What Sci-Fi Got Wrong About the Apple Watch: Vanity

April 24, 2015 Posted by admin


Janet Vertesi is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Princeton University.

What we buy tells others who we are

Article source: http://time.com/3831580/sci-fi-apple-watch-vanity/

India’s Sensible Plan To Mobilise The Gold Reserves

April 23, 2015 Posted by admin

This looks like a very sensible policy goal in India, a desire to mobilise the country’s huge stocks of gold in private hands. However, I’ve more than a sneaking feeling that the precise policies being offered to achieve the goal aren’t quite what is needed. The basic goal being that there’s an awful lot of capital and savings tied up in the gold hoards in that private sector. And it would probably be better if that capital were circulating, adding to the capital stock of the economy, rather than just sitting there and glittering. So, the idea of mobilising it sounds just great. But how to do so? I think I would argue that the best policy would be one that pretty much ignores gold: a policy of making sure that everyone is banked would be better.

Here’s the basic idea:

In his mission to build India’s economy into one that could someday rival China’s, Prime Prime Minister Narendra Modi would like to mobilize the roughly 20,000 tons of gold thought to be in private hands, 2,500 tons of it in major Hindu temples. Demand here is so high that gold imports have in recent years accounted for nearly 30 percent of India’s trade deficit, and many people prefer to keep it in the form of jewelry, making it difficult to trade or convert into cash.

Economists call it “idle gold,” and Mr. Modi’s team would like to see it used for trade and investment. In May, the government is expected to introduce a plan to induce Indians to deposit gold in banks, offering fixed interest rates for a “metal account.” There are also plans to issue gold bonds and, for the first time, to issue gold in the unsentimental but fungible form of a coin.

In technical terms that’s what we might call “a whole lotta gold”. Something in the $600 to $700 billion range in value. And in a capital poor country like India we might well think that that sort of sum would be better feeding the fires of industry rather than just being jewelry and savings. So, trying to mobilise it through gold bonds and so on seems reasonable. But we might also want to take a step back and think why it is that Indians save using gold rather than, say, a bank account?

Of course, tradition plays some part in this. Out in the country a little bit of gold jewelry can represent the household’s savings. In dire times it’s possible to pawn, or even sell it, in order to raise needed funds. So the function of such gold holdings is more than just adornment: it’s also a method of saving.

However, from a macroeconomic point of view we’d rather people saved in a manner that then allowed other people to use those savings to invest. And this is not what saving via gold really allows. We’d much prefer that people saved their emergency money in banks, so that other people (through the miracle of fractional reserve banking and maturity transformation) could then borrow that money to go build factories, homes and jobs. The question thus is why doesn’t this happen?

One obvious reason is simply historical and cultural. But such practices always come from somewhere. And there’s two that we can quickly identify. The first being that the value of cash money (and thus bank deposits and so on) in India has not been stable historically. Thus savings tend to end up somewhere which is a store of value, not in a currency being inflated away. Given the much better performance on inflation in recent years this reason is fading away somewhat. The second is that still vast numbers of Indians are entirely unbanked. They simply don’t have an account and no real possibility of gaining one. Either for geographic reasons or because the banking system as it is just isn’t set up to deal with the small amounts that many people are dealing in.

There are official attempts to change this being enacted and we’ve also got the spread of mobile phones. There’s many examples of things similar to M-Pesa being trialed in India and these will change attitudes as well. For one of the things that really surprised people about micro-banking and such systems as M-Pesa was the way that the poor really, really, desired to have a safe and secure savings method.

All of this means that things like gold bonds might well help at the margins. But my opinion is that the more effective methods will come from expanding poor peoples’ access to banking services, both through the plans already being mooted (for example, the idea of moving from food aid in kind to cash payments requires that everyone have a basic banking account) and also through that technological change of mobile banking. Nothing at all wrong with what is being done and the policy aim is entirely sensible. Only that the goal is more likely to be achieved through the more basic changes going on in the economy as a whole rather than these specific measures.

My latest book is “23 Things We Are Telling You About Capitalism” At Amazon or Amazon UK. A critical (highly critical) re-appraisal of Ha Joon Chang’s “23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism”.

Article source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2015/04/23/indias-sensible-plan-to-mobilise-the-gold-reserves/

Sennett man admits stealing money, jewelry from parents to support heroin …

April 22, 2015 Posted by admin

AUBURN | Kenneth Gilfus Jr.’s story in not uncommon in Cayuga County.

