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September 27, 2011 > Okla. company pays lease with gold bullion

Okla. company pays lease with gold bullion

By Don Mecoy, The Oklahoman
Submitted By AP Wire Service

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP), Sep 17 - A business that began as a booth in an Edmond antiques mall has leased 10,000 feet of office space on Wall Street, and paid its security deposit in gold bullion.

American Precious Metals Exchange, formerly known as Edmond Coins, presented its new landlord, Donald Trump, with three 1-kilogram gold bars as a deposit on the company's commercial lease for the 50th floor of 40 Wall Street, a 70-story skyscraper in Manhattan's Financial District that once was the world's tallest building.

Gold recently has been selling for nearly $1,800 an ounce, making Trump's three gold bars worth about $170,000.

American Precious Metals Exchange is based in the former Federal Reserve Bank branch in downtown Oklahoma City. The company, also known as APMEX, will take occupancy of its Wall Street office in about 90 days, and plans to have 25 employees at the site initially, with an option to increase space to accommodate as many as 200.

Finance and marketing staff will work in New York, while the company's distribution headquarters will remain in Oklahoma City, the firm said.

Founded in 2001, APMEX claims one of the world's largest selections of precious metals in bar and coin, sold mostly through its website at apmex.com.

Founder and Chairman Scott Thomas, an avid coin collector, opened a one-man coin business inside a downtown Edmond antiques mall in 1999. A year later, he moved his business to a nearby shop, then expanded to a larger Edmond store.

Thomas' launch of apmex.com generated growth outside the state, and the company later moved into the Federal Reserve branch building in downtown Oklahoma City.

In a statement issued by the company, CEO Michael Haynes said the New York office is an ideal site to continue to expand the company's operations.

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