The worst recession for decades has triggered an amazing “gold rush” for Birmingham jeweller David Johnson - with £30,000 worth of takings pouring in every day.
David, boss of Midland-based Rex Johnson and Sons, is in the middle of his biggest trading boom for nearly 40 years, and it’s entirely due to the downturn.
Punters cashing in their jewellery are ensuring rich pickings for the long-established Midland jeweller - and a major increase in his workforce whilst many firms in other sectors cut back. With gold prices at a near 30-year high, customers are beating the recession to turn personal jewellery into much needed cash.
David, whose business has mushroomed to include outlets in Corporation Street, Birmingham, Dudley, Coventry, Sheldon and Bearwood, said trade was at its highest since the business was founded as world governments boost their reserves in the depths of the recession.
He said: “This is all down to the price of gold. Today, we are paying £171 an ounce for nine-carat.
“As a business, we have been doing £30,000 a day for the last 18 months. At the Dudley shop, we’ve had people queuing for an hour at a time.
“With the economic climate as it is, jewellery shops have not been taking that much money over the last 18 months.
“But we are getting around 300 customers across the business with their gold and I do not think we have even touched the pinnacle yet. We are having the best time we have had since 1972.
“We are getting everything from pocket watches to coins, from engagement rings to wedding rings. A lot of people do not realise the value of what they have got.
“We were doing £5,000 a week two years ago and now we’re doing £30,000 a day.
“We had a workforce of eight two years ago and now we employ 50 people.
“From the Old Testament days onwards, the one thing that somebody could turn into currency was gold, and that remains the case today.”
David’s firm recently opened Rex Johnson Online in Bearwood, following on from other launches in Coventry and Sheldon to add to the original branches in Birmingham and Dudley.
The group is now looking to take on more short term leases, with plans to expand into Edinburgh, Aberdeen and elsewhere.