SOUDERTON — One business is leaving Main Street Souderton, but another is taking its place.
Rich D'Amico, owner of Consign for Design Home Treasures, is closing the store and retiring to spend more time with his six grandchildren, he told Souderton Borough Council at its June 10 work session meeting.
"I've been here 14 years, do you believe that?" D'Amico said. "It's been a great run. Not going away. I still own two buildings in town. I'll be up here probably once a week just doing maintenance on the buildings."
In looking for a new tenant for where his store was, he wanted to find a business that would draw people into Souderton and contribute to the town positively, he said.
When he first was asked about the possibility of a gold exchange moving in, he said no, but then did some checking around and found his preconceptions weren't accurate, he said. He also talked to Sam Kamees, who is planning to open Buxmont Gold Exchange in the building, and was impressed with Kamees' honesty and integrity, D'Amico said, introducing Kamees to the borough officials.
"Very simply, what do I do?" Kamees asked, then answered.
"It's nothing more than I purchase and sell precious metals," he said. "That could be gold, that could be silver and platinum primarily."
Kamees said he was manager of information services at Moyer Indoor/Outdoor (Moyer & Son at the time) for 6.5 years after which he owned Harleysville Computer Service Center from 1996 to 2011. The plans for Buxmont Gold Exchange come from having looked into recycling precious metals from computers and training himself to refine gold and silver, he said.
"After I got involved in that, I realized that maybe what I really needed to do was to serve the community with the ability to give the community more money than they're getting from the current system," Kamees said.
That system includes jewelers and pawn shops that also buy and sell gold and silver, as well as exchanges, he said.
"This is an exchange. We simply purchase and we give a fair price for it," Kamees said. "I think a person really should get more for their precious metals than what the average gold exchange or buy shop is offering."
In answer to a question from council member Jeff Gross, Kamees said he's looking at an Aug. 1 opening date, but it could be a little sooner. He said he also plans to have a table at Third Fridays before then to start letting people know about the business.
"I want to be able to have an avenue for people to be able to come in and say, what'll I do with this, and we tell them," Kamees said. "I want to educate the community on the mysterious ways of gold and silver, and believe me, if they're educated, they'll do the right thing for themselves."
That could include advising people to go to other dealers who can offer more for things such as collectible coins, he said.
In answer to questions from Mayor John Reynolds about the possibility of stolen items being brought to the business to sell and about security, Kamees said all the precious metals transactions must be reported to the state and county, including identification and fingerprints of the sellers. The business will have a full security system, including cameras that will record both video and audio, he said.
The precious metals he purchases will be taken to and sold to a refiner, Kamees said in answer to a question from council member Dan Yocum.
The business could also have retail sales of items such as coin tubes or coin collection folders, he said.