Costco has been selling one-ounce gold bars online that customers are snapping up within hours, Business Insider reports.
The gold bars are so popular that Costco is limiting two per member, Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said on Costco’s fourth-quarter earnings call Tuesday.
Costco’s website lists 24-carat gold bars from the Rand Refinery of South Africa for $1,949.99 and from Switzerland’s PAMP Suisse for $1,979.99.
U.S. gold futures were trading at $1,891.30 Wednesday morning.
Costco’s gold bars are shipped insured via UPS and require signatures upon receipt. The listings say that they may not be returned or refunded.
Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey allegedly accepted bribes including gold bars, according to an unsealed federal indictment last week. This has sparked interest in the yellow metal, although demand for gold was already on the rise this year as people have been looking for ways to hedge their savings against inflation, CNN reports.
The failure of a string of regional banks, starting with Silicon Valley Bank, which catered to venture capitalists, stoked further interest.
"A lot of people were fearful thinking, 'Maybe my money is not as safe as I thought it was in the banking system,'" said Jonathan Rose, CEO of Genesis Gold Group of Beverly Hills, Calif.
The banks collapsing was "a wakeup call, a feeling of helplessness" for many people, Rose said.
U.S. debt ceiling negotiations have added to the demand for gold, according to an August report from the World Gold Council, which says purchases of gold bars and coins in the U.S. hit a 13-year high in the second quarter.
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