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TV cash-for-gold firms 'offer fraction of true value'

By Sean Polter

Last updated at 9:54 AM on 21st January 2010

Companies offering cash for gold jewellery in a recent flurry of TV adverts are paying a fraction of the items' true worth. The firms, which have latched on to increases in the price of gold, are 'shockingly bad value', according to consumer group Which?

Three pieces of new jewellery purchased by Which? for a total of £729 drew offers from the firms of as little as £38.57 for the lot. One company refused to return a £399 necklace free of charge, as promised, on the inaccurate pretext that it was not gold at all.

Cashmygold.co.uk: Money within 24hours... but at what cost?

Cashmygold.co.uk: Money within 24hours... but at what cost?


The firms sell their services on TV on the basis that customers can post off their old and unwanted jewellery and turn it into cash to pay for a holiday or to clear debts.

The Which? Money magazine picked out three items of jewellery on the high street, a £115 bracelet, £215 bangle and £399 necklace, and purchased four of each. In November 2009 it sent them to four TV gold buyers, as well as getting quotes from three high street pawnbrokers and three jewellers.

CashMyGold offered the lowest prices on all three items, offering just £38.57 in total for the three pieces. The firm offered just under £10 for the 9ct gold bangle. This compared to a scrap metal price quote of £54 from an independent jeweller. In one instance, Money4Gold told a Which? Money researcher that a 9ct necklace he bought for £399 was 'not gold' and it would cost him £10.95 to have it returned.

The scrap value of a necklace will be considerably less than its price as a piece of jewellery. However, this does not explain the paltry offers.


Companies offering cash for gold jewellery are 'shockingly bad value', according to consumer group Which?

On average, the TV gold buyers offered around 6 per cent of the retail price for gold. High street stores paid around 25 per cent. The magazine said: 'Companies that encourage people to sell their unwanted gold by post are offering consumers shockingly bad value and should be avoided.' Postal Gold surprised the researcher by upping its quote when he rejected its cheque - almost doubling its offer for the bracelet and bangle. However, these rates were still far lower than those from jewellers and pawnbrokers.

The firms insist the prices they offer reflect the fact they have different costs to pawnbrokers and jewellers. CashMyGold's managing director Justin Prichard added: 'Gold retail prices and the prices obtained for smelted gold are not comparable. 'Retail gold can be sold at a marked up price of up to 300 per cent.' He said that for this reason, they advertised only for old or broken jewellery.

Source: dailymail online






Last week I witnessed helplessly how the elderly were getting robbed. Yes, you read correctly. ROBBED!

Unfortunately, it wasn’t your ordinary, traditional robbery, at gun or knife point. I say unfortunately, because at least when the first two happen, you know who the enemy is and where he’s coming from.    

No, this time was robbery at word point, much more subtle, therefore, much more dangerous and damaging. Under my very eyes, little old ladies were being cleverly conned into selling their last family heirlooms for less than half their value. It was blatant, it was cruel…it was ruthless.

Basically, somewhere around the beginning of June I received a flashy leaflet with cash for gold advert, saying that the gold and silver buyers were going to be in our town in approximately a week, in a well known hotel. I decided to go and try them out purely out of curiosity. After all, they did say they were the best in what they did…better than all the rest, as they described themselves.  And little did I know they were actually right, they were the best, only not in giving…but in taking!

When I turned up there, old ladies were queuing at the door, and let me assure you, it was far from being “strictly private and confidential” as they had advertised. On the contrary, people waiting outside could see and hear loud and clear what was going on in the room. Perhaps it was for the best that there was no confidentiality, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to write this article. I will not give any names for the moment, so let’s just call the gold dealer Mr. Shark, shall we?