Heroin and prescription painkiller abuse has grown rampant across the county since 2011. As addicts run out of money and possessions to sell, they sometimes turn to crime, stealing from loved ones in a desperate attempt to fuel their habits.

In that, Gilfus is not alone.

The 28-year-old Sennett man pleaded guilty Tuesday afternoon in Cayuga County Court to third-degree grand larceny, expressing remorse as he admitted stealing from his parents.

For his felony plea, Gilfus will be placed on one year probation to allow him to seek treatment.

Speaking from his seat at the defense table, a shackled Gilfus said he tried to get clean a few years ago. He joined the U.S. Army, but eventually “succumbed to the addiction of opiate painkillers and heroin.”

Gilfus said his “generous” parents welcomed him back into their Sennett home as he struggled to get sober. But between Nov. 24, 2014 and Feb. 25, 2015, Gilfus said he stole $3,780 worth of money and merchandise from his parents to support his addiction.

“Given numerous chances, enough was enough,” Gilfus said of his parents.

According to District Attorney Jon Budelmann, Gilfus made multiple withdrawals form his parents’ bank account and opened up a Sears store credit card in his mother’s name. Gilfus also stole two gold bracelets and two gold necklaces.

While pleading guilty, Gilfus stated he views court as an opportunity for a better future.

“Trying to find a new path to sobriety,” he said. “I look at this as an eye-opener.”

While the plea agreement provides him with a second chance, it comes with conditions.

If Gilfus successfully completes in-patient treatment and felony drug treatment court, he will be allowed to withdraw his felony plea and instead plead guilty to petit larceny, a misdemeanor. He must also pay restitution.

If he fails, Gilfus faces prison.

Also in court:

• A Solvay man denied an indictment charging him with possessing stolen property.

Majdi Hasan, 50, pleaded not guilty to nine counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of stole property and one count of third-degree criminal possession of public benefit cards. The 10 felonies charge Hasan with unlawfully possessing at least five public benefit cards and credit cards on June 12, 2014 that did not belong to him.

Hasan, of 527 Charles Ave., remains out of custody on $500 cash bail.

Article source: http://auburnpub.com/news/local/sennett-man-admits-stealing-money-jewelry-from-parents-to-support/article_6ba0b03c-5845-5292-99ef-3d577b572e80.html

Gold Jewelers Bet on Indian Festival Fortunes to Buoy Demand

April 21, 2015 Posted by admin

Indian jewelers are banking on what’s considered one of the most auspicious days for gold buying to spur demand in the world’s biggest bullion consumer.

Sales on Tuesday’s Akshaya Tritiya, viewed by the country’s more than 900 million Hindus as a traditional day to buy precious metals, may increase as much as 20 percent from 2014, Manish Jain, chairman of the All India Gems Jewellery Trade Federation, said by phone from Mumbai on Monday. The nation’s gold consumption slid 14 percent last year.

A resurgence in India’s appetite for bullion may help halt a decline in gold prices for a third straight quarter that was prompted by a withdrawal of investors from gold-backed exchange-traded funds. Demand is getting a further boost after the government ended most controls on imports that helped contain a record current-account deficit and decline in the currency.

“A positive mood exists among the retail sector as Akshaya Tritiya is considered the most auspicious time of the year for purchase of gold,” Jain said. “Gold continues to be a dependable hedge against inflation and is still a valuable purchase” for Indians, he said.

During Akshaya, a Sanskrit word meaning “that which never diminishes,” Indians begin a new venture or buy value items with the belief it will bring luck and prosperity. The date is based on the lunar calendar and changes every year, and it’s the biggest gold festival after Dhanteras in November.

Titan Co., the nation’s largest gold jewelry retailer, is among companies offering free gold coins to buyers for purchase of a minimum amount to boost sales, while Joy Alukkas Jewellery is promising to waive off the manufacturing fees on some ornaments.

Bullion Demand

Bullion demand in India slid to 842.7 metric tons in 2014 from 974.8 tons the previous year, according to the World Gold Council. Consumption in the country, which imports almost all the bullion it needs, will rise to between 900 tons and 1,000 tons this year, the council estimates.

Gold for immediate delivery in London lost 11 percent in the three quarters through March and traded 0.5 percent higher at $1,201.62 an ounce on Tuesday, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. Futures in Mumbai have retreated 5.7 percent to 26,911 rupees ($1,331.68 an ounce) in the past year.

