The Midas Touch
A public broker for precious metals and diamonds, Tulsa Gold and Gems offers a high-end, financial institution style experience complete with transparency and a noncommissioned staff.
If you’ve never considered selling those old gold earrings of grandma’s in the past few years, you’re probably in the minority. As gold prices have skyrocketed due to economic forces like a weakened dollar, many Americans have sought to cash in by selling or borrowing loans on family jewelry.
But if your idea of what it means to sell your gold or put it down as collateral against a loan is a drive to a not-so-nice part of town to deal with sketchy characters, you’ve never been treated to the impeccable service and elegant environment offered by Tulsa Gold and Gems.
“My dad, E.W. Fisher, established the company about 35 years ago,” says Spencer Fisher. “My dad is still heavily involved in the company. He works just as hard, or harder, than the rest of us. This is his passion.”
When the business first started, Fisher’s father focused exclusively on diamond wholesale, supplying other buyers, dealers and jewelers. Fisher joined the company in 1999 after college. In 2007-08, an economic upheaval struck the country and offered an unexpected opportunity to Tulsa Gold and Gems — namely, the Great Recession brought on when the subprime mortgage market bubble burst, and the subsequent international banking crisis and housing market crash.
It was a perfect storm of financial messes in many ways. For Tulsa Gold and Gems, the issue was in diamonds. “The public wasn’t buying jewelry,” says Fisher. “Our market to jewelers and other dealers dropped. It really diminished our business.” The drop was balanced out, however, by the skyrocketing price of gold, which jumped to $1,000 an ounce, higher than it had ever been before.
At the same time, the business’s old location on 51St Street and Lewis Avenue was taken over by the Oklahoma Department of Transportation for the I-44 Highway expansion project. The message to Fisher and his father was clear: it was time to reinvent the business in some way. And if the public was interested in selling precious metals, Fisher decided their business could be in a position to buy.
In the process of transitioning from being a wholesale distributor to a public broker for precious metals and diamonds, Tulsa Gold and Gems moved to its new location at 91st Street and Yale Avenue. “It was perfect for us,” Fisher says. “We like the security of the building. It worked well for us layout wise. And business just took off immediately.”
Tulsa Gold and Gems offers a high-end, financial institution style experience. Customers notice the professional feel of everything from the gorgeously colorful, high-end aquarium in the lobby to the attentive service of the staff. Tulsa Gold and Gems has an A+ rating from Better Business Bureau. They even have two mascots — Fisher’s bulldogs, Tux (short for Tuxedo) and T-Bone, whom you’ll see in the business’s billboard ads.
Everything is arranged to give the customer a high-quality experience from start to finish. “We decided that we want to be very transparent and publish what we pay,” says Fisher. This is an important and attractive feature for customers because the price of gold changes minute to minute as it is bought and sold nationwide, much like the prices in the stock market.
The minute-to-minute nationwide gold prices are displayed on screens at Tulsa Gold and Gems for customers to see. And unlike many gold dealers, the Tulsa Gold and Gems staff doesn’t work off commissions, which ensures the customer gets the best deal.
“The staff actually work for the customer,” Fisher says. “They want to make it work. And there’s no haggling. If you know the weight of your jewelry, we even have a gold calculator on our website.” Prices are based on the exact composition of your item, which is also explained on their website.
For diamond purchases, Fisher employs gemologists with years of experience. The business also has a myriad of equipment to evaluate customers’ gold, silver and diamond jewelry before offering a price based on the current market prices. “We try to be as fair and accurate as possible,” says Fisher.
To aid in the business’s safe operations, there is a security guard present, and Tulsa police officers are present as well. The security operates 24/7, guaranteeing customers peace of mind as they do business.
Another aspect of Tulsa Gold and Gems that sets them apart from other gold buyers is their loan department, which is based strictly on collateral and runs within state regulations like you’d expect at a financial institution. And like their gold buying department, the loan department operates with the customer’s best interests in mind.
“Every new customer will get a zero percent loan for 60 days, for up to $25,000, on their first loan. Every customer who walks in the door is immediately approved,” says Fisher. “There’s no credit check. There’s very little paperwork.” The loans are collateral based. Any jewelry-related item, whether it be a Rolex to even broken pieces of jewelry, can qualify as collateral.
“Our hope is that people will come in, see the business, see how nice it is and how friendly we are, and come back for additional loans whenever the need arises,” says Fisher. Any future loans a repeat customer takes out are regulated by the state’s interest rates.
“Our percentage of return customers is extremely high,” says Fisher. “And that’s pretty much our whole philosophy. We’re lucky. We’ve earned it, and the people keep coming back."
Tulsa Gold and Gems
9014 S. Yale Ave., #200 | Tulsa
Monday-Friday: 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Saturday: 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
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