What do you do with your broken or unwanted gold jewellery? Selling it on to make some money from the items is a much better option than leaving it, forgotten in a jewellery box.
Sadly, that wasn’t an option for one woman, whose forgotten gold jewellery collection has now gone on display. The Fenwick Treasure is so called because it was found in a box buried beneath what is now the department store’s premises in Colchester, Essex.
The collection, which you can see in the town, dates back to Roman times and is believed to have been buried in the floor of a house belonging to the owner as Boudicca’s Iceni tribe advanced on Colchester almost 2,000 years ago.
It’s made up of gold and silver jewellery, including five gold rings, two gold bracelets, two silver bracelets, a silver amulet plus two pairs of earrings and 26 coins. It’s not known what the owner’s exact fate was, but she certainly didn’t come back to collect her jewellery. Archaeologists believe the house was burned down in a raid by the Iceni and the occupants may have been executed by the warriors, who attacked Colchester in AD61.
The hoard was discovered in 2014 by archaeologists on site ahead of the building of the town’s new Fenwick store.
Fenwick group trading director, Hugo Fenwick, told the Daily Telegraph: "There was always a very real possibility of unearthing a significant find in the centre of Colchester, with its antiquity and stature as Britain’s oldest recorded town.”
The jewellery collection has been described as “of national importance” and “one of the finest ever uncovered in Britain”.
Dr Philip Crummy, director of the Colchester Archaeological Trust said: “We had almost finished our six-month study of the site when we came upon a small tangled ball of metal that turned out to be jewellery that had lain there undisturbed since 61AD.”
There are 261 days left until the start of the London 2012 Olympics, but production of the 4700 medals has already begun.
At a Royal Mint facility in Llantrisant near Cardiff, Wales, the first of the medals has left the presses. Creating each one is a painstaking process.
A blank medal is placed into the giant press, known as Colossus, and the 10 hour process begins. Each medal is struck 15 times at 900 tonnes. After the 5th and 10th strikes, they are rolled through a furnace which heats the metal to a temperature of 750 degrees Celsius and allows the next stage of production to commence.
Once the process is complete, the Royal Mint is left with the biggest and heaviest Olympic medals ever created. Each one is 85mm in diameter and weighs between 412g (Gold and Silver) and 357g (Bronze). Security is extremely tight. The medals are stored in a special strong room that is guarded by Ministry of Defence police. It is such a secure location that only a handful of people know its location.
If making the medals is an arduous process, then choosing the design was even more so.
A shortlist of ideas submitted by the UK’s leading artists, sculptors and designers was drawn up and the final decision was made by a selection committee. In the end, a design by Professor David Watkins was chosen. He worked closely with Chief Engraver Gordon Summers to create a medal that features Nike, the goddess of victory, on the front and the London 2012 logo and the River Thames on the back.
Royal Mint officials are confident the project can be completed on time.
"We have a very long history of making military medals, and medals for the Queen's honours lists as well as the coins", such as the 2012 Gold Sovereign.
Great Britain's medal performance at the 2008 Summer Olympics was its best in a century and hopes are high that London 2012 will see just as many of these Welsh-made medals awarded to British athletes.
If you’re a regular reader of financial and investment articles and reports, you’ll often hear gold being referred to as a commodity, which by definition is classed as ‘an item of value with a consistent value regardless of source’, something which is the almost perfect description of Gold, a product that in its raw, refined form is bought and sold in uniform weights and measures and in its processed state sold according to a globally recognised carat scale.
But, gold isn’t technically a commodity, throughout history, almost since the birth of mankind, gold has been used as a currency – the only currency that maintains a central, singular value across the entire world.
Does it actually matter how we classify and regard gold? Yes… While other precious metals like silver and platinum are most certainly commodities, gold, being a currency is subject to different market forces which manipulate its value. Supply and demand effects all precious metals, gold included but being a trans-border currency, gold is bolstered by additional economic factors.
Over time, the price of primary precious metals such as Silver, Platinum and Palladium tends to trend in a similar pattern to rising gold prices yet are more volatile to economic market pressures. During an economic downturn, many investors will look to gold for assurance, while other precious metals, traditional used to a higher degree in manufacture and industry see a decline in demand and a resulting reduction in value.
So while gold is traded as a commodity, it will almost always behave like, and should always be considered a currency.
