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According to a historic city jeweller, many Brummies could have unearthed hundreds of pounds worth of gold during lockdown tidying up sessions in their homes.

David Johnson, who runs family jewellery business Rex Johnson and Sons on Corporation Street, the oldest independent jewellers in the city, believes that people could have unearthed long-forgotten golden treasures as well as broken items that could have spent many years waiting for repair.

In times of crisis, the world invests in gold as an alternative to cash which makes the price rise and since lockdown began in March, gold prices have risen by about 20%

Mr Johnson said: “For three generations we have bought and sold fine jewellery, much of it beautifully crafted in Birmingham. The very best pieces that we buy are on sale in our shop and online, but sometimes a piece of jewellery we buy is only as valuable as the gold that it is made from.

“There are nearly 500,000 homes in Birmingham and if only one in five of them had £10 worth of unwanted or broken jewellery, that’s £1million of treasure sitting in Brummie drawers. I urge people to have a rummage and then turn their discoveries into cash.

“Some pieces that were the very height of fashion in the 1970s or 80s will never be worn again. They were highly prized and sought after at the time, but things have moved on. Some of our customers are trading up and others, particularly where there’s also some sentimental value, are having their pieces restyled to be wearable again.

“When customers do want to sell those sort of items, it’s sometimes fun in the shop to reminisce about the times when they wore that jewellery, in the days of The Rum Runner, The Night Out or the Tower Ballroom. It’s also nice to think back to the days of wide shoulder pads and bell bottom trousers, but there’s no way any of that is coming back.

“I do have some potentially bad news for people who have an item that they always intended to get repaired and that is fine chains are notoriously difficult, if not impossible to mend. The same with earrings. The good news is that the gold has a value and the alternative to repair is selling the item for scrap or putting the cash towards a new piece.”

PR by Reeves Public Relations agency in Birmingham and Newcastle

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