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A Question of Ethics

April 26, 2009 by Administrator · 1 Comment 

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In a recent issue of Instore Magazine, a regular must read publication for hundreds of jewelers across the country, the following scenario was depicted:

Several weeks after a jewelry buying event, Jimmy was delighted to see Sonia Carrell come into the store. She and her husband John had been coming to the island every year for as long as he could remember, right up till last year. Jimmy had heard from neighbors that the Carrells had decided to stay in Maryland last winter, and while he spotted John very briefly at the buying event, he never quite got around to saying hello. As he greeted Sonia, Jimmy noticed that she looked rather tired and worn out. He got the usual rundown when he asked about her college-age son, her older daughter and their beautiful granddaughter, but was taken aback when he asked, “So, where’s John today?” Sonia replied, “I have no idea — but if you see him, let me know so I can leave the island!” The expression on Jimmy’s face must have conveyed his surprise, because Sonia said, “Oh – I’m sorry. I guess you haven’t heard…” She proceeded to tell him about John’s affair with a young assistant at his law firm, and a very ugly divorce that dragged on for over a year. She said that the worst of it was that in the middle of all the fighting, someone had broken into her house and stolen all of her jewelry and several pieces of expensive art. She believed that John was behind it — as a way to get back at her for demanding a hefty settlement — but neither she nor the local police could prove anything. She said that while her insurance covered the financial end of the loss, the sentimental value of many of the jewelry items could never be replaced.

As soon as Sonia had pulled out of the parking lot, Jimmy went back through the receipts from the gold-buying events and felt his heart sink as he saw one with John Carrell’s name on it. He saw that one of his friends had taken care of John, who sold several gold bracelets, a couple single earrings, a pair of platinum wedding bands and a diamond fashion ring — for a total of $1,860. State law requires that merchandise bought over the counter remain in the store for a full 30 days before disposition, so Jimmy was able to look at the pieces in John’s envelope. Despite his sincere hope to the contrary, he was not surprised to find the envelope filled with pieces that he had sold to John over the years.

Jimmy double checked all the documentation and was relieved to find that the transaction was handled perfectly and every detail was in compliance with state and local regulations. Nonetheless, the whole thing left him with a queasy, uncomfortable feeling, believing that he had some sort of responsibility to Sonia — but not knowing exactly what to do about it.

THE BIG QUESTIONS: Should Jimmy get involved at all? Is his obligation to John — one of confidentiality and the discretion promised to all of his clients — or is it to Sonia — one of friendship and integrity? He knows for certain that the pieces were sold to John, but he has no way of knowing for sure that Sonia’s story is anything more than just her side of an ugly tale. Is he obligated to notify the local or Maryland police of his suspicion, or should he let the rest of the 30-day waiting period expire, then dispose of the items, along with all the rest?

It is our feeling here at The San Diego Luxury Pawn Shop Report that only one moral and ethical answer exists. If a jeweler, pawn shop, or jewelry buyer has ANY suspicion that the goods sold them were obtained fraudulently, then the police should be notified immediately. End of discussion.

Pawn Shops May Benefit from Fall of Jewelry Retailers Friedman’s & Whitehall

September 26, 2008 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

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Local San Diego pawn shops stand to profit from having two less competitors in the crowded retail jewelry market. National Jeweler Magazine reports that Friedman’s Jewelers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January, with Whitehall following suit in June. Read more

Lesotho Unearths 478 Carat Diamond

September 23, 2008 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

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Gem Diamonds said yesterday that it had recovered a 478-carat diamond from its mine in Lesotho – the 20th-largest rough diamond yet found. The gem had the potential to become one of the largest round-cut diamonds in the world.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the gem was discovered on September 8 at the Letseng mine in Lesotho, a small kingdom inside South Africa. The mine, which was owned by De Beers for many years, has already produced three of the world’s biggest diamonds. These are the 603-carat Lesotho Promise, the 493-carat Leteng Legacy and the 601-carat Lesotho Brown.

Clifford Elphick, Gem Diamonds’ chief executive, said: “Preliminary examination of this remarkable diamond indicates that it will yield a record-breaking polished stone of the very best colour and clarity.” The diamond, which has not yet been named, has the potential to yield a 150-carat polished stone. That would dwarf the 105-carat round-cut Koh-i-Noor diamond seized by Britain from India in the 19th century and now part of the Crown Jewels. It would still only be a fraction of the size, however, of the Cullinan diamond, which was discovered in 1905.

