Believe it or not, trading of used gold jewellery is illegal in Egypt

Walid Farouk
5 Min Read

Observers believe the used gold jewellery has become an alternative savings tool for many Egyptians instead of gold bullion and pounds of gold, noting that women consider it as accessories and also investment, because its handy charges fee is low, only EGP 10, without an additional expense like stamp duty or sales tax. Moreover, traders sometimes resort to increase their handy charges fees of new gold jewellery to compensate their losses as a result of the current market recession.

Experts believe the high demand for used gold increases its investment risk, where the law provides that any change in the gold works makes them inconsistent with the specifications, therefore it would be illegal to trade them in the market, except only after examination and stamping again by the Assay and Weights Administration.

Hence, the used gold jewellery is usually traded secretly at gold shops or hidden places in El Sagha (goldsmiths) area because it is illegal.

The used gold jewellery is known as “Admoon” in the goldsmith’s market. It is a Hebrew word used by goldsmiths in different governorates to describe used jewellery before melting it to create new jewellery.

In a report published by Al-Monitor quoting Gabriel Rosenbaum, a professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem who specialises in the Egyptian Jews affairs and the modern Egyptian language, on the secret language the Jew jewellery merchants adopted to outsmart customers, Admoon is used to refer to used or old gold jewellery that has been fixed and polished for resale. The researcher pointed out that the origin of this word in Hebrew is Kadmon, which means ancient or old. The letter “K” is silent, so it was pronounced as Admoon.

“The countryside is the main source of used gold jewellery,” said Fouad Abdel Baqi, a jeweller in El-Sagha. “The used gold jewellery look very good if they age five years or less. Some of them need restoration, other may only need polishing.”

The law states that any change in gold jewellery makes it incompatible with specifications and is not allowed to be traded on the market, unless it is examined and stamped again at the Assay and Weights Administration, according to its head Abdullah Montaser.

He added that the law imposes a penalty of prison sentence for a period of not less than one year and a fine not less than EGP 10,000 for anyone changes or amends gold works for illegal purposes after stamping in a way that make them incompatible with specifications.

Used gold jewellery trading is not safe as it is a fertile environment for manipulation.

Montaser explained that the resale of used gold jewellery requires providing an invoice with the details and specifications of the gold jewellery, but the merchant cannot give such information to the consumer being coming from unknown source, so the consumer has to sell it only to the trader from whom he first bought the jewellery.

Laila Mohamed, a housewife, said she prefers to buy used gold jewellery a s savings tool because its handy charges fee is much less than the new ones, and its form is not much different from the new ones.

She added that her work colleagues advised her to buy used gold jewellery as the handy charges fee was only EGP 7, while new jewellery’s exceeds EGP 60.

Enas Mustafa Rashed, a public employee, said she does not like to wear used jewellery in general and gold in particular, but she bought it only as a savings tool.

She added that she sold a gold ring to one of the gold shops and discovered after a while that they cleaned and polished it and offered for sale again as if it’s new.

“There is no woman who has not made a profit from the value of her investment in gold,” said Dalia Saad, a public employee.

She added that her gold dowry was worth EGP 10,000 about eight years ago and is now worth EGP 40,000.

She explained that investment in gold is guaranteed and makes profits, even if the handy charges fee is high because gold prices are increasing.

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