring in their old wedding rings to sell. One divorced lady was recently joking that trading in the ring had earned her more money than she’d been given by her husband in ten years of marriage.”
Yesterday Gold was trading at $725.60 an ounce having slightly fallen from a record high.
Macintyres was established by the couple in 1994 with the aim of supplying high-quality jewellery at wholesale prices.
The couple spotted a gap in the Edinburgh market between chain store jewellers and the top independent companies.
As well as stocking a massive range of natural diamonds and other precious stones, the company also sells bespoke and branded jewellery and watches, and gifts such as quaiches, silver frames, hipflasks, and ornaments.