The stone known for its golden to reddish-brown to grey-colored needles locked inside colorless quartz is poised for popularity thanks to a convergence of ideas from couturiers and jewelry designers. While yellow gold accessories were prevalent on spring runways, ornate, golden embroidery was widespread on catwalks for fall. And in jewelry, sunny-colored stones like yellow diamonds, beryl, and rutilated quartz have been in wide use at many 2012 shows. At the crossroads of both fashion and jewelry, rutilated quartz is a warm, abundant gem with a graphic effect that complements highly embellished couture. Here are a dozen new jewelry designs available for resale.
Necklace in 22k gold-plated brass with rutilated quartz, labradorite, glass, and drusy; $105; A.V. Max
Rutilated quartz beads with Swarovski crystal and vermeil accents on silk; $635; Margo Morrison
Earrings in 18k yellow gold with a handmade knot top and 50 cts. t.w. rutilated; $1,010; Mary Esses
Pendant in black rhodium-plated sterling silver with burnished-set 29.48 ct. rutilated quartz over labradorite and 0.53 ct. t.w. diamonds; $1,015; S & R Designs
A man who was troubled in mind and finances swore that if his problems were solved he would sell his house and donate all the money gained from it to the poor.
When his problems were solved, he knew that the time had come that he must redeem his oath. But he did not want to give away so much money. So he thought of a way out.
He put the house on sale for one silver piece. Included with the sale of the house, however, was a cat. The price asked for this animal was ten thousand pieces of silver.
Another man bought the house and the cat. The first man gave the single piece of silver to the poor and pocketed the ten thousand pieces of silver.
Many peoples’ minds work like this. They resolve to follow a teaching and fulfill an oath, but they interpreted their relationship with it to their own advantages. Or when they have received the newly gotten gains they make another oath that they will re-invest the new capital to make more gains so that they can donate more to the poor.
Adapted from Tales of the Dervishes by Idries Shah.
With the price of gold at a dizzy height, and hovering between the range of US$1,600 to $1,900, we should take a look at whether gold bullion is a good investment to add to your portfolio. Bullish gold investors will say that gold will stay above the 2 grand mark by year end.
I picked up the following post about 2 months ago. I am neither for it or against it. But the various points the post raised are really good food for thought. I have some ETFs, some US equities, some options positions and some numismatic coins as well.
The post, “The 5 Precious Metal Scams To Avoid,” is extracted from www.goldsilver.com entirely and the pictures are also a courtesy from that website.
“So perhaps you’ve decided to invest in gold and/or silver; but wait!
There are a few things you need to know before you begin your journey with precious metals.
At GoldSilver.com, we have spent years educating our customers on the virtues of investing in gold and silver, and we believe those who have made the choice to invest in precious metals, specifically silver and gold, are going to be on the winning side of a massive impending wealth transfer. But that doesn’t mean all precious metals investments are the same.
We personally invest in gold bullion and silver bullion right alongside our customers, so we have a vested interest in not only figuring out the optimal timing in the marketplace, but also figuring out the best vehicles in which to make an investment in precious metals.
Over the years, a vast number of precious metals-type investments have proliferated in the marketplace, but are they the real deal or are they dangerous to your long-term financial health? Many precious metals-type investments offer some benefits, but can also multiply your risk.
Rest assured, we at GoldSilver.com have done the research, we can help streamline your learning process and hopefully, help you to make the right investment choices the first time you commit to buy.
Before people invest in precious metals, they must understand their reasons for doing so. For most of us, the goals are wealth preservation and the chance for spectacular gains. There are easy, safe, and low-cost ways to accomplish those goals.
Shortly, we will tell you the best way to invest in precious metals, but first, it’s important you learn the worst possible silver and gold scams. By knowing about potentially dangerous precious metals investments you will better understand the stakes and more easily make the right investment decisions for yourself and your family.
A numismatic coin is a collector coin that has value in excess of its metal content because it is historical or rare. As a gold and silver bullion dealer, people often expect us to carry numismatics coins—but we don’t. Why?
Because collector coins are a different investment than gold and silver bullion.
