Posts Tagged: ‘gold’

Gold Import Curbs Seen Continuing in India to Defend Rupee

April 17, 2014 Posted by admin

India, the world’s second-largest gold consumer, will probably keep restrictions on imports to control the current account deficit and defend the rupee, said the managing director of the country’s biggest refiner.

The limits would result in shipments of 650 metric tons to 700 tons in the 12 months started April 1 from 650 tons a year earlier, according to Rajesh Khosla at MMTC-PAMP India Pvt. Purchases were 845 tons in 2012-2013, the finance ministry says. While the form of restrictions may change, the government will continue to restrain buying, he said in an interview.

India represented about 25 percent of global demand in 2013, the World Gold Council says. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh requires importers to supply 20 percent of purchases to jewelers for export and sell 80 percent on the local market. Singh also raised import taxes and only allows banks and government-nominated entities to ship in gold. The new finance minister may review the rules after elections in progress now.

“I’m sure he will do something on 20:80,” said Khosla, referring to the import regulations. “You may come up with a quota system, you may come up with an auction system, you may ask the banks to bid. Freeing the import of gold as it used to be prior to the 20:80, I don’t think that is going to happen,” he said in New Delhi on April 8.

China overtook India as the biggest consumer last year. India buys almost all its gold from abroad. Unofficial imports almost doubled to 200 tons in 2013 while official flows dropped 4 percent to 825 tons, the London-based council estimates. Gold climbed 8.2 percent this year to $1,299.79 an ounce today.

National Elections

The country will have to go “slowly and steadily” in removing these curbs, Raghuram Rajan, governor of the Reserve Bank of India, said this month. “It would be useful for some of the big uncertainties facing us to be behind us rather than still in front of us before major actions are taken. I do not rule out smaller steps.”

India levies a tax of 10 percent on gold imports after increasing the rate three times last year. Federal elections will be concluded next month and opinion polls show the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party will emerge as the largest party while falling short of a parliamentary majority.

While the government may remove some of the curbs, they won’t do so completely because that would hurt the current account deficit, Victor Thianpiriya, a commodity strategist at Australia New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., said yesterday.

Indian DNA

Bullion contributed to almost 80 percent of a record $87.8 billion deficit in the year ended March 31, 2013. The shortfall in 2013-2014 would be contained below $40 billion, Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram said March 7, less than the $70 billion target. That helped the rupee rally about 14 percent from a record low in August.

The nation needs other measures to reduce its demand for bullion imports, Khosla said.

“Gold is the Indian DNA,” he said. “Throttling the supply of gold is not the answer.” Government analysis showed India could set aside $30 billion annually to import gold and keep its current account manageable, he said. “With gold at $1,400 you come to around 650-700 tons. That’s the ballpark figure for you, whoever is in government.”

With demand in India about 1,000 tons a year, the remaining 300 tons would be met through monetization of some of the 20,000 tons sitting above ground, Khosla said. Owners would deposit gold with banks for a set period for a fee and the banks would refine it before lending to jewelers, he said.

Doubling Capacity

MMTC-PAMP’s plant located 35 kilometers (22 miles) from New Delhi airport has the capacity to produce 100 tons of gold and 600 tons of silver annually. It plans to double gold output to 90 tons by the end of this year from 45 tons in the year ended March 31 after the government allowed continuous imports of 15 tons of dore every two months. Dore, a raw material, may contain about 80 percent gold and 15 percent silver, he said.

The refinery, owned 72 percent by Switzerland’s MKS Holdings and 28 percent by MMTC Ltd., will double its gold capacity to 200 tons by November, Khosla said. The country should expand its refining industry and boost dore imports because processing creates value for India, he said. Use of scrap should also increase, he said.

“Our raw material is mainly dore now,” Khosla said. “If you looked at the long term, the raw material for this plant let us say 10 years from now, I would say 50 percent is dore and 50 percent is scrap. All internal scrap.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Pratik Parija in New Delhi at; Prabhudatta Mishra in New Delhi at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Poole at Thomas Kutty Abraham

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Pittsfield jeweler defaults in civil case alleging theft of $120K

April 16, 2014 Posted by admin

PITTSFIELD — A city jeweler facing criminal charges for allegedly ripping off customers defaulted in a civil case Tuesday and will now be heading for a hearing to determine the amount of damages he owes a local woman.

