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Legalities in the Jewellery Trade


Hi all,

My name is Mark Peddie, and I am a manufacturing jeweller with
my own retail design business in Durban, South Africa. As a
goldsmith for the past 16 years, I am constantly irritated by the
laws that we have relating to the working of gold and other
precious metals.

The law here requires that a permit be held to: purchase or be
in possesion of unworked gold etc., to purchase second hand
jewellery whether for reworking or resale, and that complex
registers be kept daily! reflecting every 10th gram of metal
purchased, melted or made into finished articles on that day.
Needless to say, this is very time consuming and of considerable
nuisance value to all of us. The penalties for non compliance
with these laws are severe, with large fines and jail terms of up
to 20 years in severe cases not unusual !

I wondered what the laws were like around the world, and would
love comments that might help us to reform the system in use
here. Thanks for a very interesting and informative forum, Mark
Peddie Jewellery Designer Durban, South Africa. e-mail:


Before the inflationaly Gold Boom of the late 1970’s(remember
when Gold went up to $800/ounce,Silver in the 50’s)there were no
laws on the books the U.S. about the outright purchase of Gold
Scrap,used Jewelry,etc.I had a job shop/factory and Gold/Silver
refinary with a retail front at the time.Every day I would come
to work to see 50-100 people waiting in line to sell the family
silverware,old rings,even grandpa’s teeth.It was out of
hand.Buglery went up like 2,000%.There were even cases of teams
of burglers working with jewelers.Calling up on the phone for
advice which metals to steal. Every day the televison,radio and
newspaers were filled with new companies Gold buying.They would
come into town for 3 days,rent a hotel ballroom than on the the
next town.The government,to their credit,acted quickly.creating
laws to require record keeping and holding periods.Licensing to
prevent fly by night companies.They never have,to my
knowledge,mandated record keeping soen to 10gram increments.But
owing to human nature,if that is what it takes to keep control of
the situation,so be it.I should think in South Africa you have a
lot of vagant miners,and I should think a wide spread between
financial classes. You would need a lot closer than 10 gram
increments to control mine theft.I should think your government
has some royalties or interest in your Gold mining.No? You know I
liken your frustation to airline security.Is it not annoying?We
used to just breeze on to the planes.Now one must plan an extra
hour for security checks and that’s U.S.But would you welcome the

                           Mark Liccini

Gemstone Rough Dealers since 1970 U.S.MAIL
E-Mail: @Mark_Liccini1 224 7th St.#2B Jersey City,N.J.07302 Voice
Mail/Fax: 201-795-1115