Oct. 7, 2008 -- Gold is one bright spot in an otherwise bleak economy -- today it's priced at more than $850 an ounce. More people are taking advantage of the high price by looking no further than their dresser drawers.
January Thomas came up with the idea of gold parties after getting some much-needed cash for her gold at a relative's jewelry shop.
"It's your grandma's new-age Tupperware party," Thomas said. "The only big difference is that instead of having to go buy something you don't have to buy anything, you leave with money. There's no other party like that."
More people are hosting gold parties for fun, charity or to make some extra money, and Thomas is there with her scale and sensor to test the quality and content of the gold.
Barb Hendrick attended a gold party recently, hoping to unload jewelry she'd had since high school. She ended up leaving the party with $216 in her pocket.
"It's things I never even use or wear or ever will," she said of the jewelry.
Ann Cusmano, another guest, walked away from the party with the mother lode -- $1,246.46!
The 1980s were a golden era of bling -- thick chains and bracelets, enormous earrings and big rings.
I brought my husband's old gold rope bracelet from those days and found out I could get $105 for it.
Thomas pays the partyers about 75 percent of the gold's worth. At the party I attended, she cut checks for a total of $3,031.17.
Thomas takes the jewelry and melts it into a gold bar, then takes it to the bank before the market price fluctuates too much.
And Thomas says some funny stories come out of the parties. "I had one lady once who had a ton of gold and I asked her, 'Where did you get all this?' And she said, 'Honey, I've had three husbands!'"