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06 August, 2007

Molten gold

"Sometimes we make a necklace with one kilo of gold for an Arab wedding, and this may take four days of work. Then one year later they return and they want to melt the necklace down again, the necklace we have made."

Manish, a Dubai jeweller, reveals the secrets of his trade. It seems to be going pretty well: the other week he sold a 10 carat white diamond to a middle aged British couple, for Dh455,000. It was made into a ring.

But Indians buy most of Manish's gold, and what they want is yellow gold, at least 22 carats. Manish's father has a factory in Sharjah where they even produce 23 carat gold, but it is too soft to do much with. "24 carat gold is like biscuit" he explains.

Indians place little value on heirloom pieces or antique jewellery, according to Manish.

"Many of them come in each year with all their gold, and they put some more money down, and they want it melted and remade into the latest fashions."

Does knowing that his craft will only last a season or two affect the fervour of the craftsmanship?

"Yes," Manish says. "Because when we make it we know that it will come back to us and be melted down again."

Labels: ,

33 Comments:

Blogger B said...

That may be true, but when our family buy a piece, it remains with us for a long time. We select our jewelry specifically for its craftsmanship.

07 August, 2007 01:02  
Blogger Bemused said...

Hi,

I dont think you will post my comment because its not related to the subject, your probably thinking am stupid now :-)

Anyway am looking for people interested and with information on horses and farms in the UAE and I know there are so many people in Dubai into horses but I cant seem to find anyone.

As there are so many people who read your great blog, I was wondering if you could help me out some way?

My email in km4785@gmail.com... thanks and i wish you the best of
luck with ur blog in the future.

07 August, 2007 01:28  
Blogger Debbie does Dubai said...

I wish i can find a rich one.

07 August, 2007 06:46  
Blogger Kalidas Pavithran said...

This is very true about Indians. 800gms to one kilo gold is like a standard even for middle class marriages in Kerala (South india). The practice is embedded into the minds of the people, and they ensure that the bride is covered in gold ornaments during the wedding ceremony. In most of the cases the parents will not be able to afford it, and they end up in deep debts once the wedding ceremony is complete... Many families have gone bankrupt after conducting a couple of marriages. Lots of Keralites working in Dubai and elsewhere spends their life savings on the marriages of their sisters and daugters. Still the practice continues, women are all fond of the jewelry, and they enjoy changing it once in a while (those who can afford). The Alukkas's DAMAS's of the world emerge as winners always...

07 August, 2007 09:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the way asians buy gold you will think they eat it. it has some residual value, but there are so many other more productive things you can do with money than buy gold.it is the symbol of success for most. not very unlike the europe where fashion brands are bought at a fortune and are thrown valueless at the end of the season as it has gone out of fashion.

07 August, 2007 11:45  
Blogger secretdubai said...

the way asians buy gold you will think they eat it.

Given gold prices over the past decade, it's been a damn good investment for them ;)

07 August, 2007 14:24  
Blogger nick said...

Dubai is great for that - you can get things made for you. Not just jewellery, but furniture and suits...

Many years ago I got a gold bracelet made for my wife-to-be exactly after my design. It did the trick, I got her laid, and if she wanted to melt it down for some other purpose that would be fine by me.

Excellent investment.

07 August, 2007 14:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

H in A says:

I am waiting for Al Rep to come in with his theories on his faith and gold, and start the religious mudslinging match of west vs east.only doubt is how would gold fit into it. i am starting to see a pattern, makes one wonder if it is intentional for him to instigate, make it a race bashing match and withdraw.

SD, gold has just about less than doubled its value in the last 10 yrs I think. I have more than quadrupled it in last 5 yrs on stocks and real est.Higher risk, maybe.

07 August, 2007 15:02  
Blogger nick said...

Al-republican says,

*with froth around his mouth*

Secretdubai, hehe, since you are asking me for advice I shall graciously disperse it to you ignorant infidel pigs: hehe.

Gold is clearly a devious vehicle of secular capitalist corruption planted in the pure minded Islamic societies of the Emirates by Jooish agents according to the protocols of the Elders of Zion. Everyone knows that who has but one braincell and is worth his salt by the sweat of his thick monobrow.

Nobody needs three eyes looking in the right place if one half eye will do to see the truth. Like I do.

Wallah, I can’t believe I am wasting my valuable my time talking to you. I could be twirling my beard instead. Or prostrate myself before my mirror.

If you were not such a secular and corrupted hideous un-Islamic Zionist agent intent on spreading lies you would clearly see how the world gold markets are controlled by Jewish agents intent on destroying the very Islamic fabric of society.

And the gay buggers as well. hehe.