Indians bought 662 tons of gold jewelry valued at $26.9 billion in 2014, the most since 1995, helping the country surpass China as the world’s largest consumer last year, the council said in February. Gold is bought during festivals and marriages as part of the bridal trousseau or given as a gift in the form of jewelry.

Import Taxes

The government raised import taxes three times in 2013, helping narrow its current account deficit to $32.4 billion in the 2013-14 financial year, from $87.8 billion the previous year, according to the Reserve Bank of India. Since then it has allowed more agencies to import gold and scrapped a rule requiring importers to sell 20 percent of their purchases to jewelers for re-exports.

Gold imports in March surged 94 percent to $4.98 billion from a year earlier, the Commerce Ministry said on April 17. Shipments climbed as jewelers sought to build stockpiles ahead of the festival, according to Prithviraj Kothari, managing director of Riddhisiddhi Bullions Ltd.

Accelerating economic growth will also strengthen gold demand this year, P.R. Somasundaram, managing director of the World Gold Council in India, said in a statement on Monday. India’s economy will likely expand 7.5 percent this year, surpassing China, according to International Monetary Fund forecasts.

“Buying behavior is returning to normalcy following a reduction of the import curbs,” Somasundaram said. “Gold is therefore set to start shining more brightly this Akshaya Tritiya.”

Article source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-04-21/gold-jewelers-count-on-indian-festival-fortunes-to-rouse-demand

Lansing pair charged with stealing jewelry, medication

April 20, 2015 Posted by admin

Two Lansing residents are accused of stealing thousands of dollars worth of jewelry and prescription medication from a Lansing resident’s home on two occasions in December.

In a deposition to police on Dec. 25, a Lansing resident said she came home to find her door locked, which was unusual. When she tried wiggling the door knob, she could hear noise inside but didn’t think much of it, thinking it might be her cat, she told police.

When she got the door open, her tenant Timothy Whitmore, 29, came out and said he was returning mail that had ended up in his mailbox, the landlord told police. At the time of the deposition, Whitmore and his girlfriend, Tasa D. Towsley, 28, had lived in an apartment on the property for the past six to eight months, according to court documents.

Whitmore reportedly told the woman that he heard dogs barking inside and opened the door because he thought someone was home. The landlord told police that Whitmore seemed nervous and she thought she heard a noise like pills rattling in a plastic bottle in his sweatshirt pocket.

While Whitmore was in the residence, his girlfriend, Towsley, was waiting on top of a hill not far from the apartment, reportedly acting as a lookout for him, according to Whitmore’s deposition. However she did not alert Whitmore to the landlord’s return because she left to use the bathroom, she later told police.

After the encounter, Whitmore went back to his apartment, the woman said, and she checked her bathroom to see if her pills were gone, which she told police they were. The pills missing were Tramadol, a painkiller, which she had just filled the prescription for the day before, she said. In the felony complaint, 119 tablets of Tramadol were reportedly stolen.

The landlord saw Whitmore again shortly after the first encounter, she said. Whitmore came back downstairs and asked for water, opening the door and coming inside her apartment when she did not answer the door right away, she said. The landlord called the state police after that.

It was not the first time the woman had called police. She had reported a burglary days before on Dec. 15, after she found a necklace, ring and other prescription medication missing.

On Dec. 30, the landlord gave another deposition to state police during which she identified jewelery that she was missing, including a heart-shaped necklace, valued at about $4,000, a Claddagh ring, an emerald ring, a Jesus pendant, a ruby ring and a tri-color gold necklace.

Three of the rubies removed from the jewelry were valued at $150 each, according to Investigator Ryan Smith’s affidavit.

Towsley and Whitmore both admitted involvement in the burglaries to state police.

In a statement to police Dec. 31, Towsley said she sold the gold jewelry to a kiosk at the Shops at Ithaca Mall on two occasions for Whitmore. Towsley told police she had a good idea the jewelry was stolen because it was common for Whitmore to steal jewelery and ask her to sell it. Towsley said she was aware Whitmore went into the landlord’s residence. Towsley said Whitmore later gave her the gems from the jewelry to sell, which she did in Ithaca, and some she still had at her apartment.

According to the affidavit of Smith, who is investigating the case for the state police, Whitmore also made a statement admitting to stealing jewelry and prescription medication from the woman’s residence on two occasions, on Dec. 7 and Dec. 26.