Mark J. Yannone, of Pittsfield, was scheduled to appear in Berkshire Superior Court for a pretrial hearing on a civil case brought in December 2012 by JoAnne Simms, who alleged she was owed close to $120,000 by Yannone.

According to her civil complaint, she was hired to manage Berkshire Gold Silver on Elm Street and had brought her “personal jewelry stock” to sell on consignment at the store.

She alleged Yannone gave her three checks totaling $20,000 for the sale of some of her consignment jewelry but the checks bounced and Yannone then refused to pay her.

Yannone also failed to return the rest of her jewelry and her equipment valued at close to $100,000, according to her complaint.

Berkshire Gold Silver and the adjacent Mark Joseph Jewelers now appear to be closed.

On Tuesday Simms’ attorney, Anthony P. Doyle, said he hadn’t heard from Yannone, but that notice had been given to him concerning the hearing.

Yannone was representing himself in the case after attorney Alan J. Righi withdrew in November.

Judge Daniel A. Ford found Yannone in default and ordered a hearing for a motion to assess damages in the case. The date hadn’t been scheduled as of Tuesday afternoon.

Yannone also is facing 16 criminal charges for allegedly ripping off customers for thousands of dollars by failing to pay for or return jewelry, selling fake gold and filing a false insurance claim. Those charges include 14 counts of larceny by false pretense and single counts of larceny over $250 from a person 60 years of age or older and filing a fraudulent insurance claim.

He has denied all charges and remains free on personal recognizance.

The latest charge of larceny by false pretense over $250 came last month via a District Attorney’s complaint. The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office alleged Yannone failed to pay a woman close to $20,000 for her jewelry he took on consignment.

Among the earlier alleged crimes, which Pittsfield Police said took place between March 20, 2011, and Aug. 13, 2013, he is accused of selling a 35-year-old woman what he said was a 19-ounce gold bar for $25,000 that turned out to be made of “a white-colored substance” that had been covered in a gold finish, police said.

The woman told police two other jewelers later determined the bar contained no gold.

In another case, police said Yannone promised to sell a 68-year-old Pittsfield man gold he claimed he could get at a reduced price. The man accepted and Yannone cashed a $6,000 check and took 15 gold coins from the man, but never came through with the gold, or returned the cash or coins, according to a Pittsfield Police probable cause report.

Yannone is represented on the criminal matters by attorney Leonard H. Cohen and is due back in court for a pretrial hearing June 9.

Cohen wasn’t available for comment on Tuesday.

To reach Andrew Amelinckx:,

or (413) 496-6249.

On Twitter: @BETheAmelinckx

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Man charged with attempting to sell fake gold

April 15, 2014 Posted by admin

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTVA) — A Montgomery, Alabama man has been charged after authorities say he attempted to sell counterfeit gold jewelry to an off-duty police officer.

Lowndes County investigators say Dornell Little, 49, approached the officer in the parking lot of a business on Highway 45 North.

They say Little had 10 jewelry pieces with stamps to indicate they were real when it fact they were not.

Little is charged with felony sale of goods bearing a counterfeit stamp.

Bond was set at $10,000.

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Why the 2014 Proof Sets Are Hot

April 14, 2014 Posted by admin

Proof sets—in particular this one—are a must-have for any serious coin collector. Last month the US Mint released the official 2014 proof set. And despite the release of popular coins like the Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative and the Golden Eagle, it’s very likely that this year’s proof set will be 2014’s top-selling coin product.

Though not equaling the whopping 389,905 early orders for the Baseball Hall of Fame coin, the 2014 proof set sales are nothing to sneeze at. Initial sales are slightly higher than last year’s, debuting at over 200,000. Issued by the San Francisco mint, the set includes 14 coins. All of the coins—aside from some of the presidential coins—were created as part of different commemorative coin acts intended to celebrate US history.