When you invest in a numismatic coin, you are taking a major risk because you are already deep in the hole as soon as you purchase the coin. If you don’t believe us, try buying and immediately selling a numismatic coin—you’re likely to lose anywhere between 20 and 50% of your purchase price right off the bat.
Consider this: when you buy a numismatic coin you pay three different layers of costs—1) the cost of the metal, 2) the dealer’s spread, and 3) the numismatic premium. The numismatic premium can range anywhere from a few bucks to a few hundred thousand bucks.
That means before you are “in the money,” the market price of your coin must have gone up more than enough to cover the numismatic premium. Until then, your collector coin will be a loser.
Over the years, gold and silver dealers have build a mythos around numismatic coins—as if they offer some mystical advantage to plain gold and silver bullion. Those myths have been created, not because numismatic coins are good for the buyer, but because they are good for the seller.
The biggest myth about numismatic coins is that the government can never confiscate them. The second biggest collector coin myth is that they do not have to be reported to the government. Less-than-scrupulous precious metals dealers have made a living selling “non-confiscatable” and “non-reportable coins” that come with a hefty numismatic premium and hefty price tag.
The “non-confiscatable” myth refers back to 1933, when U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in a misguided attempt to combat deflation and stabilize the U.S. dollar in the throes of the Great Depression, signed into law an Executive Order 6102 that banned U.S. citizens from owning any gold—if you didn’t exchange your gold for Federal Reserve notes, you could be sentenced for up to 10 years in prison.
The only exception under Roosevelt’s order was collectible gold coins (rare or unusual, having “a recognized special value” to the owner). That exception to the law spawned myths that persist to this day: it is simply untrue that gold coins minted prior to 1933 are “non-reportable” and “non-confiscatable.”
By describing these old coins as non-reportable and non-confiscatable, the dealer implies to the customer that coins minted after 1933 are “reportable” to the government and“confiscatable” by the government. Understandably, many customers are spooked by those prospects and are persuaded to purchase heavy premium pre-1933 collectible coins—usually earning the dealer a nice, hefty profit.
Our suggestion is that unless you are an expert in numismatic coins, avoid them—their fundamental drivers are different from those that drive bullion, and during a financial crisis, when we want our wealth to be most protected, numismatic coins may leave you high and dry.
2. Pools & Certificates
When you buy into a bullion pool or certificate, you become a creditor of the bullion bank storing your precious metals. Just as when you deposit your currency at a bank, the bank doesn’t keep your dollars separate from everyone else’s dollars; the bank simply tells you in your bank statements or online how much it owes you—essentially, your wealth is transmuted into digits in a computer.
Legally, however, when you buy into a gold pool or certificate program, the bank becomes the owner of your precious metals.
If the bullion bank gets into financial trouble, (gasp! Imagine that!) it can sell your gold to maintain its assets at a level where it won’t get shut down and where it will avoid a run on the bank.
In that instance, you won’t be paid back in gold, but rather in currency—less currency than the value of the gold the bank owed you—because logically a bank in trouble almost certainly would be forced to sell your assets at fire-sale prices. If you live in a country with some kind of bank deposit protection (such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in the United States or Financial Services Compensation Scheme in the U.K.), your gold will not be covered. That’s because deposit insurance only applies to currency—meaning that, in the likely event of a bank crash, currency deposits are safer than unallocated gold.
So why would anyone invest in one of these types of sketchy accounts? Simple. It’s cheap and easy… and everyone loves cheap and easy, right?
Purchasing gold or silver through pools or certificate programs is cheaper than purchasing a like amount of physical gold or silver, primarily because most pools or certificates hold the metals in unallocated storage—which means your metals are comingled with everyone else’s metal. What’s yours is not yours—and in the event that your bullion bank goes under—it’s theirs.
If you are going to store precious metals, take a look at our bonded and insured silver and gold vaulting options in Salt Lake City, Miami, Hong Kong, etc. These vault storage options are both segregated and allocated, which means that your metals are stored separately in your name and are owned by you alone. If we go under, your metals stay in your name, and you will never be beholden to a bank.