Whitmore was arrested by state police Dec. 31 and charged with two counts of second-degree burglary.

Towsley was arrested Jan. 14 and has been charged with second-degree burglary and two counts of fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property.

Both of their cases are pending a Tompkins County grand jury.

Follow Kelsey O’Connor on Twitter @ijkoconnor.

Article source: http://www.ithacajournal.com/story/news/public-safety/2015/04/20/lansing-pair-charged-stealing-jewelry-medication/26075565/

Coachella 2015: Festivalgoers pursue #Stylechella with foil tattoos and more

April 19, 2015 Posted by admin

Coachella Valley Music Arts Festival

Don’t miss out on all the music, art and more from this year’s Coachella Valley Music Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Grounds in Indio this weekend with our live coverage online at www.sbsun.com/coachella

INDIO As festivalgoers dance under the desert sun during the last weekend of the Coachella Valley Music Arts Festival, it’s easy to see that this year’s festival trend is all about foil tattoos — for both men and women.

From tribal to floral patterns, the temporary tattoos became the accessory of both weekends, even dominating the appearance of the classic Coachella flower crown. Many wore the tattoos like jewelry on their arms, neck and backs.

“They’re easy to wear and you can’t lose them,” said Cassie Castagno, 28, from Seattle who wore a few on his arm.

Made famous by Coachella-icon Vanessa Hudgens at last year’s festival, Pinterest and Instagram exploded with the flashy tattoos, which can be easily purchased on online and local retail stores.

“It looks tribal with the gold and black,” said Alex Weiss, 26, of Scottsdale who had the metallic tattoos on his tricep. “It’s a way to connect with everyone else wearing them.”

In addition to the temporary tattoos, crochet outfits and other BoHo staples like fringe and feathers, continued to dominate Coachella style. To help fans with their look, Coachella even partnered with HM this year for Coachella-approved clothes and accessories. HM’s tent near the Sahara tent at the festival also allowed fans to purchased pieces on-site, including pieces only available on festival grounds and not outside HM stores.

“Coachella is known for fashion as much as their music, so it is a perfect fit for our brand,” said Marybeth Schmitt, head of U.S. Communications HM North America. “It has also always been a great source of inspiration for us design-wise, and it is a venue in which we are able to connect with our customer in an unique way.”

With Coachella producers Goldenvoice expecting about 90,000 attendees, Schmitt added that HM just really wanted to “take it to the next level.”

But while having a one-stop shop is great for some people, many others still chose to go to smaller boutiques, consignment or thrift stores for their festival fashion.

DeeLux Claremont is just one of store that saw many festivalgoers shopping for their perfect look before Coachella.

“We have a lot of loyal customers and a lot of people come here to find Coachella outfits,” said Brynn Brdar, a retail associate. “Mainstream will always exist, but there are still a lot of people who want to be a rebel. Stores like this exist to cater to those who might be more wild and against the grain.”

DeeLux is a store where people can both buy and sell their clothes, so the items it carries tend to be more unique than mainstream stores, added fellow retail associate Lizette Lepe.

“I think it’s a disadvantage to go shop at a store like HM for Coachella because chances are, there are going to be a bunch of other people who end up wearing the same thing as you,” Lepe said. “It’s not a bad thing to go with the trend, but here we they have a chance to check out unique styles. You really get to be creative.”

And perhaps Brdar is right. This year, only a smattering of girls wore the flower crowns that were found on nearly every girl’s head last year.

“I think it’s becoming a bit played out,” Weiss said of the crowns.

But not everyone agrees. Karen Logan, 29, of Seattle thinks it might be “just an off year.”

“It’s a Coachella thing and it’s always going to be in style,” Logan said.

“It’s a classic,” chimed in 25-year-old Jessic Mathes of Tempe. “What girls doesn’t want to put flowers in her hair?”

Article source: http://www.sbsun.com/events/20150418/coachella-2015-festivalgoers-pursue-stylechella-with-foil-tattoos-and-more

La Villita shuffle continues – San Antonio Express

April 18, 2015 Posted by admin


Article source: http://www.expressnews.com/business/article/La-Villita-shuffle-continues-6207929.php

You May Not Have Heard of This Dodd-Frank Provision, but It’s Saving Lives …

April 17, 2015 Posted by admin


By Samir Goswami

Debate continues in Congress and among policymakers around changes to the Dodd-Frank Act. Last year’s budget bill included a last minute Wall Street-backed provision that rolls back a rule affecting derivatives, which some cite as a financial product that contributed to the 2008 economic crisis. Regardless of what further changes are made to Dodd-Frank, one section of the law has started to have a profound impact. This section (1502) requires companies in the United States to determine whether conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo are used in any of their products and report those findings to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In the SEC’s own words, “Congress enacted Section 1502 of the Act because of concerns that the exploitation and trade of conflict minerals by armed groups is helping to finance conflict in the DRC region and is contributing to an emerging humanitarian crisis.”