When I arrived, a transaction was already taking place between Mr. Shark and an elderly couple. I could hear everything. The commanding tone in the voice of the trader, belittling the value of the items in front of him, the embarrassed tone in the voice of the couple, too decent and honourable ( qualities which appeared to be missing from Mr Shark’s   arsenal ) to haggle or ask for more. In the meantime, Mr Shark invited another lady in ( so much for privacy), while the couple was counting on the side of the table a small bag of silver coins they had brought. Everything was done in a rush, like a mini chaos, deliberately induced by the dealer so that people wouldn’t feel comfortable and leave without asking for more or without doing a bit of maths in their heads to see if they’re being robbed or not.

A short example: the couple in front of me got only £36 for silver that was worth over £150 at scrap value. A good friend of mine once said: mathematic illiteracy in this country is one of its biggest threats. I tend to agree with him now.

The less time people spent in the transaction room the better. Obviously, Mr. Shark had learned his lesson, knowing full well that as long as you rush people and blind them with silly stories, as long as you make them feel uncomfortable and keep their interior eye turned from what really matters (which is the amount they’re going to get for their gold and silver), as long as you do that, you’re bound to be the winner and they’re bound to be the losers. Poor old ladies, practically giving away their last pieces of jewellery to pay the electricity bill or God knows what. Shameful! Disgraceful! Utterly outrageous!

I decided to give it a go myself, so I gave him my wife’s earrings and my wedding band for evaluation. For the record, I mention that I have some experience with precious metals, so I was more or less aware of the value of my items. The earrings are 9ct gold and weigh 7.9g and the wedding band is 14ct and weighs 10g. The spot price for something like this is around £235. A jeweller offered me £100 for the wedding band alone, so I was looking at around £150-£160 if I were to take them to the jeweller’s and haggle for the price.

Mr Shark then tore the plastic bag and after quickly examining the items, he tossed them on the scales as if they were worthless pieces of nickel. He then said without even blinking: 80 pounds. Swallowing the first words that were eager to burst out of my mouth, I replied politely:  “ I believe they are worth more than that, I know the wedding band is 14ct”.

And then, to my astonishment, he replied: “Is it? What does it say, 14ct or 585?”

As if he didn’t see the mark on the band…as if he didn’t know fully well…as if he wasn’t the one that should’ve known. I couldn’t decide which question I should ask him first, weather he is a common thief or how many people have there been before me that weren’t as “picky” or as aware as me. In the end, I decided to play the good manner card again and told him I’m positive it’s 14ct and that my wife would kill me if I let go of them for that price.

It was all like a big, ugly joke, I was waiting for the hidden camera to come out of some corner. But nothing came out, except an irritated voice (obviously, I wasn’t the right kind of sheep he was after), raising the price from £80 to £90 and finally to £100. When he saw I wouldn’t give in, he became aggressive. “Well how much do you want for them? I offer you the best deal, that’s better than the shops in town. Tell me how much do you want?”

By this point, I was already sick to my stomach, disgusted once again to see how low some will go for profit. I left the room with my gold, not knowing whether to go home or to the police.

Witnessing the people in front of me giving in to a bullying, aggressive and manipulative trader  and letting go of their valuables for a fraction of what they were worth left me not only feeling helpless and powerless, but also guilty. Guilty for seeing and hearing what was going on and guilty for not stopping that charade on the spot and preventing any more people getting ripped off.

For heaven’s sake, people, you wouldn’t sell your house for half of its value, would you?

So why do this with your gold or silver? In a time of recession everyone turns to gold, I’m not saying it, history is. So the best thing you could do with your gold or silver is hang on to it or even buy some more.

But if you must sell it, then at least look around, have your gold or silver valuated in at least two different places and ask for different opinions and go see different people. I, for example, after leaving Mr Shark’s den, went down the road to Cotswold Gold, a nice, local and friendly gold dealer and got an offer of £150 for the same items, that’s 50% MORE than what Mr. Shark had offered me. I was even offered a cup of tea while the man evaluated my gold, so nothing compared to the stiffness and rudeness from earlier on.