Tesco’s have jumped feet first into the Scrap Gold market with the launch of the Tesco’s Gold Exchange! The arrival of yet another mega UK brand name is a clear indicator that the retail greats of the UK High Street are convinced the Scrap Gold business is still onto a winner!
Like other high street scrap gold buyers, Tesco’s offering is something short of competitive! While writing this article our Scrap Gold Prices are currently £10.04 per gram of 9 carat gold, Tesco are just managing a rather poor £7.81 – We pay 28.5% more! Like H. Samuel and WH Smiths (Post Gold For Cash), Tesco’s are relying on un-researched, non-savvy regular customers, the 7 club card points Tesco’s are throwing in to sweeten the deal most certainly won’t be the deal clincher!
Scrap Gold UK’s advice? Don’t be a high street moron, research the true value of your gold before your make your decision, we appreciate the Tesco’s brand name provides customer with a feeling of security and confidence in what is quite a big ask – to post personal valuables to an unknown source! But with some basic checks, or a phone call to speak to us in person, you could end up with a significantly better price for your scrap gold, silver, platinum or palladium.
But don’t just take our word for it; use our Scrap Gold Calculator to compare our prices to the Tesco’s Gold Exchange website.
The chairman of the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) has indicated that China’s gold imports rose 480% between January and October compared to the same period last year.
Although China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange holds over 1,054 tons of gold, Wang She, general manager of the SGE, noted that government purchases were not behind this latest surge. This confirms news reports that the increase in demand has been fuelled by retail investors seeking a hedge against inflation.
China is currently the world’s second biggest consumer of gold (its imports represent about 10% of global gold production) and the biggest producer.
It is likely that inflation concerns will continue to fuel Chinese demand for precious metals. The China Securities Regulatory Commission also recently approved the nation’s first Qualified Domestic Institutional Investor fund, which is a scheme that allows financial institutions to invest in offshore markets such as securities and bonds. With similar products in the application phase, domestic investors will have greater access to overseas gold markets.
We have quite a few people asking how they can accurately weigh their own gold before sending it in to us and also to enable them to use our online calculator more accurately.
While we do stress that we are a long established reputable scrap gold dealer with a big emphasis on honesty and transparency, we appreciate people are always wary of sending something of value to an unknown company without knowing all the facts. We certainly don’t take any offence to people making such requests and actively encourage getting an accurate reading of weight before sending in items.
To get an accurate weight measure and price quote, you’ll need to use digital scales and accurantly identify the metal purity. Digital scales are a must as they will give priciest weight grams, traditional scales, or kitchen scales with a dial are often far from accurate and very difficult to read when you’re only weighting items of a few grams. All gold, silver and platinum items should have an identifying purity hallmark, for gold, these will range from 375 for 9 carat gold to 999 for 24 carat purity. Silver hallmarks range from 800 to 999 and platinum from 850 to 999.
If you’re regularly selling scrap gold or your items are of reasonable value, it may be worth investing in a set of digital scales to weigh your goods before sending them in to us and you’ll be pleasantly surprised when we provide the exact weight you were expecting!
You can buy a perfectly acceptable set of digital scales for around £5 on Amazon or eBay; we’d recommend looking at digital scales on Amazon – Don’t forget you may incur some shipping charges on top of the quoted price.
Also worth remembering when weighing gold, or silver, platinum or palladium – we are a precious metals dealer and only interested in the precious metal weight – Any stones or other attachments to the item that aren’t gold, silver, platinum or palladium that you feel have additional value or wish to keep should be removed before weighing your items and sending in to us.
This History of Hallmarking article is provided by the Birmingham Assay Office.
The history of hallmarking dates back over 700 years to a statue instituted by Edward I. Its purpose then was the same as it is today – To protect the public against fraud and the trader from unfair competition. It is, in fact the earliest form of consumer protection.
Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium are always used as an alloy in the manufacturer of precious metal jewellery, watches and silverware. The precious metal is mixed with other elements to give it the properties, such as flexibility and durability to produce a desirable article.
Even the most experienced jeweller or chemist cannot tell, just by looking at it, how much metal there is in the alloy or whether a thick plating of precious metal is masking a base metal core. This offers the unscrupulous a huge opportunity for fraud and there is a need to protect the public and honest suppliers.
Therefore all items, over the minimum specified weight, being sold as gold, silver, platinum or Palladium in the UK must be hallmarked to confirm that they meet the legal standards of the Hallmarking Act, 1973.
