Friday, August 27, 2010

Boutique Gold Jewelery

Boutique gold jewelery is often used to indicate that the gold jewelery, such as gold rings, bracelets, pendants and so forth is of a customised individual high quality and not mass produced and therefore should be gold jewelery you should buy.

This may not always be the case of course and one has to do some due diligence when you see the word bandied around on websites. Often it can simply be a marketing ploy to sell mass market gold rings or bracelets that are not particularly boutique at all.

One of the ways to find out is to check a particular piece of gold jewelery and see if the same piece of jewelery is on offer at various other websites and in jewellers. Another is to see out the manufacturer. Find out who made it. If it was manufactured in Asia then it is likely mass produced and, again, not particularly 'boutique' at all.

The price can be an indicator also. Is there a discount? Is the price being offered as a "sale" price and with some incentives to buy.

It is worth while also checking the quality of the gold jewelery itself. What karat is the gold? What about the diamonds and or other gemstones that might be included, such as in a gold engagement ring, for example. What quality is being offered. If a diamond, you need to know the 4 Cs, cut, color, clarity and carat weight. A boutique gold diamond ring, or any boutique gold jewelery for that matter, should be a first class product and not cheap!

Checking some of the more famous jewelery houses, such as Tiffany's for example you will be less likely to get mass produced boutique gold jewelery, than if you go to one of the jewelery chain stores.

The guarantee offered should also be an indicator. As well as the insurance recommended for the product. Getting an insurance assessment is a prudent idea.

Of course there are some wonderful boutique gold jewelery items available out there and one can even get custom made pieces that will be unique and not available elsewhere. Buying antique gold jewelery from auctions can also be a smart move as, with the older pieces, there is less likelihood of it being mass produced and more likely it was made by a master jewelery or craftsman.

Whatever you do, provided you apply some of the good old common sense, you can definitely find some wonderful boutique gold jewelery that can thrill your heart!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gold Bullion vs. Gold Jewelery

A transformation has been occurring in the gold arena over the past few years and this looks set to continue as the recession continues to languish and spread around the financial world like a fast moving virus.

Jewelery has always been the traditional outlet for gold sales for many years but now this is being overtaken by, what one analyst termed "a veracious demand for gold bullion by traditional investors". Demand usually leads the price so this might partially explain why the price of gold has increased from an average of 250 dollars an ounce in 2000 to over 1200 dollars now in 2010. However, if adjusted for inflation it could be said that there is still a long way to go and a price of 2500 for an ounce of gold is very much on the cards in the not too distant future.

What goes around comes around and it seems that buying gold is definitely the investor flavour right now.

SPDR Gold Shares, the worlds largest gold exchange traded fund, is reported to hold over 1280 tonnes of bullion. Assuming that is correct, it means that this fund alone now holds more gold bullion than many of the central banks.

This heavy buying has resulted in the sale of gold bullion overtaking the gold jewelery market for the first time in 30 years. GFMS, the consultancy firm that compiles benchmark supply-and-demand data on the precious metal, also stated early in 2010 that this year "gold investment demand doubled to 1,820 tonnes in 2009, while jewellery purchases fell by 23 per cent to 1,687 tonnes, a 21-year low."

GFMS also indicated that gold jewellery demand has fallen by a third from a peak of 3,294 tonnes in 1997, when gold was trading below $500 an ounce.

The other major change in the gold market is increasing trend of central banks to now buy gold bullion. For 20 years banks were the sellers of gold. But that trend has now reversed as banks in Europe slow down their gold sales and banks in China, India and Russia and the south Americas increase their gold buying significantly.
A Barclays Capital precious-metals analyst in London, Suki Cooper, strongly believes for the first time in over 15 years, central banks will now be the major net buyers of bullion this year.

India's purchase of 200 tonnes of the IMF gold, Beijing's announcement it had effectively doubled its gold reserves and was now the fifth largest holder of gold all seem to indicate a serious preference for gold over currency.

This trend towards gold was recently highlighted by the Swiss bank, UBS, which found that almost a quarter of central banks believed gold would become the most important reserve asset in the next 25 years.

When it comes to the crunch, it seems the big boys in banking know what is the safest way to hold their assets

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Gold Production

According to some recent mining reports, gold production will continue to fall over the coming years.

Vincent Borg, spokesman for number one producer Barrick Gold has announced, "it's a fact that gold production from mines has been in decline since 2001 and has gone roughly from 85 million ounces to about 75 million ounces a year," He continued. "It sort of goes down about one million ounces every year and our forecast is that it will continue to decline despite the higher price" for gold nowadays, he said.

Almost everywhere you look these days, gold deposits are being exhausted and new deposits are not being found fast enough to replace them, these experts explain.
South Africa, once at the forefront of world gold production, has experienced a 9.3-percent drop in production year-over-year in the second quarter, according to its Chamber of Mines.

"It's just that the assets are not there anymore," Tonya Todd, a spokeswoman for Goldcorp, Canada's second biggest gold mining firm.

Despite this, Barrick and Newmont hope to continue increasing their production of gold next year by anywhere from seven to ten percent but long-term, it is still going to drop overall.

It takes from seven to ten years to start production of a mine Omar Jabara, spokesman for US-based Newmont Mining, the second-largest gold producer in the world, explained

“And no significant new discoveries have been found in recent years, despite the higher gold prices and despite higher exploration budgets," said Borg.

This means that the grade of deposits will continue to get less and the average grade of mines will be less and gold will be more expensive to produce as a result.
The global gold mine production is expected to rise by around 3.7 percent in 2009 to near 2,500 tonnes, but this will only satisfy only two-thirds of demand, which is soaring this year to a new high of 3,800 tonnes, doubtless due in no small part to the global financial crisis, according to the World Gold Council.

Historically, gold recycling or the sale of central bank stockpiles made up for supply shortages, however during the latest financial crisis, banks have been buying up gold in large quantities to protect monetary reserves against the weakness in the US dollar and so this is no longer an option.

And since November this year, India's central bank has collected up 200 tonnes of gold from the International Monetary Fund, at a market value for about 6.7 billion dollars.

Amid uncertainty in the stock market, small investors and hedge funds are also coveting gold, driving up demand for the precious metal.

This drop in gold production, combined with the hoarding of gold by China and India and more demand for gold as a hedge and asset protection will certainly serve to increase the price of gold bullion over the coming years. Anything that becomes more scarce always commands a higher price and gold, being already considered highly valuable in these days of economic uncertainty will almost certainly mean a boom in the price of gold bullion.