After more than eight years as the co-owner of Collectors Coin and Jewelry in Lynbrook, Jason Joseph said there has been a surprising uptick in sales during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Since the pandemic hit, we have been seeing a growth in our business,” he said. “It has been over 70 years of reselling, refining and replenishing jewelry, watches and luxury items.”
For as long as Joseph can remember, he said, he was interested in buying objects from garage sales and markets for the purpose of reselling them. As time passed and he grew older, he said what started as a small passion grew into his livelihood eight years ago when he took over the Collectors Coin and Jewelry business, which has operated for more than seven decades.
“I love what I do,” he said. “A lot of people get involved in jobs that they don’t like, but I’m very happy with my career.”
Part of Joseph’s job involves buying gold, jewelry, watches and luxury items that customers bring to his shop as scrap items, and refining and replenishing them for resale. Before revamping the items, Joseph evaluates them to identify if they might lead to a resale on the market without him having to refine them. If the items are not suitable for resale, Joseph will melt them down and refine them.
“Our business is set apart from other businesses because we are honest with customers and we give them a fair offer on their items,” he said. “One of my favorite parts of my job is meeting so many new people and it’s fascinating to learn about the history of jewelry and about the culture behind the jewelry.”
Alongside Joseph is his work partner, Eddie Bud, who has been working for Collectors Coin and Jewelry since he was 12. Joseph and Bud were college roommates at the University of Miami. Through their years in college, they both said they recall the times they would tell each other continuously about how they hoped to live out their dreams of selling and buying items full-time.
For Bud, he said, looking back at his elementary school years, he can remember writing a short essay that discussed how he wanted to buy and sell items in his future.
“Now I laugh because it’s funny how my elementary school dream came true,” he said. “This job taught me a lot about being polite, patient and cordial with others and throughout this pandemic, so many more customers have come to us.”
With the pandemic still in full effect, people have been spending a lot more time at home sorting through their old jewelry and luxury items, and the amount of customers coming to the shop has continued to climb, both owners said.
Also, during times of uncertainty, for reasons Bud said are still not fully understood, people tend to want to buy and sell silver and gold more frequently.
“After the recession hit, silver and gold went up in sales … if I knew why, I would be a bazillionare,” he said with a laugh. “I think it might be because buying and selling silver and gold allows people to put their money somewhere safe — especially during times when the economy is bad.”
Even with the uptick in customers, Bud said, he still has worries about the business because it has been around for 70 years.
“It feels good to be a part of this legacy and to be trusted, but it’s kinda scary,” he said. “Once a lot of businesses hit the 50-year mark, their businesses hit a sour note because of lack of maintenance, so we have pressure to keep up with a lot.”