Up and down the East coast, cash-strapped shoppers are trading in gold and silver, not at pawn shops, but at the mall, the Boston Globe reports. Merchants at kiosks buy the precious metals for less than half of market value, but customers are still pouring in. “It's certainly something that was done in the days of the Depression,” said one expert on commodities investing.
The demand for gold is booming, and the seller’s motive is often simple: a present for a grandchild or a meal. Or melancholy: “It gets rid of the emotional baggage,” said one teen who sold a pendant meant for a girlfriend who dumped him. Still, one coin dealer suggests people would be better off skipping the kiosks and going elsewhere for a fairer price.