3. Leverage Accounts
Leveraged investing is when you borrow currency in order to invest. In a traditional investment strategy, you might set aside a certain amount every month to be invested, so that the principal you had invested would grow over time, compounded by any earnings on the investment. With a leveraged investment, you would invest a large sum up-front, then make regular payments to pay back the amount you borrowed, plus the interest. The potential advantage of the leveraged investment is that there is a supposedly larger amount earning returns over a longer period of time. If the return on your investment is greater than the principal borrowed plus the interest, your leveraged investment has outperformed a traditional investment.
Leverage can dramatically increase your investment winnings, and leverage can be great for those who are educated in the proper techniques and are skilled in its use.
But if you don’t know what you’re doing (and sometimes even if you do), leverage can also magnify your losses to 100% and beyond. It’s this simple: when you introduce leverage… you introduce risk.
Margin investmentis borrowing money from your broker to buy a stock and using your investment as collateral. Margin generally enables the investor to own more stock without paying full price for it. The downside to margin is, if your investment loses money, your losses are exponentially greater. In the case of margin, you are going up against a mathematical formula and compounding fees that are engineered to work against the novice.
Leveraged investing is the realm of professionals who know no greed or fear; they just know the odds and the numbers, and they know how to eat the little guy for breakfast. You never know who’s taking the other side of the bet. Many times you are going up against very “Deep Pocket” traders such as mutual funds and hedge funds. Either way, if you’re not better than they are… you’re dead.
4. Futures & Options
Futures and Options are contracts that can give precious metals investors leverage, which can magnify their gains, but also, magnify their losses.
If there were to be a default on the commodities exchanges during the coming gold and silver rush, we believe the exchanges could change the rules to allow liquidation orders only.
In that case, investors holding futures contracts for gold or silver would be forced to accept payment in cash (currency) instead of redeeming their shares for physical silver or gold, as their contracts entitle them to do. In an alternate scenario the exchanges might freeze prices on all open contracts, while prices on gold and silver for immediate delivery and off exchange silver (silver in private hands or silver in private vaults outside of the commodities exchanges) continue to shoot for the moon. It has happened before, and it will likely happen again.
5. Gold ETFs / Silver ETFs
When you invest in a gold or silver exchange-traded fund, you do not become the sole owner of actual gold or silver. For an ETF represented to be backed by gold or silver, the fund managers will contract with a custodian to hold the gold or silver in a vault. The custodian is usually a large, international bank, serving as a custodian for numerous customers. Most of the time, because the custodian is a huge multi-national corporation with thousands of accounts, when gold or silver is bought or sold, the metal never physically moves. Title to the bars of gold or silver is simply transferred from the seller to the buyer as a book entry in a massive computer network.
This is where problems can arise: If the custodian is allowed to appoint sub-custodians, and the sub-custodians are allowed to appoint sub-sub-custodians and so on, now the gold or silver is spread out over various geographic locations. The only way to prove these sub-custodians hold enough gold or silver at any given point in time to fully back the account is for the ETF to require the custodian and all sub-custodians to be audited, during non-trading hours, all on the same day. If the gold ETF or silver ETF does not regularly require this type of audit of its custodian and sub-custodians, chances are high that the same physical gold may be purchased or owned by the same entity or individual at the same time.
Many metals experts believe that silver ETFs and gold ETFs may hold less than the amount of precious metals they supposedly own or none at all.
For most of us precious metals investors, the essence of keeping your hard-earned wealth in precious metals is to own a physical asset that can weather any economic storm. When you put your wealth in ETFs, you simply become an unsecured creditor of a mega-bank that will happily gobble up your wealth if financial turmoil strikes.
As is true of any electronic or paper form of wealth, the investor can be denied access to the value of his or her gold ETF or silver ETF shares due to Acts of God, war, force majeure, confiscation, computer glitches, fraud, insolvency, lawsuits, liens, garnishment, etc. Given those caveats, coupled with the very real possibility that silver and gold ETFs are not backed by physical gold or silver, investing in real, physical gold or silver will always be the safer bet. The higher premiums investors pay for physical gold and silver stored either their home or in a segregated fully insured vault account seems a small price to pay in exchange for a safe and secure investment.
