By  on August 1, 2011

Prices of precious metals continue to rise, but it’s gold — whichreached an all-time high on Friday of $1,637.50 an ounce— that hasseen the sharpest increase.

Industry experts predict that ifgold continues on its upper trajectory, prices will reach $2,000 anounce by year’s end.

Despite this, brick-and-mortar playerssuch as Richemont, Tiffany & Co., Bulgari and Signet haven’t seenmuch resistance from customers — and because inventory turns are justone time a year, the above are still going through gold purchased atlast year’s prices, according to David Wu, luxury goods and beautyresearch analyst at Telsey Advisory Group.

“[In 2010] the pricesdidn’t increase in as great of a magnitude [as this year], so they arenot as pressured, but they will start to see better pressure from therise in gold and silver next year. So far they have passed along priceincreases to the consumer in the first half of the year and they havebeen accepted by the customers,” Wu said.

Silver reached itshighest price of the month on July 26 at $40.98 an ounce, but this isstill down 18 percent since the record high of $49.53 on April 28(prices exactly a year ago were just $18.58). Analysts expect the priceto head toward $60 by the end of 2011.

The price of platinumwas down to $1,795 an ounce on Friday from $1,889 on May 2 — but thatwas still up 24.6 percent since August 23, 2010 when the price dipped to$1,516.

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