In today's economy, it is no surprise that gold, silver and platinum are attracting buyers and sellers on Maui and all over the world. The need or desire to sell precious metals can be just as important to some people as to buy it. For example, circumstances may demand funds for emergencies such as paying bills, buying a needed car or just taking advantage of a dramatic increase in gold values.
In the midst of this current market, Maui resident Brandon Harima opened Aloha Gold Buyers LLC.
"I was born and raised here on Maui, graduated from Maui High School in 1998 and have been in the precious metals industry since 2008," said Harima.
Brandon Harima has been in the precious metals industry since 2008.
Photo: Cindy Schumacher
Before opening his business, Harima had a vision.
"I wanted to be able to educate the community, so that the next time they decide to sell anything of value, they know exactly what they have and what it's worth," he said.
His business slogan says it all--"Honest and Always Aloha."
"I live by this every day," he said. "We live in Hawai'i and people tend to forget about what the true meaning of aloha is."
After being on the investment side of the gold and silver business, Harima reached a point in his career where he had to make a choice.
"I had a full-time job that paid me well," he said. "However, I was bothered when I heard stories of people being taken advantage of when selling their valuable items. This is what made the decision for me. I decided to take the money I earned over the years to start up my own business," Harima said.
Always wanting to make a difference somehow and impact people in a positive way, he took that leap and opened Aloha Gold Buyers.
Harima offers customers courteous attention to detail, professionalism and explanations of how the process and pricing procedure works. Clients are involved from beginning to end in the transactions.
"If you gather your precious metal pieces that are just taking up space or collecting dust, bring them over to Aloha Gold Buyers," said Harima, whose business buys gold, silver and platinum jewelry, gold and silver coins and sterling silver flatware.
Aloha Gold Buyers can help you determine how much your gold is worth by using the formula for calculating the per-gram value in the current market price of gold.
There are many ways of hallmarking, or verifying, the genuineness and the worth of an item. Most basically, scales are used to check the weight of the precious metal.
"Our scales are certified by law through the State of Hawai'i," Harima said.
There is a scratch test, which is one of the oldest methods known for testing the karat, or purity, of gold.
"I also use an electronic gold tester for an instant LED reading to determine if the gold is real," said Harima.
With the use of a loup, a small magnifier for up-close views of jewelry components, Harima can determine the karat as well as other characterizations of the piece.
"I heard about the integrity of Aloha Gold Buyers through word of mouth," said a Lahaina client. "Harima was so informative about the process and answered all of my questions. He exceeded all of my expectations on price and service."
It is interesting to know what happens to your pieces when you sell them.
"I buy the item and turn it over to precious metal refiners," said Harima.
When the pieces are refined, the precious metals are recycled and turned into small beads that are then purchased and used by the jewelry industry, coin makers and mints to craft new items and to make new coins.
"Pure gold is withdrawn and re-sold," Harima said. "It is a never-ending process of conversion from one use to another."
"What I care about the most is being successful, so that I may have the opportunity to help others in need," he said. Harima feels that, "If we live in Hawai'i, we should help one another out."
Demonstrating that he really does have a "heart of gold," this past July, Harima held a community fundraiser at Aloha Gold Buyers to benefit 7-year-old Waikapu resident Xander Munson.
In April 2011, Xander was diagnosed with medulloblastoma after he complained of seeing double while in school. A few days after his diagnosis, doctors completely removed a cancerous brain tumor.
"Xander has endured two additional surgeries as well as weeks of radiation, chemotherapy, numerous blood transfusions, and several years of follow-ups are scheduled," said Harima. "However, he has remained positive through his numerous hospital stays and trips to O'ahu and has inspired me in so many ways."
On behalf of Aloha Gold Buyers and Xander and his family, Harima thanks the community for their donations and support.
"It warms my heart to know that there are still people who actually care," he said. "And, Xander is doing well."
For "Honest Prices with Aloha," visit Aloha Gold Buyers at 900 Eha St., Ste. 204, in Wailuku or call (808) 250-9602.