The Native American $1 Coin honors the native tribes of the Pacific Northwest who played an important part in Lewis and Clark’s journey.

The presidents honored on the 2014 Presidential $1 Coin releases are as follows:

  • Warren G. Harding
  • Calvin Coolidge
  • Herbert Hoover
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt

The annual America the Beautiful quarter releases for 2014 feature the following national parks:

  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarter in Tennessee
  • Shenandoah National Park Quarter in Virginia
  • Arches National Park Quarter in Utah
  • Great Sand Dunes National Park Quarter in Colorado
  • Everglades National Park Quarter in Florida

Later in April, the Mint will release a silver proof set at a slightly higher cost.

Though all of these coins will be in regular circulation, experienced coin collectors know the value of buying a proof set. Circulated coins are not the same quality as Mint-issued proof sets because of the extra-shiny finish found on proof set coins. It creates a mirror effect on the background and makes the frosted image in the foreground jump off the coin.

With the release of the 2014 proof set, the Baseball Hall of Fame Coin and the Golden Eagle Coin, it’s safe to say this spring is coin season! If you coin aficionados ever want to talk about coins, come down to Bellevue Rare Coins. We could talk coins all day long.

Bellevue Rare Coins specializes in gold buying and dealing in rare coins. We are a family-owned business located in Bellevue and Lynnwood. We also buy and sell silver, diamonds, currency and jewelry. Visit us first for a free evaluation.

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Whitman second-hand shop gets computer tracking system

April 13, 2014 Posted by admin

Joseph Markman

The Enterprise

Posted Apr. 12, 2014 @ 9:03 pm
Updated Apr 12, 2014 at 10:24 PM

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What You Need to Know if You Want to Sell Your Diamonds

April 12, 2014 Posted by admin


Selling your diamonds can be a stressful experience if you don’t have the foundational information regarding pricing and how the diamond market is performing. There are many factors to consider when setting a price. However, knowing the basics can go a long way in helping you to decide how to make the best diamond sale for your individual needs. Here are the fundamental basics you need to know if you want to sell your diamonds.

Diamond prices are stable

While the price of gold has taken a rollercoaster ride in recent years, diamond prices have enjoyed smooth sailing over the course of 2013/14. Two years ago, the value of an ounce of gold was approximately $1800. Now, it stands at approximately $1300 –that’s a third less than what it once was. Diamonds, on the other hand, have fewer fluctuations in their traded values – as you can see in the graph below. Matthew Howe, the General Manager of the diamond buying company WP Diamonds, states that “While there is no universally accepted index for the value of aftermarket diamonds, the industry consensus is that second-hand diamond prices have been stable and continue to hold their value.”

To demonstrate, IDEX Online Research data indicates that there has been an increase of 2-3 percent in retail sales in the U.S in 2013, following an increase from previous years in retail jewelry sales. This occurs in a context where the average annual production of rough diamonds will grow to 4.8 percent in 2018, according to Bain  Company. The IDEX polished price index shows that prices of polished diamonds, fresh to the market, have remained broadly stable over the course of 2013.


Certificates for Diamonds are important 

Diamonds, like any other asset that retains significant value are a traded commodity and now have a growing secondary market. All of this means that more and more people are looking to sell their diamond jewelry. The timing is good if you are looking to sell, but having a basic understanding of the factors that affect value is important. The “Four Cs” are the basic characteristics that affect the value of any diamond (cut, color, clarity and carat). It is also important to be aware that the documentation you have to accompany your diamond will govern the experience you have during the sale process. Whether someone has a certificate from an international laboratory, jeweler’s appraisal or no paperwork at all, his or her diamond can still be resold; the process simply may differ.

Certificates from international labs: A certificate from the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) is seen as the most trusted certificate in the diamond industry. The GIA is respected worldwide for its tough but accurate grading standards. A company wishing to purchase a stone simply needs to obtain a copy of the certificate to give you a very accurate price range that they are willing to pay to purchase your stone.