So, when in doubt, browse and don’t fall in cleverly laid traps. Stay safe and always be sure to make the right choice. 

Source: Dr. Agos, at cotswoldgold



The World Gold Council has joined Augmentum Capital (a fund backed by Lord Rothschild's RIT Capital Partners) to invest £12.5m  into Bullion Vault (the online gold investment platform). Tim Levene, of Augmentum Capital, stated that this move was not to be considered as a bet on the gold price but on "the future growth of the Bullion Vault platform".

Bullion Vault stores physical gold for private clients in London, New York and Zurich and RIT currently has 9% of its assets in physical gold. Investment demand for the precious metal has soared on concerns that sovereign debt problems could not be contained and the value of currencies would plunge. On Friday, 18th of June, gold price hit a new nominal all-time high, above $1,260 an ounce and it is thought the price will continue to rise.

For the £12.5m, Augmentum and the World Gold Council will receive an equity stake in Bullion Vault. Bullion Vault has under its management about £540m worth of gold that accounts for about 20,000 customers from more than 90 countries with an average holding of around £30,000.

Source: The Daily Telegraph, Monday, 21st of June, 2010






By David MacGregor


"(...)We live our lives in the mistaken sense that those before us were somehow different from us - less educated, less intelligent, less advanced - and consider ourselves somehow superior. But the truth is human nature has not changed, and does not change. And the experiences of those before us - in life, love, happiness, sadness, war, peace and death - are just as valid today as they were back then. Sure, we are more technologically advanced, but at a more fundamental level - in our morality, our passions, our thinking - we have not advanced at all. And because of that, we are prone to fall into the same traps and make the same mistakes as those who’ve gone before us. And contrary to accepted wisdom, it appears we don’t learn the lessons of history - but are destined to re-live them over and over. One such lesson is the subject of this special report - the truth about fiat money and why gold is the only real money available to us today. I have identified seven critical facts you need to know and understand - in order that you can be fully prepared for what must come to pass. Fortunes will be made and lost in the financial and economic turmoil ahead. And by being informed and prepared, you can be a winner rather than a loser."

"The Only Real Money is Gold

If the world’s economies crash aka 1929 - or worse - you can assume that the value of paper money will crash with it. You can also assume there will be a fire sale of all sorts of assets - as those who now own them under financial lien, will be forced to sell at bargain prices. And in this way financial turmoil produces both losers and winners. One way to reduce the risk of personal financial disaster is to reduce, or preferably eliminate, all your personal debts. This is a hugely important advantage - if you can manage it. Why? Because in any severe monetary contraction (like the banks calling in loans), the first to suffer are those on the knife-edge of financial security - those whose incomes are eaten up with a mortgage or secondary financial debt. To have your own home debt-free is a major security advantage if the economy falters. Without debt you need a lot less money to survive. And if you have a roof over your head, without crippling outgoings, then you are in a much more sound position.

An important question you need to ask yourself is, “How long can I survive on the money I already have - if I lose my job?” And if you’re like most people, you’ll find the answer rather unsettling, if not downright shocking. So the first order of the day should always be to eliminate, as much as possible, your debts. The second strategy for financial survival would be to ensure you have a good portion of your existing cash converted into gold. For as already explained, although it’s impossible to predict the future, two things are certain. The value of paper fiat money is entirely dependent on public confidence - and it would likely lose a lot of its purchasing power in a major financial crash. Gold, on the other hand, is historically sound money - and what’s more, is likely to rise rapidly in value under such a “financial crash” scenario.

“Gold Bugs” are often seen as doom-sayers - constantly predicting the end of the world and the impending surge in the value of gold. And of course, there are many things that could transpire to ward off the ultimate financial end game. However, being prudent is certainly recommended. And even though some predictions of gold rising to over £2,000 an ounce may seen hard to believe right now - even conservative investment advisors are predicting that gold can only go up, and that it is in a major Bull market which has a long way to go. So the question becomes, “How do I get my hands on this real money?”. Traditionally, the answer was easy enough. Buy some gold coins or bullion and get them stored in a safe place. Many people are still avid proponents of the “physical possession of gold” strategy.