:P





--------------------------------
Disclaimer: the above comment is fully intended as satirical tribute to the distinct and extraordinary particular narrative style of a particular member of the UAE blogging community and does not therefore constitute wilful slander or libelous insinuation, nor does it without prejudice subscribe to anything stated within and therefore generally waives responsibility for anything said by anybody anywhere in the universe.

07 August, 2007 18:16  
Anonymous al-republican said...

Hahahahaha! Nick, man, that was hilarious!

I am quite literally rolling with laughter!! Well done! hahaha

07 August, 2007 19:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can all those one issue demagogues please take a hike.

I dont see Al republican trying to bring Islam into this. Its all you Fox news shisters who started it.

If you really hate Islam, and the people here then you simply need to get the shit out of here.
I have seen the way arguments are started and how they are presented. Its hatefull pure and simple. Bigots looking for a place to vent.

There are tons of infidels here having a whale of a time, I suggest you join them. If you are going to be miserable, you might as well go back home and be miserable there.

07 August, 2007 20:19  
Blogger nick said...

@ Anon at 20:19

ohh, don't get your knickers in a twist.
I knew Al-republican would like it.

He likes nothing better than a good spat; it goes well with his jihadist mentality.

07 August, 2007 20:28  
Blogger nick said...

Another thing, Anon @ 20:19.

I defy you to call me a one-issue demagogue.

I have at least two pet hates. The other one is the so-called human rights watchdogs constantly banging on about 'labourer exploitation'.

It's a myth. See the discussions on the UAE community blog.

07 August, 2007 20:36  
Blogger rosh said...

Having lived in the UAE all growing years, Gold souqs in SHJ & DXB now seem permanent fixtures and sort of a necessity in the average lives of folks from the subcontinent, and some Arabs as well.

Over the years I've seen people (my mom & her friends from various countries included) purchase tons of yellow gold for several occasions. At times, they'd just go shopping for bangles, necklaces, rings etc - with all sorts of designs and colour. Personally I found 'em quite boring with little taste, 'cause often they come across as cheesy & conservative (yup, simultaneously : ) However I have seen gold ornaments especially those with supposed creative work (?) attract much attention & feedback from fellow "yellow gold diggers". Personally, I sort of appreciate the designs worn by some Arabs - which seem more contemporary & attractive.

Re: gold and subcontinental marriages. I cannot express my disdain/discomfort, perhaps of the groom having to watch his bride covered/decorated (read in shackles) head to toe & beyond in yellow gold. I suppose it's tradition, but I've never understood the charm involved?

Personally, a thinly crafted, short white gold necklace, with a tiny diamond, a classic (not slutty) black dress and shoes to match is most appealing : )

07 August, 2007 21:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Nick at 20:36

I have at least two pet hates. The other one is the so-called human rights watchdogs constantly banging on about 'labourer exploitation'.

Well, you better have an alternative pet hate, unless you want to get your ass kicked by your bosses for sympathizing with the ‘laborer exploitation’ issue.

07 August, 2007 21:33  
Anonymous Biggest fan of SD said...

I am a dubai based diamond jewellery retailer as well as manufacturer of exclusive diamond jewellery .
Gold and diamonds , both have appreciated in value for last few years consistently , and from what i know as a jeweller is that it is going to go much much higher , therefore I suggest all of you to start buying now whether it is for investment or luxury purpose . buy now before the price sky rockets .

08 August, 2007 02:50  
Blogger Debbie does Dubai said...

al republican is my bf.
he lusts for me.

08 August, 2007 03:19  
Blogger Debbie does Dubai said...

by the way folks watch out.
my bf;s new job can allow him to pull the plug from any of you zionist bloggers or perverts :(

08 August, 2007 03:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Debbie does Dubai said...
I wish i can find a rich one.


Debbie.....did you mean a horse or an arab???

Sam Hunter

08 August, 2007 11:08  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In many parts of the world, Gold's value by women and the husbands that buy it for them goes beyond the decorative purposes of Gold.

Even poor people justify buying Gold due to its investment purposes. Of course buying Gold that has been made into a necklace, rings or bangles is a very poor investment as alot of the value of it is reflected in the craft work. One one comes to sell it, the jeweller is paying scrap prices as he intends to melt the necklace. Alot of the times the jewellers mixed the gold with inferior metals.

But I guess its still better than holding currecies under the pillow, as those countries usually suffered horrible inflation.

The wise ladies usually bought gold bars as a form of investment, instead of embroidered gold.

08 August, 2007 14:35  
Anonymous al-republican said...

Hahaha Debbie! SSHHHHHHH!