The DRC has been in a state of violent conflict for nearly two decades, is plagued by countless militias that prey on the land and other people, and has almost no functional government or rule of law. With its economy in shambles and the majority of the population living in poverty, one might question how so many militias are able to stay in business, and with seeming impunity. But the DRC is rich in a number of valuable minerals. The militias have been able to gain control of many of the mines operating in the country and sell their plunder to Western technology and jewelry companies — and then, Western consumers. Militias are thus able to amass a great amount of wealth to pay their soldiers, providing greater incentives for people to join them.

The Dodd-Frank Act deals with four of these so-called conflict minerals: tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold, sometimes collectively referred to as 3TG. The provision requires companies in the U.S. to analyze their supply chains to determine whether, at any point in the manufacturing process, their company uses any of these minerals, and whether those minerals came from the DRC or surrounding countries. They must report their findings to the government and make their findings public on their website so that consumers are aware of the origins of their products.

Some companies have responded, but some have also complained that the provision is overly cumbersome and places excessive requirements and cost burdens on them. There are also those who argue the measure negatively affects the situation in the DRC by closing down mines that previously employed thousands of civilians.

Despite these debates, we should not lose sight of the measure’s intent to help end violent conflict in the DRC by cutting off militias’ primary source of funding — and there is initial evidence that it is working. Since the Dodd-Frank Act was passed, militias’ funding from mining of conflict minerals has dropped by 65 percent. The Congolese army and the U.N. Force Intervention Brigade have wrested many mines from the control of violent militias, diminishing the atmosphere of impunity in which they operated in those areas. The situation in the DRC is still dismal, but the intent of this provision of Dodd-Frank should be given a chance. And conflict minerals are not the only materials for consumers to be concerned about — the International Labor Organization estimates that 14.2 million people around the world are victims of forced labor and exploitation in economic activities and that this represents $43 billion in annual profits across a variety of industries including construction, manufacturing, mining, fishing and utilities.

Procurement and sourcing managers already use a host of online tools to vet for financial, environmental or political risks in their supply chains — why not use the same data driven approach to vet suppliers and contractors for how they treat their workers? While we may argue about the appropriate regulatory and policy frameworks required to eliminate human rights violations, there shouldn’t be any opposition to conducting due diligence to ensure that we’re not funding exploitation, especially when we know that these risks exist. That is the broader aim of Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act and similar measures — realizing that supply chains can be tools for economic empowerment and opportunity — not sources of exploitation and unjust resource depletion.

Samir Goswami is a regional sales director at LexisNexis, the world’s largest database of primary law and news archives.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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Comments in post: You May Not Have Heard of This Dodd-Frank Provision, but Its Saving Lives | Commentary0 comments

Article source: http://www.rollcall.com/news/you_may_not_have_heard_of_this_dodd_frank_provision_but_its_saving_lives-241293-1.html?pos=oplyh

Branded Homes Make Waves Among the Elite in India

April 16, 2015 Posted by admin

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Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/17/greathomesanddestinations/branded-homes-make-waves-among-the-elite-in-india.html

State’s exports enjoying a gold rush

April 15, 2015 Posted by admin

Massachusetts’ top export is not sleek medical devices, cutting-edge machinery, or life-saving pharmaceuticals. It is something more intriguing: gold.

In a state devoid of gold mines, Massachusetts exported nearly $2 billion in gold last year to places such as the United Kingdom, Switzerland, and Hong Kong, according to WiserTrade.org, a Leverett trade research group. And these were not paper transactions but 62,500 pounds of the glittery metal — roughly the weight of a herd of more than two dozen rhinoceros.

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But exactly who is exporting this gold has stumped even specialists studying the Massachusetts economy, who can talk knowledgeably about almost any product that leaves the state, from semiconductors to seafood to colon cancer tests.

“I really would like to know, but I don’t,” said Northeastern University economics professor Alan Clayton-Matthews.

