Cashing In on the New Gold Rush

By Ben Steverman - 2012-11-12T22:53:07Z

Photograph by Rex Features via AP Images

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Gold-plated Gadgets

For a few wealthy consumers, there's apparently no object that can't be improved by covering it in gold. A gold-plated iPhone 5 is the top seller, fetching 2,695 British pounds ($4,300), for online boutique Goldstriker International, says founder Stuart Hughes. He sells gold-plated phones, computers and even cars -- mostly to customers in China and Hong Kong. Stephen Polsky, owner of Maryland-based Metro Plating & Polishing Inc., says he's been hired to gold-plate car logos, bathroom fixtures and even -- as a promotion for a vacuum company -- a vacuum cleaner. (Its cost: $1 million.)