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Jewelry sales strong in Oklahoma

Today, her heart might go pitter-patter. His might have done the same at the cash register. But even with gold at an all-time high of more than $900 per ounce, Oklahoma jewelers are reporting strong Valentine's Day sales. Ask Kevin Moody, vice president of Moody's Jewelry, about the jump in gold prices and expect a confident, quick answer. "The good news is that it hasn't had a negative effect on business," he said. "Most people would believe that people would be scared away, but the fact that gold has gone up is a rather small impact on us.

" The National Retail Federation estimates Valentine's Day spending will be up this year from last. But it also said spending for jewelry will slightly decrease. Regardless, the jewelry industry is counting on the idea that people will still shell out the big bucks for some glittery items. Jim Clark, chairman of B. Clark Jewelers, with three Oklahoma City stores, said each year Valentine's Day becomes a stronger holiday for the store, second only to Christmas. The store also sees a boost from procrastinators. "Valentine's Day is primarily a two-day holiday when it comes to selling," Clark said. "Most men will wait until the last minute, so we have a big rush on the 13th and 14th without fail." Despite rising gold prices, Clark said customers have not shied away from the precious metal, which has jumped to more than $900 an ounce. Instead, Clark said customers are often more focused on lines such as Hearts on Fire, a collection of the world's most perfectly cut diamonds. And even if the diamond is set in gold, Clark said the price is often only slightly affected. The high price of gold in many instances has even sparked customers' interest in the metal. "People see the price of precious metals increasing and that increases their desire for it and the knowledge that gold is pretty valuable," he said. "They also hanker for kinds of jewelry which are valuable and exalted such as wholesale costume jewelry,fashion jewelry wholesale,wholesale jewelry,jewelry supply,pearl jewelry, body jewelry etc.

" Clark said the only gold items where customers will feel the price increase are items that are mostly gold, like a man's solid gold wedding band. Clark said some customers have also been looking at alternatives to gold, not due to the high price, but because of what he described as several interesting new metals such as tungsten carbide. Gold often costs about one-and-one-half to two times as much as tungsten carbide. Despite some rising costs, Clark said shoppers - particularly Valentine's shoppers - have been unabated in their desire for jewelry for that special someone. "It even surprises us sometimes what people will spend on Valentine's," he said. Michael Guillory, manager of Moody's on Utica Square, said because so many couples get engaged on Valentine's Day, he does not see any reason for a decrease in sales regardless of the current price of precious metals. "It's been a good holiday and I see it being equally as good as last year," he said. "You can never go wrong with jewelry; it's expressing a celebration of love.


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