Don't get me in trouble with my own employers! :P

08 August, 2007 17:04  
Blogger J-T Sullivan said...

My ex wants to keep only the diamond from her wedding band.

So, this myth of a diamond being forever is true after all because she's keeping it without the band - LOL.

08 August, 2007 21:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always been amazed by how smart Indian women are. I've seen them buy 22 or 24 carat gold which has very little craftsmanship surcharge. So basically they are buying gold at international market price, which they check by the way before hitting the shops. Unlike our women, locals, who pay more than the price of gold for craftsmanship which is outrageous! The worst of buyers of course are the European women who are used to 14 carat gold and these greedy and corrupt gold traders really rip them off by selling them diamonds which are normally substandard. Myself, I like to buy gold by the KG and do have a few KG's saved somewhere.

08 August, 2007 23:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SD - the investment really hasn't been very good, unless people timed their purchase very well (which rarely happens). Compared with 10 years ago, gold prices (in US$ terms) have only risen about 6% per year, and if you compare it with the last "gold boom" back in 1980 when the price topped $800 an ounce, then it is a dud. Factor in that it is priced in US$, which has tanked against the Euro and Pound in recent years, and it comes out being one of the worst investments you can make.

09 August, 2007 14:25  
Anonymous Biggest fan of SD said...

Hey you anonymouse guy ,,Its not that we jewellers are greedy , and its not true that we rip off european ladies , The fact is that we need to have higher profits as our investment runs in millions even for a small little shop and our rents are as high as 500000 ( five hundred thousand )for 100 square foot area . And for your just information , the european customers are the best customers , in terms of politeness and understanding .

When we pay half million in rents , we dont want customers who calculate every penny and look at investments point of view, infact we want customers who buy it to wear and enjoy and cherish the jewellery forever .

09 August, 2007 23:10  
Anonymous Biggest fan of SD said...

Ahh, Also you need to know that the rents of the jewellers in gold souq area are increased by 50 to 100 percent compared to 7 and 15 percent elsewhere .

I am paying 3000 dhs per square foot for my outlet in the gold souq

09 August, 2007 23:20  
Blogger Orange Bronze said...

My sister’s wedding was just two weeks ago, we hit the gold market with my mother, what we had in mind is that we want to get her a present that can be a nice shiny thing, she can feel good when she wears, as well as something that she can sell later on to liquidize and buy things that she and her husband really need and we might not know about, the good thing about gold is that it keeps its value, I know that it is not like an old Persian silk carpet, but it is still a good thing to give as a present.
My brother had a daughter few months ago, and we also gave coins of gold and some cute little bears and stars from gold, they can be kept for many years and sold later for something nice for the newly born girl, like to help with education or something.
I have a very good westerner lady friend, who buys every month bracelets of gold as her saving, instead of giving it away to some account.
What really make me wonder in this quest are the designs presented in some shops, like the 3D Mecca, with a Kaaba in the middle, a Quran is coming out of it, an eye coming out of the Kaaba and a huge tear about to drop from the eye… why? Who would find it esthetically pleasing?

10 August, 2007 01:27  
Blogger Debbie does Dubai said...

On a completely unrelated topic (SD i hope you dont mind), I have a poll on my blog asking HOW TOURIST FRIENDLY IS DUBAI?

Please vote.

http://dubaibuy.blogspot.com/

10 August, 2007 01:56  
Blogger B said...

Well, if you think about all the other fripperies women (and, oh God, men -- with their quickly outdated gadgets) can use their money on, I'd say gold gives one of the most sound returns should it be resold.

10 August, 2007 04:58  
Blogger nick said...

@ Anon 9 Aug, 14:25

That's true but less relevant if the investment stays, dollar-pegged, within the UAE or India. I believe the rupee only dropped from 14 to 11 to the Dirham over the last four years.
In any case most Indians I know see gold as a long term investment, and let's safely assume that the dollar will go up again, or Euro and Sterling devalued.
As a long term low risk investment you can't beat gold or property.

10 August, 2007 13:11  
Blogger Mark said...

Nice Blog I see you have a really high page rank in Dubai congrats on all your hard work keep it up.

www.propertyportal.ae

27 August, 2007 15:49  
Blogger Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

I'm seeing more and more articles that are your own and not referenced to newspapers. Good work! Very interesting reads.

29 August, 2007 14:04  
Blogger Baggy said...

Hi,
I suppose that it is a way of life that you get used to. I have a friend here in the UK who owns a jewellery business. She takes so much pride in her work that I'm sure it would break her heart to see some jewellery melted down to make something else after she had put lots of work into it.

Wayne

30 August, 2007 18:35  

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