As it turns out, much of the gold leaving the state appears to be just passing through. In 2014, Massachusetts was not only the nation’s fifth-largest gold exporter but also its fourth-largest importer, accepting about $1.5 billion from countries such as Canada, Colombia, and Mexico.

The middle man appears to be the gold-refining industry, which understandably keeps a very low profile. Massachusetts has its own version of Fort Knox, the Metalor refinery, located in North Attleborough. Metalor, a subsidiary of a Swiss firm that makes gold bullion and parts for Rolex watches, is among the nation’s largest gold refiners.

The company did not return phone calls and e-mails. Juan Carlos Artigas, director of investment research at the World Gold Council, a trade association in London, also was tight-lipped about who here is buying and selling all that gold.

“There are bar and coin dealers in Massachusetts that basically function as a repository to sell gold to other parts of the country and parts outside the US,” Artigas said “But I don’t think I can expose names.”

Artigas has good reason to be careful. Last month, armed robbers stole $5 million in gold and silver from a truck headed from Miami to Boston. The FBI said the truck driver pulled over on a remote stretch of Interstate 95 in North Carolina when men who said they were “policia” ordered them out of the truck, then loaded barrels of gold and silver into a white getaway van.

The security guards were employed by TransValue Inc., a Miami transportation company that is offering $50,000 in addition to the FBI reward of $25,000 to anyone with information. FBI Special Agent Michael D. Leverock of the Miami bureau declined to discuss the truck’s exact destination.

Larry Nyborn, the second-generation owner of Precious Metals Reclaiming Service
, a Westwood refiner, said much of the gold that arrives in Massachusetts comes through Miami.

His small firm opened a location in West Palm Beach, Fla., in recent years, extracting gold from old jewelry and electronics and selling it to other US metal refiners, including Metalor.

Metalor makes gold bars stamped with its name and “999.9,” representing the near-purity of the bars, and sells them internationally, according to the company’s website.

Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Allan Nyborn of Precious Metals Reclaiming Service in Florida tested gold in preparation for melting.

Metalor’s suppliers include mining companies, central banks, dealers, recyclers, and industries producing precious metal waste, according to the company’s most recent annual report.

“They’re one of the big boys,” Nyborn said. “They could account for a big amount of [gold exports], but I don’t have any way to know. And I don’t think they’re going to tell you.”

Neither will the US Census Bureau, which tracks specific goods and the companies that export them. A spokesman said the names of those businesses are confidential.

Metalor’s 2013 annual report, the most recent available, offers few clues, other than to say that the company’s sole US plant “gained market share” in recent years. Metalor board chairman Scott Morrison told Bloomberg News in 2013: “Right now we can’t keep up with demand in terms of investors in Asia purchasing gold.”

In 2013, Massachusetts shipped about $1 billion in gold to Hong Kong, up from less the $1 million in 2011, according to WiserTrade.org. Last year, the state exported about $217 million in gold to Hong Kong.

Commodities specialists said a modernizing global economy is creating affluence in nations such as China and India, where demand for gold has spiked. “Part of having more wealth is you’re able to purchase more jewelry,” said KC Chang, a senior economist at IHS Global Insight, a Lexington forecasting firm. “Gold benefits from a rising middle class in Asia.”

The price of gold doubled from 2006 to 2010 before peaking in 2011 at about $1,900 an ounce, helping the precious metal become one of the state’s top dollar-value exports. Gold is now trading at about $1,200 an ounce.

Daniel Hodge, director of the Donahue Institute, a policy and economic research arm of the University of Massachusetts, said state economists have concluded that a single company, located near Attleboro, is responsible for the gold passing through the state.

But that’s as far as the research went, he said, because gold doesn’t have a big impact on the state’s broader economy. Technology, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing employ more workers and offer a better barometer of international trade and the state’s economic health.

“There are other sectors we think are more telling about how well Massachusetts companies are trading with Europe and Asia,” Hodge said. “But gold is one of the larger categories of commodities that we export.”

Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

Jason Nyborn (right) of Precious Metals Reclaiming Service in Westwood tested the content of a computer part that was brought in by Wesley Bucklin of MW Recycling in Biddeford, Maine.

Megan Woolhouse can be reached at megan.woolhouse@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @megwoolhouse.

Article source: https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2015/04/14/golden-mystery-massachusetts/y5WyTZnwsGX6Dciz7fgDNJ/story.html