As a result, your sales can be conducted quickly and easily as you can rely on the original price range. Most diamond buyers will recertify non GIA certified stones through the GIA. Stones bought with a GIA certificate can be traded instantly. Other certificates from the AGS (American Gems Society), IGI (International Gemological Institute) or EGL (European Gemological Laboratory) are also helpful to have, since these too, are industry-recognized labs. Remember though that diamond grading is subjective and may have different results in different labs. The EGL for example, is renowned for being generous by one color or clarity, and sometimes more. The AGS and IGI on the other hand, are closer to GIA standards on a consistent basis. These labs give you a very good idea of the characteristics of your stone but are subject to some variance from GIA standards. The implication of this is that a company looking to buy will give you a wider price range to cope with this variance. Companies like WP Diamonds will still request that you send in your item for evaluation to ensure that the diamond is graded to GIA standards.

Jeweler’s appraisal: A jewelry appraisal (also known as a jewelry valuation) is a document you may receive from a high end jeweler or jewelry appraiser that describes the item of jewelry being valued and then gives a value that the item should be insured for. The appraisal should describe the jewelry item stating an estimated diamond weight, an approximate color and clarity of the diamond (which is usually given as a range, for example H-J color, SI1/SI2 clarity etc.), the weight and type of metal the jewelry is made from and any other gemstones details. The document is the opinion of the jeweler in question and a result of the training and experience of that individual jeweler. It is not as reliable as a laboratory produced document where grading standards are stricter and tightly controlled. This all means that a diamond buying company will produce a much wider range of prices to cope with what can be large variations in the color and clarity grading. Also, jewelers appraisals do not have the ‘cut grade’ which is a large factor in determining price.

To learn more about the importance of ‘cut grade’, please visit this link regarding Cut Grading considerations:

No certificate: You may own diamond jewelry for which you have lost the associated paperwork, or you may have inherited a diamond and have no idea what the characteristics are. If you are in this situation, how do you go about selling it when most companies need to know the characteristics of the diamond before giving you a price? The biggest issue you face is that you won’t be able to obtain a price range before you make an appointment to sell or send your diamond for sale. Without the “Four Cs” it is impossible for any company to provide you with a sensible price range. Some companies will pay for the diamond to be shipped and then make you an offer, but it can be challenging to find companies willing to do this. Your other option is to take the diamond to a local jeweler to obtain a verbal appraisal if getting some idea of price is important before you try and sell. You could also send your stone to the GIA for certification, but it costs money and takes time to have your diamond certified. The choice is yours.

You can sell your diamond, regardless of what certifications you have, but it is important to understand the implications of your certificate. With a GIA certificate, the range will be much tighter than with other certificates, where certain characteristics might not be known, producing a wider estimate range. The accuracy of your certificate will determine where your offer falls within the range provided; an accurate certificate will land you on the higher end, whereas inaccuracies in your certificate may place your offer lower. Whether you have certification or not, you will be asked to send in your item for evaluation or make an appointment with a buyer. All buyers will need to check the grading and also inspect the stone for damage. Damage to a diamond will significantly hurt the value.

There are many factors that are considered when selling your diamond and being knowledgeable about diamond grading certificates will help you to better understand what to expect. To ensure that you receive the most accurate pricing and best possible service, it is key to work with a company that holds itself to strict industry standards and has a team of experts that grades to GIA standards and can guide you through the sale process.


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Letter: Emergency Fund made a difference for local senior

April 11, 2014 Posted by admin

Posted Apr. 10, 2014 @ 9:01 pm


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MASS MOST WANTED: Randolph theft

April 10, 2014 Posted by admin

Posted Apr. 9, 2014 @ 10:50 pm
Updated at 1:20 PM

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Diamond scam may have included gold and fake gems

April 9, 2014 Posted by admin

AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) – Amherst Police say more customers are discovering problems with jewelry from RSNP Diamond Exchange, in the Village of Williamsville.

Last month, shop owner Paul Blarr pleaded not guilty to three counts of grand larceny and one count of scheme to defraud. He allegedly sold fake diamonds to customers. Prosecutors now say they have about 50 people who claim they’re victims.