Hallmarking must be carried out by a UK Assay Office or an Assay Office belonging to the International Convention.
The Birmingham Assay Office was founded in 1773. Over the past 230 years it has built an outstanding worldwide reputation based on its established expertise and its total integrity and independence.
The Birmingham Assay Office, having embraced the latest technological developments, is now the largest assay office in the world and the leading UK provider of a range of services to the UK jewellery industry.
A follow-on to yesterday’s blog article Is There Gold in the UK? Anyone interested in UK gold mining history and looking to visit a mine may want to head over to Mine Explorer, a website dedicated to, well Exploring Mines!
The site is a portal for recreational mine exploration and features a database bursting at the seams with photos, videos and information on the 37+ gold mines located in and around the UK, featuring everything from mine surveys and maps to a bustling enthusiasts forum. The Mine Explorer site hosts all the information you could possibly need to plan an trip to a mine, whether it be a remote disused mine in the Welsh Valleys or a National Trust funded visitor attraction Mine Explorer seems to have everything you could possibly need.
… and if you do happen to find any gold while your exploring, be sure to come back to Scrap Gold and let us know!
Disclaimer – We need to point out that mines are dangerous, NEVER enter a mine unless you have expressed permission to do so and are accompanied by an experienced and knowledgeable guide, and always let someone know your location and when to expect your return.
In 1998 the UK’s last operational gold mine ceased activity; the cost of extracting the gold from the Cononish Gold mine, close to the village of Tyndrum in Scotland made the business uneconomical.
Ten years on and in July 2008 the mine, owned by an Australian mining company trading as ScotGold Resources was survey to establish if the approximate 300% gold price increase in the intervening decade would again position the mine as an economically viable venture.
The village of Tyndrum in the Western Highlands is situated at one end of a rock seam with proven gold and silver producing properties. The seam stretches west out from the Scottish coastline across the Atlantic towards Canada and North into Sweden & Norway.
ScotGold anticipate the mine could be viable for up to eight years, previous mining activity and initial geological surveys suggest as much as 150,000 ounces of gold and over half a million ounces of silver could be extracted from the mine. Even if only a fraction of the estimated figured is achieved, the current gold highs could make the project a profitable success for both the mining company and the local community.
Gold and silver maintain value thanks to their scarcity and global demand, to date only a small fraction of the earth’s gold and silver resources have been mined but as on-going demand increases the availability of easily extracted material in nearing exhaustion. The inflation busting price surge of precious alloys in recent years has made even the more inaccessible alloy deposits once again an attractive and all the more viable consideration, and as mining technology improves, even the most remote and hostile environments become an attractive prospect.
Some Image copyrights ScotGold Resources Limited.
We are all by now familiar with the Scrap Gold concept, recycling old gold and silver, particularly jewellery, but while our inspiration may be driven by and all time high gold price and the promise of a healthy return, there is still the environmentally friendly aspect of recycling raw materials – raw materials that cause huge environmental impact in their extraction and refinement from the earth. Our article from April 2009 Recycling your gold – The environmental Truth is worth a read!
Today we wanted to use our soapbox to shout about a local Birmingham based company called Fair Trade Design who deals in the other side of the jewellery business.
Fair Trade Design was established in May 2006 to help raise awareness of fair trade. As a BAFTS (British Association of Fair Trade Shops) member, selling jewellery sourced from producers abiding by fair trade principles such as paying fair prices to producers, Fair Trade Design and their customers purchasing jewellery are supporting social development projects, improving and support health and education facilities and encouraging environmental responsibility around the world – No small feat!
If you would like to learn more about Fair Trade Design, visit their Fair Trade Jewellery web site and if you do happen to order anything, be sure to let them know Scrap Gold sent you!
Over the past 18 months, Scrap Gold UK have lead the way in the ethical Scrap Gold Industry, consistently paying the highest prices for scrap gold and silver and maintaining an excellent level of customer service.
In that period, we’ve surpassed half a million site visitors (555,342 to be precise) and converted a healthy percentage into valued customers; something we feel is testament to our honest approach and transparent pricing policy.
If you have scrap gold or silver jewellery to sell, why not help us on our way to the magic million mark and complete our scrap gold form now.
Global gold demand fell 25 percent in the first quarter of 2010, but is expected to rebound later this year.