One final note on silver and gold ETFs, due to high annual ETF management fees, more often than not, it is much less expensive to store precious metals in a private, segregated, fully insured gold and silver vault as opposed to having your silver ETF or gold ETF shares diluted from exchange trade fund or ETF management fees.”
As many as six Mumbai diamond dealers may have lost their lives as the result of the July 13 terrorist attack in the Opera House district, according to reports from India.
One of the bombs exploded about 500 meters from the Panchratna Building in Opera House, a building mostly comprised of diamond companies. Another hit Zaveri Bazaar, a leading jewelry district, while the third hit Dadar, another area of Mumbai not connected with the industry. The current death toll from the three Mumbai bombs stands at 17, with as many as 131 injured, reports say.
Sanjay Khotari, vice chairman of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, the industry group, tells JCK that heavy rain led the area outside Opera House to be less crowded than usual, reducing casualties. “We were lucky in that respect, otherwise casualties would have been higher,” he says.
The diamond market was open on Thursday, July 14, though it will be closed on Friday, July 15 for a day of mourning. On Saturday, offices will reopen with a condolence meeting in the evening.
“There is no reason to sit idle,” Khotari says. “It is business as usual. The terrorists want us to get panicked. We will show them that won’t be. We want to give the message that everyone will be taken care of properly. The whole industry needs to show the terrorists that we are not afraid.”
Khotari says the upcoming India International Jewellery Show will be held in Mumbai in August as originally planned, and that security will be beefed up.
Rajiv Jain, GJEPC chairman, also vowed in a statement that the industry will press on, saying it will not be “browbeaten by such acts of cowardice.”
As it has with similar events in the past, the rest of the diamond trade rallied behind its colleagues in Mumbai.
World Federation of Diamond Bourses President Avi Paz said in a statement: “I extend our organization’s sincere condolences to the families of the victims and send our best wishes for speedy recovery to the wounded.”
Diamond Dealers Club of New York President Moshe Mosbacher added: “The goal of terrorists is to disrupt our regular existence, and we can best combat them by refusing to do that. On behalf of the New York trade, I pledge to our colleagues in India that we will do all that we can to ensure that life will continue as before, and the ties and relationships that connect us will be strengthened.”
Antwerp World Diamond Centre president Nishit Parikh said his community’s “hearts go out to the families of those killed and injured in this terrible attack.”
It’s a find worthy of a “Raiders of the Lost Ark” ” plot line: Jewels, gold trinkets, coins, and statues worth an estimated $22 billion were uncovered in a series of secret vaults beneath a Hindu temple in the southern Indian city of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India..
The loot includes about 1,000 kilograms (2,205 pounds) of gold coins – some dating back 400 years – ropes of gold, sacks of diamonds, and a gold statue of the Hindu god Vishnu studded with precious gems, as well as an 18-foot solid gold ornament weighing 35 kilograms (77 pounds) and rare silver and brass platters.
So far the find is worth nearly double India’s 2011-2012 education budget ($11.61 billion) – and there’s still another vault to be unlocked. The 16th century Sri Padmanabha temple, in the capital of the southern coastal state of Kerala, is now considered to be the richest of India’s temples.
So just where did the riches come from?
The temple is controlled by descendants of the royal family of Travancore, the former princely state of the region. It is believed the former rulers donated much of their wealth to the temple, where it lay in safe keeping for decades. Offerings by the many worshippers making pit stops there along the global trade routes probably also contributed to the treasure.
It was no stumbled-upon find, however. While the vaults have been kept under lock and key for around 150 years, the wealth has been on the public record.
Still, the officials who unlocked the vaults said they were surprised about what they found inside – and the value of it. A seven-member delegation was tasked with opening the chambers after a local lawyer filed a petition with the court, suspicious that the fortune was not being adequately protected by the temple’s governing body.
Debate is now brewing over just what should be done with the fortune, given the millions of Indians who live in poverty. Hindu leaders want it invested into the temple, but many others are calling for it to be used for the public good. The state government insists it will let the temple keep the riches, and will even provide permanent security to safeguard it.
