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IOWA CITY – Customers of the I.C. Pit Stop can do more than purchase fuel, food and general goods. They can also do some selling of their own -- specifically, they can sell their gold. The gas station and convenience store, located at 300 Kirkwood Ave. in Iowa City, Iowa, has also served as a gold buyer since 2011, according to a report by TheGazette.com.
Owner Mark Paterno stated that customers come in to sell gold items every day or two. “A lot of rings, a lot of broken rings, broken earrings -- mismatched or like somebody loses an earring -- ex-boyfriend jewelry, divorced men with their wedding bands," he told the news outlet. “A little bit of everything."
Paterno said he has studied commodities, especially gold, for years, and got the idea to combine his store with a gold shop from a trade magazine before seeing one in Chicago. He also operates a dedicated gold-buying shop in Ankeny, Iowa.
In the state of Iowa, gold buyers must use a scale that is licensed and inspected by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's Weights and Measures Bureau. The I.C. Pit Stop and Paterno's other shop do not have certified, inspected scales, but the bureau will contact him, department spokesman Dustin Vande Hoef told The Gazette. He added that the bureau focuses on educating businesses, and reserves penalties for those using inaccurate equipment.
Paterno stated that he uses scales acquired from jewelry suppliers and believes they're accurate, and that he searched for licensing information before setting up shop and didn't find anything.
Store clerks at the I.C. Pit Stop have been trained to evaluate gold items and typically test a piece to ensure it is real, weigh it, determine its purity and then make an offer, said Paterno.