According to Marcus Grubb, a senior World Gold Council official, robust investment in the West and strong jewellery sales in Asia will lead to higher demand than a year ago.
The Greek debt crisis has spurred Western investment demand in gold in the second quarter above the levels seen a year ago, Grubb said.
Jewellery demand in China is also set to rise in the second quarter, he added. However, the picture in India is mixed with the Akshaya Tritiya festival expected to boost jewellery sales but a weakened rupee making gold more expensive for locals. Nevertheless, full-year gold demand in India is expected to be stronger than in 2009.
Grubb declined to make gold price forecasts but said he agreed with the market view that gold would have strong support at $1,050-1,045 per ounce.
Towards the end of 2009 several reports came across our desk regarding a new phenomenon... gold parties - their overnight success and the pitiful price organisers were paying sellers attending the parties.
2009 was a bumper year for the gold price, with numerous almost constant television adverts publicising the high gold price, the whole country was fully educated to the new concept of selling their old, broken and unwanted gold jewellery, watches and anything with even a hint of gold content for cash! But how many people actually realise the true scrap gold price and how much their old gold jewellery was actually worth!
Dealers looking to cash in on the rising gold prices looked for new ways to reach an almost untapped primary target markets, women aged 25+ with draws, bags and jewellery boxes full of unworn and broken jewellery. The themed selling party model has been a proven success in this market demographic many times before, think Tupperware, candles and Ann Summers - So a social gathering based around a common interest in jewellery and making some extra cash would be an obvious success.
Gold selling parties have indeed been a hit in the UK, for the dealers anyway! Imagine a captive audience, plenty of peer pressure in the room and the offer of cold hard cash in the hand... Most people will openly accept the rudimentary assay of their gold and quickly grad the cash counted before them without really questioning the price offered. The opportunity to research the price and consider the offer simply isn't there, it's a cash now or never situation and the human impulsive nature kicks in.
We've seen reports of less than 18% of the true market value being offered to sellers at gold parties, with unsuspecting sellers more than satisfied with the seemly good price paid until they later have the opportunity to research the true value of the items they've sold! Many people are just not aware of how high the gold price has risen in recent years.
The gold party organisers aren't always the true source of blame either, many operate a form of franchise under a main stream gold dealer, many have paid an initial setup fee of up to £600 to purchase a 'Gold Party Kit' containing all the information and tools they require to look the part and make the deal. The very same gold dealers are often the ones that take the gold from the party organisers, again for a hefty percentage - or refining fee!
If you've been invited to a gold party, remember to do some homework before you go, use our scrap gold calculator to estimate the true value of your gold and if the price offered doesn't come close, hold onto your jewellery and send it in to us... We are Scrap Gold UK, a family firm with an honest price and hundreds of satisfied customers. You can sell your gold online using our online sell now form or call us directly on 0121 523 1046.
Are you a dentist with a stockpile of old damaged or unwanted dental gold crowns, bridges, inlays, onlays, PFG's or PFM's? Contact us for our latest Scrap Gold Prices for Dental Gold on 0121 523 1046.
Just a few of the many reasons why thousands of people choose Scrap Gold UK each year...
1. Scrap Gold UK are one of the original Scrap Gold Dealers - We built the band wagon!
2. We have a bricks and mortar office in the world famous Birmingham Jewellery Quarter - Just give us a call on 0121 523 1046 and we'll arrange an appointment to meet and assess your old, silver or platinum. Find our office on Google Maps.
3. We're a family company - You'll most likely deal with the same person every time you contact us!
4. We're part of Sabre Jewellery, an established jewellery manufacture with over 25 years in the industry.
5. We are honest and transparent about our price, weights and measures.
6. We have a huge loyal and well established customer history - Many of our customers have returned several times, some sending a small amount of gold initially to test the service.
7. We guarantee that if you are not entirely satisfied with our valuation, we'll send your package straight back without delay.
8. We don't do gimmicks - while our competitors are busy with expensive TV adverts, we're investing out time and effort in customer service and fair pricing.
9. We're a BJA member - The British Jewellers' Association is an industry body setup to recognise trusted and genuine companies within the jewellery industry.
10. We update our pricing daily - if not more often - so you'll always get a fair price relative to the ever changing live market value.
Use our Gold Calculator to find out how much your old forgotten or broken jewellery is worth.
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