MERRICK - The sliding market has set off a gold rush of sorts, as investors seek safety from equities.

Long Islanders looking to take advantage of spiking gold prices have been lining up at local dealers to unload unwanted jewelry and coins.

Paul Yunengling says he decided now was the time to sell some gold jewelry. He says he got it appraised last year and is glad he waited.

"We had put it in to see how much it was worth and last time it was $300 to $400 - now it was almost $600, so definitely worth getting rid of all of the scrap jewelry," he says.

Economist Irwin Kellner blames the weakened world economy and the recent U.S. debt-ceiling debate for rising gold prices.

"Whenever there is uncertainty, people rush to gold," he says.