But what if things take a turn for the worse. What if your country bans gold, and forces everyone to hand it over - as the USA has done before? How would you feel if you had taken the precaution of stashing a few thousand dollar’s worth of gold at home in your safe, or in the vault of your local bank, only to find the government is demanding you hand it over (for much less than market value compensation)? This is a real fear amongst those who think seriously about gold. Who knows what some run-amok government may do if faced with a run on its own fiat money - while people are deserting it in favour of gold? My own thinking is that any government will not want to tolerate such a attack on its financial sovereignty and control, and is quite likely to seek to confiscate the rogue gold from its citizens. So it’s not enough just to secure your own supply of gold. You need to think very carefully about exactly how you will acquire it, and how you will store it, and more importantly, where. These are important questions, because the scenario that could cause gold to be the only secure means of holding your assets, could also mean the most risky to such holdings(...)."

Source: David MacGregor



Why recycling your gold and silver is good for environment:

Recycling your gold and silver can help the environment as well as your wallet. While recycling jewellery provides the consumers with an opportunity to make some extra money from their old, unwanted or broken gold and silver, it is also a way to do something for the environment. Recycling gold and silver helps to reduce the need for gold and silver mining and minimizes the impact on the planet's resources and on its environment.



This is a list of some of our competitors:

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We provide direct service and face to face transactions in the following counties and their towns*:  

Berkshire (Reading, Bracknell, Maidenhead, Newbury, Windsor, Wokingham, Abingdon),

 Buckinghamshire (Aylesbury, Milton Keynes, Slough, Buckingham, High Wycombe),

Gloucestershire (Gloucester, Bristol, Cheltenham, Stroud, Cirencester, Tewkesbury),

Northamptonshire (Northampton, Peterborough, Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough),

Oxfordshire (Oxford, Banbury, Witney, Bicester, Henley-on-Thames, Carterton, Thame),

Warwickshire (Warwick, Birmingham, Coventry, Nuneaton, Rugby, Solihull, Stratford-upon-Avon),

Wiltshire (Trowbridge, Salisbury, Swindon, Chippenham, Devizes, Marlborough, Warminster).

*Please note that we can call at your home for private evaluations, provided there is a minimum amount of 100g (approx. 3 Oz.) of gold involved in the evaluation process.



Through our " post your gold " service on our website we are able to receive and evaluate gold from  the following counties and their affiliated towns across the UK:

Bedfordshire (Bedford, Luton, Dunstable, Leighton Buzzard, Biggleswade, Sandy)  
Cambridgeshire (Cambridge, Wisbech, Ely, March, Whittlesey, Chatteris, Linton)
Cheshire (Chester, Stockport, Ellesmere Port, Birkenhead, Wallasey, Runcorn, Macclesfield, Crewe)
Cornwall (Bodmin, Truro, Camborne, Redruth, St. Austell, Falmouth, Penzance, Newquay)
Cumberland (Carlisle, Whitehaven, Workington, Penrith, Keswick, Brampton)
Derbyshire (Derby, Chesterfield, Glossop, Ilkeston, Long Eaton, Swadlincote, Buxton, Matlock, Ashbourne)
Devon (Exeter, Plymouth, Torquay, Paignton, Barnstaple, Tiverton, Newton Abbot, Tavistock)
Dorset (Dorchester, Poole, Weymouth, Sherborne, Wimborne Minster, Shaftesbury)
Durham (Durham, Sunderland, Stockton-on-Tees, Darlington, Hartlepool, Gateshead, Washington)
Essex (Chelmsford, Basildon, Romford, Southend, Colchester, Harlow, Brentwood, West Ham)

