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The ads on the radio promised money for gold at Perry’s jewelry store, and Vatogna Steward didn’t want to miss out. So she gathered her high school and college rings, a bracelet, a broken hoop earring, and an old ring her mother had left her and lined up in the SouthPark store.

After a half-hour wait and a few minutes in an appraiser’s office, she left with a check for $288.

“Basically, I got back almost what I paid for most of it,” said Steward, 45, an accountant who lives in north Charlotte. “I was really shocked.”

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