Police say customers from the past 20 years are calling other precious gemstones into question that have been purchased at or repaired by the store. Police say some gold items were found be gold-plated instead of solid gold, some gems were switched or not the quality of what they purchased, and some diamonds were enhanced.

But police say not all of the customers who have been tricked may have been found. Some customers had diamonds tested without the equipment that identifies Moissanite, a man-made substance that mimics a real diamond.

Scanlon’s Jewelers has been testing jewelry from Blarr’s store for free. The store uses several different methods to determine a real from a fake, including using a microscope and then a heat test, which can identify Moissanite.

In just the past two weeks, Scanlon’s has tested more than 300 diamonds, and they say at least 40 of them have turned out to be fakes.

“Most fine jewelers don’t have experience with it because we don’t sell it,” said Todd Scanlon of Scanlon’s Jewelers. “There have been some really horrible things done, from brides- and grooms-to-be that took loans out for stones that they haven’t even paid off to I had a terminal cancer patient buy something for his wife and instructed her to wear it after he passed away and then give it to his daughter so daddy could give her the ring when she got married and it was $7,000 and it was fake.”

Amherst Police are encouraging anyone who had any jewelry – diamonds, gold or other gemstones – bought from or repaired at RSNP Diamond Exchange to have them tested at a reputable jeweler.

Scanlon says if you’re making a big purchase, ask for certification from a reputable lab before putting your money down.

“You want to go to more than one store, all the time. I’d love you to come here only, shop the pricing. If someone is ridiculously low on something there’s probably something wrong,” he said.

Anyone who had items at RSNP Diamond Exchange for repair only, can now call the law office of Charles Marchese (716-845-6446) to arrange to pick up your property.

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Police have more bad news for customers of Williamsville jeweler

April 8, 2014 Posted by admin

It’s looking like the fake diamonds allegedly sold by a Williamsville jeweler were only the tip of the iceberg.

Other precious gemstones purchased or repaired during the past 20 years at the former RSNP Diamond Exchange on Main Street are being called into question, Amherst police said this morning. And some gold items were found to be gold-plated instead of solid gold.

Police have essentially issued an all-points-bulletin for people who’ve done business with RSNP Diamond Exchange and its predecessor, Amherst Diamond Exchange, to have their jewelry examined.

“Not only the diamonds, but everything else should be checked,” said Amherst Police Capt. Enzio G. Villalta.

Each report in the investigation of jeweler Paul Blarr, who already has been charged with three felony counts of grand larceny and one of scheme to defraud, is being forwarded to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, the captain said.

District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III declined to comment this morning.

Blarr, 47, is accused of selling fake diamonds for the prices of real ones. And, police said, he apparently took authentic diamonds that customers gave him to sell on consignment, sold them at pawnshops and pocketed the money, police said.

Among his unwitting victims were several police officers, it previously was reported. More than 100 former customers already have contacted police.

“Some of them are going back several years,” Villalta said, who noted that most of the victims live locally.

Police, who announced Blarr’s arrest in late March, had more bad news for customers today.

Testing has found other man-made substances instead of diamonds, police said. So-called enhanced diamonds, produced when treatments are performed on natural diamonds to improve their visual characteristics, were not identified as such at the time of purchase – as required by the Federal Trade Commission.

In addition, former RSNP customers who have been having their items tested have learned the gemstones may have been switched, or aren’t the quality of what they had purchased, police said.

Police advised that customers who had their items deemed to be diamonds through testing should have them tested again. Outdated equipment or failure to specifically test for Moissanite, a man-made substance, may have resulted in false positives.

Villalta said: “If you feel that you may be a victim, make sure that you have all items of jewelry tested, and to make sure when testing for diamonds, the test includes Moissanite.”

Anyone who had items at RSNP Diamond Exchange for repair only can call the office of Charles Marchese, Blarr’s attorney, to arrange pickup of their property. That number is (716) 845-6446.

Marchese has said Blarr himself was a victim, “spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy gems he thought were real.”


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