By Rory Saunders

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. While studies indicate cosmetic surgery is popular in the United States – and becoming even more so with men – the procedures appear difficult to fund in a poor economy.

Cosmetic surgeons across the United States said in a recent survey conducted by the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery that both their patient volume and gross billings declined by one third during 2008.

The academy’s 2008 Economic Impact Survey, which polled cosmetic surgeons who are members of the American Medical Association, found that more of the doctors’ patients were choosing non-surgical procedures, such as Botox® and other fillers. The survey also said doctors have found that their patients are choosing less expensive procedures.

“This survey reiterates the struggle consumers have to afford cosmetic procedures,” said Dr. Patrick McMenamin, president of the AACS. “We are all feeling the pinch, but continue to be optimistic that the cosmetic surgery industry will rebound and in turn grow stronger next year.”

To fund some of the cosmetic procedures many baby boomers want to have to look younger, some are cashing in on the value of their unwanted gold, platinum and sterling silver, according to officials at GoldFellow.com, the trusted Internet-based, gold buyer.

“Lately we have spoken with a number of customers who were looking to fund luxuries, like cosmetic surgery, when they sell their gold to us,” said Michael Gusky, founder of GoldFellow®. “Because we pay better and faster than most gold buyers, we actually are able to help them achieve this goal.”

Selling unwanted gold is likely an option that many people have not considered – even though they probably have lots of it.

From 1975 to 2005, there was a gold jewelry explosion in the United States, according to the World Gold Council. Consumers bought more gold jewelry in those 30 years than during any other time in U.S. history. However, because Americans see their jewelry as a fashion statement, many don’t wear older gold in pieces that may be considered out of style.

At the same time, the price of gold has risen dramatically over the past three years. For those interested in realizing its value, they’ll likely find the cash they get for it can fund home renovations and many other luxuries.

To get the highest price, gold sellers must be educated about the cash for gold business, said Gusky, who sold his gold manufacturing business to legendary investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in 2007. He noted that many people have taken the time to learn about selling their gold – and profited significantly from doing so.

Gusky added that gold sellers should be aware that the prices of gold, platinum and silver change daily, since they are traded as commodities. Buyers of gold and other precious metals will melt down objects that contain them for their pure content and sell the refined product to international banks and precious metals dealers. So the price they pay consumers for their gold, for example, will reflect profits for buyers – some of which pay significantly less than others.

“Gold sellers need to do their homework,” Gusky said. “Compare prices and policies of gold buyers.”

Michael Gusky provides helpful industry insights into selling jewelry and information about the benefit of the jewelry industry. To know more about GoldFellow®, selling gold jewelry to GoldFellow® and gold selling today, visit www.goldfellow.com.