So who's more likely to rush in and sell gold when the price reaches new heights, Minnesotans or Californians? Minnesotans are more likely to respond rather than react, said Joe Beasy, one of the Gold Guys. In other words, gold at nearly $1,800 an ounce doesn't have us waiting patiently at the gold buyer's door before the store opens.


But business is up about 25 to 30 percent at the Gold Guys in Minnesota, said Beasy. And recent weeks have seen stairstep increases, he said.

"Minnesotans aren't panic buyers or sellers," said Paul Runze, owner of Grove Coin in Woodbury. "But some of them are greedy." When Minnesotans see that gold hit a high of $1760 they wonder if it will be $1,800 tomorrow, he said.

Gold's price remains below its 1980 record after adjusting for inflation. Gold began the year at $1,421.40. It has climbed steadily as worries rose about high debt levels in both Europe and the United States. It went above $1,500 per ounce in late May.

People bringing in gold jewelry today are generally women with orphan earrings and pieces from two, three or four years ago that they're tired of, said Runze.

The gold rush has passed somewhat, say some gold buyers. Silver is king now that sellers have discovered its value. A class ring might bring $200 today but a sterling silver teaset or flatware set can bring thousands. "We're seeing a lot more sterling sellers, " said Andy Strauss of Avi's Pawn & jewelry in Richfield.

For Twin Citians who could use a little cash from silver or gold, try Enviro-Chem in Rogers first. In a phone survey for 14K gold Monday, Enviro-Chem was paying $41.97 per pennyweight or $26.99 per gram. I have yet to find a local dealer to top that with one caveat. Gold coins are a different matter. You can usually get the highest price from coin collectors.

Anyone out there who can beat Enviro-Chem's prices?