Thursday, 25 August 2011

So you think you own Gold?

I heard an interesting rumour yesterday from a friend in the industry. We were discussing the price of gold which is an all to often had conversation these days with the 182% price increase over the last 5 years. With banks and government currencies becoming much less of a sure thing in investment terms people have been looking into what else they can put their money. Hence the massive hike in gold price, it seems to be about the only thing that is guaranteeing  a suitable return for investors with even oil prices finally dropping.

So the rumour was that not all the gold that is being sold actually exists (yet) people have been selling gold at such a rate to investors that some of the gold simply doesn't exist but on paper! Either it hasn't been mined yet or just isn't there and hopefully no one asks for all their gold at one time! If its true or not who knows but its a fairly interesting idea, and something that I wouldn't put past people trying to make some quick money!

I had a quick look around and found a few things that seem to support the idea at least;

"Most gold investments, including some billed as “physical” bullion investments, really amount to someone owing you metal that you do not actually hold legal title to. This is not just a matter of nit-picking semantics. If someone owes you gold or silver, the other party may be a reputable dealer or even one of the world’s largest and most reputable banks. In any normal circumstance, they are going to be able to make good on their obligation to you. But hold on… If the reason you decided to buy gold or silver bullion in the first place was to hedge against the risk of a major “black swan” event, i.e. a ‘non-normal circumstance’ such as a currency collapse, hyperinflation, or worse, having someone owe you gold may not be the form of protection or insurance you thought it was. If the rationale for favoring precious metals is in part is to avoid having a counter-party who might default on its obligation, being owed gold by such a counterparty does not help you."

Food for thought at least!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Hallmarking survives Red Tape Challenge !

"Hallmarking has survived scrutiny from the government as part of its Red Tape Challenge and is now no longer in danger of being scrapped."

So the process of Hallmarking that has been around since 1327 has survived the latest string of government belt-tightening, managing to dodge the cutback bullet after a massive outcry from the jewellery community.  The Red Tape Challenge apparently received more than 6,000 comments from the jewellery industry and public protesting the proposed scrapping of the 700 year old tradition. 

I for one am very pleased that this has been protected, losing a legacy such as this that shows who made something, when they made it and where they made it. Having hundreds of years of reference to date work back to is one of the things that made me want to be part of the jewellery trade when I was first training. I loved the idea of becoming part of the heritage that has been built up using the hallmarking system and the fact that people hundreds of years from now would have a way to know that I had made the work they were looking.

If anyone wants to know more about hallmarking or the assay office take a look at the very good Assay office website.

The hallmark lives, long live the hallmark!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Onwards and upwards!

So for a while now I have been wanting to get into the wonderful world of blogging, or as I should probably call it now the blogosphere! I am writing from my workshop bench, trusty laptop at hand not really the best place to keep complicated machinery with all this silver and gold dust flying round! 

I am quite excited to say that the start of this blog also coincides with our fith anniversary, which is being marked with a sample sale with lots of our favourites from the last few years being heavily discounted. The sample sale is going live on the first of August and will be running for our birthday month only so I am hoping people will take this once in a five year opportunity and grab some pieces with a discount! 

More to follow soon!