“The wealth of the temple will rest with the temple itself,” wrote Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy on his website.
There are also calls for it to be plowed into Kerala’s crumbling economy. Despite having one of the highest literacy rates in India, the southern state lacks major industry, and its biggest form of income is in the form of remittances from the global Keralan diaspora.
Though it’s still unclear what will become of the religious money, for now, with the hordes of curious visitors descending upon the town, the haul could have gains for at least one key industry in the state – tourism.
India is the world’s biggest market for gold; it’s bought both for cultural reasons and as an investment
The Indian and Chinese middle classes believe that as well as being an adornment, gold jewelry is a sound investment.
Across Asia millions of newly middle class families are making personal finance decisions for the first time. We look at the big issues facing them.
For the past three years, the Mohan family, like millions of others across Asia, has been hoarding gold with any cash its members can spare.
“We purchase one coin or two coins a month,” says retired Indian Navy officer Alok Mohan. It’s an investment decision based on traditional culture. The couple’s daughter is approaching “marriageable age,” they say, and they’ll need to give jewelry as gifts. Like millions of Indians, Mr Mohan feels that ancient financial wisdom has been vindicated by the recent surge in gold prices.
The Mohan family believe their gold coins, and the jewelry they will eventually get made, are a better investment than anything else out there.
Gold has edged above $1,500 an ounce and has continued to rise in value despite the global economic slowdown – up five-fold in a decade. India is already the world’s biggest gold market for cultural reasons, with prices around the world affected by seasonal demand around the Diwali festival and the wedding season.
The growing middle class in China is catching up fast. Mainland China’s Communist-led government deregulated gold ownership over a decade ago, and demand for jewelry has doubled in the past seven years, according to the World Gold Council.
With the global economy sluggish, returns on gold can be better than shares or equity.
But if Asian families believe they’re making an investment rather than just buying pretty necklaces or rings, they are deluding themselves, say experts.
“Jewelry is a very bad investment,” says Harsh Roongta of the price comparison website ApnaPaisa.com, based in Mumbai. He says that there are other ways to benefit from gold than investing in jewelry
Prices of necklaces, bracelets and rings reflect the cost of making them – which can add up to 30% on the price of the actual gold in these items.
If you want to benefit from the price of gold, he recommends various investment products and funds that are linked to gold instead. Several index funds and exchange-traded funds based on gold are now available to consumers in India and beyond. These funds are managed by companies that invest in gold bullion or firms that are mining for gold, and pay out the returns. This allows customers to benefit from rising gold prices, because the value of the funds goes up.
The gold bubble?
However, in reality the price of gold is going up because Asian governments are hoarding the shiny metal, not the investments of ordinary people.
“It’s actually the governments in the big emerging markets who historically have surpluses in the US dollar,” explains Darius McDermott, managing director of Chelsea Financial Services – a UK investment broker. “They are looking to diversify.”
This means the rise in gold prices may continue. But George Soros, the billionaire investor who recently put money into gold, offered a sober warning in an interview with Reuters last year. “I’ve called gold the ultimate bubble,” said Mr Soros. “It may be going higher, but it’s certainly not safe and it’s not going to last forever.”
That means that even if you buy gold or invest in gold-linked funds, it shouldn’t be the only place you save your money. “As an investor, we want to be careful that we don’t have all our money in one asset class,” says Mr McDermott.
Investments you can wear
The Jagtap family no longer invest their savings in gold jewelry as they do not feel it has resale value. Of course, investing in gold-linked funds or putting your money into other stocks means saying goodbye to beautiful jewelry you can wear.
Sulbha Jagtap, a 40-year old office worker, looks at her husband ruefully as she explains why the couple no longer invest their savings in gold jewelry. “He feels that gold does not have the resale value,” she says.
Her husband Nitin explains that apart from a smaller number of items for Sulbha to wear to weddings, the household savings have gone into more profitable investments like mutual funds and fixed deposit schemes. “I agree that there are some emotions that come in when we purchase gold,” Ms Jagtap, with a tinge of regret.