Gold prices hit new benchmark

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NEW YORK (AP) -- It's a boon to investors, but a turn-off for jewelry shoppers.

Gold prices hit a new benchmark today at $1,000 an ounce. That's a jump of nearly 20 percent since the beginning of the year, and follows a year that saw gold prices rise nearly 32 percent.

And those who are fond of gold jewelry say they've noticed prices going up lately. One New York City shopper says she'll wait for prices to go back down before buying more gold items.

Big retailers order products up to a year in advance, so the latest increases may not be felt for a while. A spokesman for Tiffany says other factors, such as the labor involved in crafting a piece, are also important in determining jewelry prices.

Still, he says it's "a fair assumption" that the price of gold jewelry will keep heading up.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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