At Philadelphia's Wolf Jewlers, customers are coming in. Not to buy - but to sell, CBS News correspondent Randall Pinkston reports.
"We call it a gold rush. People would come in and bring me their scrap gold," said Bob Wolf, the store's owner. "That's what we call it in the business - it's half an earring, or it's a dented piece."
In two days, Cynthia Jones-Shirley has made $600 by scouring jewelry chests.
Pinkston asked: "so, you're converting something that was sitting in your drawer into money?"
"Yes, wedding bands that … married … divorced," she said.
She's cashing in now because gold prices are climbing from just over $400 an ounce three years ago to more than $900 today.
Throughout history, gold has been a safe harbor.
"In times of turmoil such as what's going on with the stock market and the economy right now, people tend to gravitate towards gold," said Kevin Grady, of MF Global.
More investors buying gold means more demand - and higher prices.
This new gold rush means Bob Wolf makes money.
"Every dollar I lay out, I get back $1.10, a $1.15," he said.
So does Matt Garfield, president of the Garfield Refining Company.
"We're very, very busy," he said.
Garfield's company refines scrap gold purchased from jewelers, and dental labs, selling the purified gold bars on the world bullion market.
Last week, he put his employees to work around the clock.
"I had a number of bars from the bad old days of $250 an ounce, I'm thinking of cashing them in, but I'm not quite ready yet," Garfield said.
Some analysts predict the precious metal will soon top $1,000 an ounce. In these tough economic times there is a silver lining.