Hampshire (Winchester, Southampton, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Basingstoke, Newport)
Herefordshire (Hereford, Ross-on-Wye, Leominster, Ledbury, Bromyard, Kington)
Hertfordshire (Hertford, Watford, St. Albans, Hemel Hempstead, Stevenage, Hatfield)
Huntingdonshire (Huntingdon, St. Ives, St. Neots, Ramsey, Yaxley)
Kent (Maidstone, Canterbury, Bromley, Rochester, Margate, Folkestone, Dover, Greenwich)
Lancashire (Lancaster, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, Bolton, Warrington, Barrow-in-Furness)
Leicestershire (Leicester, Loughborough, Hinckley, Melton Mowbray, Coalville, Lutterworth)
Lincolnshire (Lincoln, Grimsby, Scunthorpe, Boston, Grantham, Stamford, Skegness, Louth)
Middlesex (City of London, Harrow, Enfield, Staines, Ealing, Potters Bar, Westminster )
Norfolk (Norwich, Great Yarmouth, King's Lynn, Dereham, Cromer, Hunstanton)

Northumberland (Alnwick, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Morpeth, Hexham, Berwick-upon-Tweed)
Nottinghamshire (Nottingham, Mansfield, Worksop, Newark, Retford, Southwell)

Rutland (Oakham, Uppingham. Cottesmore)
Shropshire (Shrewsbury, Telford, Oswestry, Bridgnorth, Whitchurch, Market Drayton, Ludlow)
Somerset (Taunton, Bath, Weston-super-Mare, Yeovil, Bridgwater, Wells, Glastonbury)
Staffordshire (Stafford, Stoke-on-Trent, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Cannock, Lichfield)
Suffolk (Ipswich, Bury St. Edmunds, Lowestoft, Felixstowe, Sudbury, Haverhill, Bungay)
Surrey (Guildford, Croydon, Woking, Sutton, Kingston-on-Thames, Wandsworth, Wimbledon, Brixton)
Sussex (Chichester, Brighton, Worthing, Crawley, Hastings, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Horsham)
Westmorland (Appleby, Kendal, Windermere, Ambleside, Kirkby Lonsdale)
Worcestershire (Worcester, Dudley, Kidderminster, Stourbridge, Halesowen, Malvern, Evesham)

In Yorkshire, we serve:
North Riding (Northallerton, Middlesbrough, Scarborough, Whitby)
East Riding (Beverley, Hull, Bridlington, Driffield, Hornsea, Filey)
West Riding (Wakefield, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Halifax, Harrogate)
York (within the Walls)


In WALES (including Monmouthshire), we serve:

Anglesey/Sir Fon (Beaumaris, Holyhead, Llangefni, Amlwch, Menai Bridge)
Brecknockshire/Sir Frycheiniog (Brecon, Builth Wells, Hay-on-Wye, Talgarth, Llanwrtwd Wells)
 Caernarfonshire/Sir Gaernarfon (Caernarfon, Bangor, Llandudno, Conwy, Pwllheli, Porthmadog)
Carmarthenshire/Sir Gaerfyrddin (Carmarthen, Llanelli, Ammanford, Llandovery, Kidwelly, St. Clears) Cardiganshire/Ceredigion (Cardigan, Aberystwyth, Lampeter, New Quay, Tregaron)
 Denbighshire/Sir Ddinbych (Denbigh, Wrexham, Ruthin, Abergele, Llangollen)
Flintshire/Sir Fflint (Mold, Flint, Rhyl, Prestatyn, Connah's Quay, Holywell, Buckley, St. Asaph)
Glamorgan/Morgannwg (Cardiff, Swansea, Merthyr Tydfil, Barry, Caerphilly, Bridgend, Neath, Pontypridd)
 Merioneth/Meirionnydd (Dolgellau, Bala, Tywyn, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Barmouth, Harlech)
 Monmouthshire/Sir Fynwy (Monmouth, Newport, Blackwood, Cwmbran, Abergavenny, Chepstow, Tredegar)
 Montgomeryshire/Sir Drefaldwyn (Montgomery, Newtown, Welshpool, Machynlleth, Llanidloes)
 Pembrokeshire/Sir Benfro (Pembroke, Milford Haven, Haverfordwest, Fishguard, Tenby, St. David's)
 Radnorshire/Sir Faesyfed (Presteigne, Llandrindod Wells, Knighton, Rhayader, New Radnor)


