Gold and Silver Prices Climb High; Jewelers Affected

April 16, 2006

Gold and Silver Prices Climb High; Jewelers Affected

After hitting a 25-year high of $604 last week, gold climbed above $600 an ounce in Tokyo markets Monday, putting more pressure on retail jewelers who are trying not to drive shoppers away with incremental increases in price.

The high gold prices were attributed to Iran's announcement of its nuclear plans as well as high oil prices.

Also Monday, silver reached a 23-year high at $13.01 an ounce early Monday and was trading at $13.14 an ounce around mid-day in Tokyo.

Dow Jones' MarketWatch last week reported last week that so far many jewelry retailers have been attempting so far to shield their customers from higher retail prices due to the price of metals. "Small jewelers have taken to metals-hedging strategies while large retail houses use their economies of scale to absorb the impact of the current gold frenzy," the report said.

The World Gold Council has said that consumers may pay 10% to 20% more for gold jewelry this year than in previous years. One jewelry designer told MarketWatch he was considering producing designers with less gold so that he didn't risk sitting on inventory, in case higher prices affect consumers' desire to buy.

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