Investors buying up gold, precious metals during economic downturn

More people are buying up gold, silver, and other precious metals during the economic crisis. The metals tend to be go-to investments during tough economic times.

Gold has gained 12.5% this year, beating out most other assets.

Gold prices are hovering above $1700 an ounce.  They haven't been that high since 2012.

A steady stream of customers have been flowing into US Coins & Jewelry since the stock market tanked in March.

"It got really hectic there for a while.  There were people who wanted cash, and there were people who didn't want any cash at all, they wanted just metals," said US Coins & Jewelry's Kenny Duncan.

Gold and precious metals are usually considered safe investments in an economic slump.

"Gold is something you can put in your safety deposit box, or underneath your bed. You know it's cash and it's good anywhere in the world," he explained.

Not just gold, but silver and other metals, too.

"Silver is a lower price point and has a bigger upside. It's all-time high was $50 something. Today I think it's $17.50," said Duncan.

He says customers are buying both bars and coins.

"Generally people like coins because of their design and the way they're issued and minted."

Or they're bringing in their gold to sell for quick cash.

"Usually when a customer brings in a gold coin, we put it in our x-ray machine, the Spectrometer," Matt Duncan showed us.

The store shifted to selling online during the stay-home order.

"This whole entire place was just shipping. We had everything set up for shipping. It was like a hand-me-down way, an assembly line just going out the door and we were shipping a couple hundred packages a day," said Kenny Duncan.

But now customers are now coming back inside the store, following social distancing protocols. For those new to investing in metals, the advice is to educate yourself and use a reputable dealer.

"Make sure they're using the right equipment to test and verify metals, that they have a buyback of some sort.  Everybody can sell in this market, but not a lot of people are ready to buy it back," he said.

These links can help educate new investors about buying and selling gold and other precious metals.