In SCOTLAND, we serve:

 Aberdeenshire (Aberdeen, Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Inverurie, Huntley, Ellon, Turriff)
 Angus/Forfarshire (Forfar, Dundee, Arbroath, Brechin, Montrose, Carnoustie, Kirriemuir)
Argyllshire (Inveraray, Oban, Dunoon, Campbeltown, Lochgilphead, Tobermory)
Ayrshire (Ayr, Kilmarnock, Irvine, Saltcoats, Kilwinning, Largs, Troon, Cumnock)
Banffshire (Banff, Buckie, Keith, Macduff, Portsoy, Dufftown)
Berwickshire (Greenlaw, Duns, Eyemouth, Lauder, Coldstream)
Buteshire (Rothesay, Millport, Brodick, Lochranza)
Cromartyshire (Cromarty, Ullapool)
Caithness (Wick, Thurso, Halkirk, Castletown)
Clackmannanshire (Clackmannan, Alloa, Tillicoultry, Tullibody)
Dumfriesshire (Dumfries, Annan, Lockerbie, Moffat, Sanquhar, Langholm, Gretna)
Dunbartonshire/Dumbartonshire (Dumbarton, Clydebank, Cumbernauld, Helensburgh, Alexandria, Kirkintilloch)
East Lothian/Haddingtonshire (Haddington, North Berwick, Dunbar, Tranent, East Linton)
Fife (Cupar, Dunfermline, Glenrothes, Kirkcaldy, St. Andrews, Cowdenbeath, Burntisland)
Inverness-shire (Inverness, Fort William, Kingussie, Newtonmore, Portree)
Kincardineshire (Stonehaven, Banchory, Laurencekirk, Inverbervie)
Kinross-shire (Kinross, Milnathort)
Kirkcudbrightshire (Kircudbright, Castle Douglas, Dalbeattie, New Galloway)
Lanarkshire (Lanark, Glasgow, East Kilbride, Hamilton, Motherwell, Coatbridge, Carluke)
Midlothian/Edinburghshire (Edinburgh, Musselburgh, Penicuik, Dalkeith, Bonnyrigg)
Morayshire (Elgin, Forres, Rothes, Lossiemouth, Fochabers)
Nairnshire (Nairn, Auldearn, Cawdor, Ferness)
Orkney (Kirkwall, Sromness, Balfour)
Peeblesshire (Peebles, Innerleithen, West Linton)
Perthshire (Perth, Crieff, Pitlochry, Callander, Blairgowrie, Rattray, Coupar Angus, Kincardine)
Renfrewshire (Renfrew, Paisley, Greenock, Johnstone, Port Glasgow, Barrhead, Kilmalcolm)
Ross-shire (Dingwall, Stornaway, Tain, Alness, Invergordon)
Roxburghshire (Jedburgh, Hawick, Kelso, Melrose, Roxburgh)
Selkirkshire (Selkirk, Clovenfords, Galashiels)
Shetland (Lerwick, Scalloway, Baltasound)
Stirlingshire (Stirling, Falkirk, Grangemouth, Kilsyth, Bridge of Allan, Denny, Alva)
Sutherland (Dornoch, Helmsdale, Brora, Golspie, Lairg, Durness, Tongue)
West Lothian/Linlithgowshire (Linlithgow, Livingston, Bo'ness, Broxburn, Whitburn, Armadale, Bathgate)
Wigtownshire (Wigtown, Stranraer, Newton Stewart, Whithorn)