Most of us have at least a few of them: sterling silver pieces we long ago relegated to a closed cabinet or the lowest shelf of the display curio. Every now and then, we may think about trading them in for a different silver piece perhaps, or even cold, hard cash. But the process seems a bit daunting. How do we know if it’s a good time to sell precious metals? How can we be sure we’re getting the best possible price for our items or a good deal on a trade-in?
Bumi Fried, proprietor of Fried Silver on Central Avenue in Cedarhurst, is accustomed to addressing these concerns.
“It’s impossible to predict with any certainty if and when silver and gold will drop or increase in price,” he says. “So if you have reason to sell your silver or jewelry, it makes sense to just go ahead and do it. The important thing is to choose a dealer who’s known for always paying top dollar and giving clients the full value of their item in a sale or trade-in.”
In the relatively short time Fried Silver has been in business—the store opened in 2013—the establishment has indeed built a reputation for impeccable integrity and reliability. “In real estate, the mantra is location, location, location; in the precious-metal trade, it’s honesty, honesty, honesty,” says Bumi. He credits his late father, who ran a business on 47th Street for over 45 years, for passing down high ethical standards along with his knowledge of jewelry.
Fried Silver has also become well known for its unique, yet amazingly well-priced selection of sterling silver and jewelry pieces. “Because every item in our inventory has been purchased at a fair price from a private seller—we never buy from wholesalers—I’m able to turn around and sell to the next person for a very small profit. My goal is to generate quick merchandise turnover; I’d rather sell quickly at a great price than hold on to merchandise indefinitely, as most retail vendors will do.”
The differences between Fried Silver and a typical retailer don’t end there.
“The price a retail store will offer for pre-owned silver or jewelry is generally based on weight only,” Bumi observes. “But when I offer a price, I always take the details and workmanship of a particular piece into account. And since most of the silver and gold I buy is in perfect condition, buyers know they’re getting huge discounts on pieces that are actually worth a lot more.”
In a way, says Bumi, he’s a little like a shadchan.
“I keep lists of specific pieces clients are looking for—a six-branch leichter, an Italian becher, an eternity band, a top-of-the-line watch, anything with filigree, and so on. When a piece on a client’s wish list comes in, I pick up the phone and let them know.”
Like any good shadchan, Bumi values and protects his clients’ privacy. “People often sell or trade in silver and jewelry simply because they want to update or streamline their collections. But there are many other reasons for selling. A woman going through a divorce may decide she no longer wants certain jewelry pieces, for example. Or adult children may decide to split the cash value of their parents’ estate. And there are always those people who sell because they really need the money.
“Whatever the reason for the transaction, clients—even those who just want to make a purchase—are entitled to their privacy. And because we do business by appointment only, they know that at Fried Silver they’ll get it. We even make house calls.”
To accommodate clients’ work schedules, Fried Silver offers early morning and evening appointments. “I do what it takes to accommodate a customer’s needs,” says Bumi. That policy extends beyond store hours. “Sometimes clients will bring in pieces to which they clearly have sentimental attachments. I always tell them that unless they really need the money, they should just hold on to them.”
That was the advice Bumi gave a woman who recently came in to sell candlesticks that had been passed down to her from her late grandmother. “She seemed unsure about her decision—so I recommended she keep them. ‘Maybe you’ll pass it on to your daughter one day,’ I told her. Now whenever I meet her, she thanks me for encouraging her to hang on to those candlesticks.
“I may have lost a deal, but I definitely gained a customer.” v
Shalva’s Saturday Night Live With David Broza
Nearly 200 people came to show their support for Shalva at its June 21 Saturday Night Live concert with David Broza at the Lawrence home of Amy and Ron Friedman.
“This evening marks the 15th consecutive year for this extraordinary Shalva–Five Towns partnership,” said Yoni Leifer, this year’s co-chair and MC, noting that it was a source of great pride for himself and his wife, Jamie.
It was a picture-perfect evening under the tent, where guests dined from a fabulous buffet that included homemade pizza, omelets, waffles, ice cream, and a smoothie bar.
The concert was a huge success. Proceeds from the evening will provide scholarships for children to attend Shalva’s summer day and sleepaway camps. Shalva’s six-week summer day camp and special eight-day sleepaway camp are a dream come true for any youngster. This year’s camps will be Shalva’s biggest to date, with the goal of accommodating nearly 200 campers.
The cost of a full scholarship, which includes both the day and sleepaway camps, is $1,500 per camper.
Thanks to Shalva’s annual Five Towns Saturday Night Live benefit, special-needs children in Israel can enjoy a fun and meaningful summer camp experience. At the same time, their parents can have the respite they desperately need in order to recharge and regroup in their quest to be better parents and spouses.
To make a donation to Shalva’s summer camps, visit www.shalva.org or call 212-725-0900. v