What Does The New Gold Standard Accreditation Mean For You And Your Gold?
Gold is an incredibly lucrative market. With the average price of gold reaching an all-time high in recent years, we’ve seen a huge surge in the emergence of gold merchants.
There are now hundreds and thousands of companies offering people cash for their scrap gold, whether it be sent to them via post or brought in store for evaluation. It’s been estimated that the average UK citizen has around £1,800 worth of jewellery just sitting around their homes, and so there’s a huge potential for companies to turn that unwanted jewellery into spendable cash.
Sadly, with the increase in gold buyers came a rise in fraudulent activity. Some companies made their profits by quoting people one figure and then offering them another at a later date, stating that the price was fixed upon receipt of the gold. Due to the price of gold being constantly in flux, this meant that occasionally people would not receive anywhere near as much as they thought they were supposed to earn.
Slightly more unethical are those who regularly deal in fake and stolen gold. This is an issue that the police and honest traders are combining to face head on.
Amidst all the foul-play though there are those who are trying to make a decent living out of buying gold. Those who offer reasonable prices that are fixed from the day the gold is sent. These companies face an incredible and undeserved uphill struggle ahead of them due to the high amounts of mistrust and dishonesty surrounding gold dealing.
A New Kind of Gold Standard
It was because of this that The Gold Standard Initiative was instigated in the UK. Usually when the phrase Gold Standard is mentioned people associate it most with the historic standard for valuing money. However four organisations have teamed together in order to change that perception and bring a level of trust back to the gold market.
The British Jewellers’ Association (BJA), the National Association of Goldsmiths, National Pawnbrokers Association and the Surrey Police have all joined forces to develop a code of conduct for purchasing second hand metals and jewellery face to face. It has since been accredited by the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Trading Standards Institute and National Measurement Office.
Whilst joining the gold standard still remains voluntary, its adoption could have massive ramifications on people’s attitudes towards selling gold and their confidence in gold merchants.
What does it mean?
The new gold standard accreditation will raise the bar for dealing jewellery. Traders are currently dictated by no exact guidelines other than the law, but the new Gold Standard sets a common standard for traders to adhere to.
If all traders have mutual guidelines to follow for every transaction it reduces the amount of possibly stolen jewellery they may unknowingly purchase. If the police even so much as suspect that a jeweller has handled stolen goods then they may have their store taken away from them and closed down, with the potential of having to face prosecution. The new Gold Standard helps police to trace the activity of stolen jewellery, and provides them with the necessary evidence to build up a case against the stores which may be dealing unethically.
The organisations hope that because more emphasis is being put on the legal trading of jewellery in the UK, consumers will feel more confident in trading their valuable items with dealers, and more gold will end up back into the United Kingdom’s supply chain.
How is it carried out?
The voluntary accreditation comes with a set of legal requirements and verification protocols in order to ensure that the standard is adhered to. A full list of those requirements can be viewed on the BJA website.
In brief, the Gold Standard encourages the fair and safe practise protocols of trading gold. In order to ensure that police can track the sale of gold every customer that trades with a member of the Gold Standard must leave their name and address along with providing proof of identification. Traders who are following the policy should not be prepared to purchase any items from customers who are under 18.
A record of every sale must be kept, and traders are encouraged to utilise video capture technology, such as CCTV or a digital camera, in order to gain photographic records. These records should only be kept in accordance with the Data Protection Act, and they should be presented to the police upon request.
Traders are also encouraged to use a UV light to check for any markings or forms of ownership on the jewellery, which should be weighed and evaluated in front of the customer in order to ensure the trading process is as fair as possible.
Every customer the trades with a Gold Standard certified store is required to sign a disclaimer acknowledging either their ownership of the jewellery in question or that they have the permission of the owner to sell said items. They will then receive a receipt or written statement containing details of the transaction upon completion.
All of the organisations involved are heavily encouraging all UK traders to take part, in order to protect themselves as well as their customers.