WASHINGTON -- A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives is aimed at cracking down on businesses that buy gold but don't make good on their promises.
The cash for gold business has been booming.
"One reason there's such a strong emphasis on gold is that everything else has gone down," said Stan Grossman, who has been in the jewelry business for 40 years.
Grossman said he's bought about $20,000 worth of gold from customers in the past nine days.
"For most people gold has a very emotional attachment to it. People who are buying gold, they are just buying a commodity," said Grossman.
And since the value of that commodity has gone up, so have the number of companies looking for golden opportunities to cash in.
Barbara Best caught an ad for a company called Cash4Gold, which encourages people to mail in their scrap gold for payment later.
She was hoping for a couple hundred dollars from the items she sent in, but she says the company, which is now in the middle of a class action lawsuit, has yet to send her any money. In fact, they say they never even received her jewelry.
"It's hurtful," Best said.
Grossman has this advice for people like Best -- take your jewelry to several reputable local shops to see what kind of trade-in they would offer.
"In today's market, we are paying $21 a gram for 22-karat gold," Grossman said.
Make sure the jeweler weighs the gold and tests it in front of you.
"We use an acid test. It's very accurate in determining what karat it is -- 10, 14, 18 or even pure gold," Grossman said.
Cash4Gold says it intends to vigorously fight the class action lawsuit. A representative said the company will send Best $80 for her gold.
The congressman in New York who introduced the House bill is also calling for the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Cash4Gold.