Asian gold jewellery is becoming increasingly more common within the scrap gold market and there are several reasons for this.
Firstly, the younger generations of families from Asian backgrounds have often grown up, or even been born, in the UK and often have developed very different tastes and attitudes to their forebears. This inter-generational divergence of tastes and attitudes is not limited to the UK and a recent survey by the World Gold Council found that younger generations across the world were less engaged with ownership of gold jewellery than previous generations have been. Gold is still seen by this younger population as a symbol and store of wealth but the desire for ownership of gold jewellery has diminished.
The second reason that families are disposing of their gold heirlooms is that they are feeling at increased risk of being targeted by criminals. Recent increases in home-invasion style robberies which have targeted families with substantial collections of gold heirlooms have led to a substantial re-evaluation of the practice of keeping high value collections of gold at home.
Far from being the traditional store of family wealth and financial foundations for the generations to come, Asian jewellery collections are increasingly seen as potential liabilities which may encourage attention from unwelcome sources.
Loss Of Trust?
In addition, the reputation of the traditionally trusted 22 carat standard of Asian jewellery has been under threat in recent years. In 2017 a number of Asian jewellers from Southall in London were prosecuted for offences involving non-hallmarked gold and irregularities with weighing scales. A more recent scandal relating to the hallmarking of items of substandard purity in Birmingham has also been exposed.
Over the last few decades many scrap gold buyers and pawnbrokers have purchased Asian jewellery which turned out to be problematic. Heavily plated items and elaborate pieces constructed from numerous parts, many of varying purity with low grade solder used in manufacturing have combined to produce a ‘once bitten, twice shy’ attitude from many companies towards Asian gold. This has resulted in many dealers only offering a fraction of an item’s true value when it is offered to the trade.
It is unfortunately true that many Asian gold pieces have problems, particularly those that were artisan crafted several years ago in Asia. At a time before stringent regulation of the jewellery market it was quite common for items such as rings, bangles and wedding sets to be made by a local goldsmith. Unfortunately, some of the more unscrupulous manufacturers were not averse to using whatever soft metals were at hand to mix in with the gold during manufacture. Traditional wedding sets are also well known for the presence of low carat solder which is used to strengthen intricate designs, particularly in multi-section necklaces. This type of work is then often hidden with a thin coating of 22 carat gold to provide a uniform and lustrous appearance to the entire piece.
Despite the presence of problematic items, much of the Asian gold jewellery that we deal with is of an exquisite nature and high purity, particularly when fully hallmarked or originating from heavily controlled and regulated sources such as Dubai.
In general, Asian gold jewellery heirlooms are valuable pieces, but perhaps not as valuable in some cases as the manufacturer or jeweller led the owner to believe when they were first made or purchased.
As scrap gold buyers we have seen a lot of Asian gold jewellery over the years. Commercially produced plated jewellery is also more common nowadays than previously as many specialist Asian jewellers deal only in these lower cost items. Older heirloom pieces tend to present with interesting additions such as lead and tin and their purity can vary widely, from section to section, from 14 carat to 22 carat. You can see the difference that this makes to an item’s value by taking a look at our price charts.
A Modern Solution
Modern analytical equipment has provided the means for specialist companies such as CashForYourGold to accurately test items to determine the exact nature of their make-up. Gone are the days when customers who wish to sell Asian jewellery and valuable family heirlooms are forced to accept low offers for their possessions.
Whilst not all Asian jewellery was not accurately described when it was made or initially bought, customers can now at least be confident that their items will be accurately tested and that they will receive a fair offer from CashForYourGold.
In addition, as part of Group International Ltd, we are closely linked to our sister website UKBullion.com, one of the UK’s leading suppliers of Gold Bars and Gold Coins. It is therefore a straightforward process to part-exchange traditional Asian Gold Jewellery and heirlooms against the purchase of beautiful, fully certified and guaranteed Gold bars and coins in sizes from 1 gram to 1 kilogram.
This process not only establishes the true level of the value held in family pieces but also allows that value to be transferred into items that the younger generations are more likely to appreciate.
By transferring that value into a number of smaller items, it is also easier to distribute between members of the next generation when the time comes or to use part of the value when and if needed. This ‘liquidity’ of assets is restricted when substantial value is held in a single piece or set of Asian Gold jewellery.
Security concerns can also be addressed by transferring wealth from traditional Asian Gold jewellery to certified Gold Bars and Coins which can be stored and concealed in numerous locations or even divided between different members of the family. We also offer a professional, low cost, fully insured vaulted storage solution for customers who purchase from us and can offer free introductory storage periods to allow you to become accustomed to this type of security solution.
In summary, the ownership of valuable Asian Gold jewellery should not be seen as the potential liability that many scrap gold buying companies suggest it to be!
The true value of your items can be accurately determined by companies such as CashForYourGold which have invested heavily in state of the art XRF testing equipment and have the market presence to offer fair prices and the option to ‘convert’ traditional, heirloom pieces into fully certified and guaranteed Gold Bars and Gold Coins that make more attractive inheritances for younger generations and can be easily stored and protected.