This huge gemstone was 3,106 carats when recovered and yielded a teardrop-shaped diamond of 530 carats – the Great Star of Africa. The Letseng mine is owned by a mining company that is 70pc-owned by Gem Diamonds, with the remaining 30pc held by the Lesotho government. Mr Elphick added: “Letseng continues to reward its shareholders with the production of these significant diamonds and to confirm its position as one of the great mines in the diamond industry.

“With a further 45 years of life remaining, we expect Letseng to make history for many years to come.”

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We at the San Diego Luxury Pawn Shop Report have a special affection and respect for fine mechanical watches, seeing them as a perfect blend of beauty and precision. Thus we were happy to read the following news: New Auction House to Sell Masterpiece Watches.

Hip Hop Bling Goes to Auction

September 22, 2008 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

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There are some kinds of jewelry your likely to never find in the cases of your neighborhood pawn shop in San Diego. Like those huge rocks you see being worn by today’s hip hop stars. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get yourself some of that expensive ice.

Some flashy “Bling” will soon be up for auction. Phillips de Pury & Co., which describes itself as the young collectors’ auction house, is planning on presenting “Hip Hop’s Crown Jewels,” a sale of 70 jewelry pieces estimated to raise $3 million. The sale, which is scheduled for Oct. 1, is billed by Phillips de Pury as the first for hip-hop jewelry. The New York preview, scheduled for Sept. 22-30, is open to the public.

The auction house’s Swiss chairman, Simon de Pury, came up with the idea for the auction. Part of the proceeds will benefit charities. The auction house announced that it will make a donation to the National Museum of American History’s initiative to establish a permanent hip-hop exhibition.

Some of the jewelry was presented to the auction by the performers themselves. Other pieces have come from the estates of rappers, such as a diamond and ruby crown-shaped ring owned by the late rapper Tupac Shakur.

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Just because you like hip hop doesn’t been you can’t go green and recycle your gold. Check out what SDJB is doing in: San Diego Jewelry Buyers Sees Gold Rush Going Green.

SDJB Sees Gold Rush Going Green

September 22, 2008 by Administrator · Leave a Comment 

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California (and the entire country) has seen a gold rush over the past year—with consumers cashing in on exploding gold prices to sell their outdated and unwanted gold jewelry to ease the burden at the pump, take a holiday, or modernize their fine jewelry boxes. But San Diego Jewelry Buyers reports that it is not just $900+ dollar spot prices for gold that is sending customers through their doors. They say that shoppers desire to “go green” is also a driving factor.

“The internet has made jewelry customers tremendously more informed,” says SDJB spokesperson Alan Blyler. “Not only do they know more about the 4 Cs of diamond quality and the intricacies of fine millgraining and filigree, they increasingly are aware of the ways that gold and diamond mining impact the environment. Today, many people come to us because they are looking to do their part toward recycling precious resources.”

The impact to Mother Earth in creating a single piece of jewelry is truly astounding. The production of one 18k gold ring is said to generate 20 tons of mine waste, while it takes another 250 tons of mine waste to process a single one carat diamond. The environment is also at risk from the cyanide used to separate the gold from the ore—which if not carefully disposed can make its way into streams, rivers, and groundwater.

The smelting process that removes gold impurities is another culprit. According to the Worldwatch Institute, an independent research center dedicated to environmentally sustainable living, the world’s smelters release more than 140 million tons of sulfur dioxide (13 percent of global emissions) into the atmosphere every year.

By selling unwanted gold jewelry (and platinum jewelry) which can either be melted down, refashioned, or resold to an interested buyer, consumers can help reduce the need to expand mining activity around the globe, especially in developing areas which often lack the safeguards for environmental protection. “With the burgeoning wealth of countries like China and India, there are millions of more shoppers seeking fine jewelry, which is putting added pressure on the gold and diamond mines,” says Blyler. “When customers sell their old jewelry, they can help relieve that pressure, and take us another small step toward a healthy planet.”

With only about 15% of gold consumption recycled each year, there is undoubtedly much more waiting to be refashioned again into exquisite jewels. To learn more about how you can resell and recycle your fine gold jewelry, platinum jewelry, and silver jewelry, please visit SanDiegoJewelryBuyers.com.

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Gold lovers will surely enjoy the gold jewelry of master goldsmith Gurhan Orhan. Check out our profile of this extraordinary designer at: Gurhan Orhan: 24K Gold Master Craftsman.

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