Last updated: 18/08/2015 13:38:25
BBC investigation discovers British Gold Refinery pay much lower rates than what is quoted on their web site.
Series 3 of BBC1’s flagship consumer program, Rip-Off Britain commenced on Monday 3rd September and featured an in-depth investigation into the practices of the British Gold Refinery.
The programme featured a consumer, Lisa Tate, who after receiving an online quote of £523 for her unwanted watch and encouraged by the promises of ‘excllent rates’ and ‘1st class service’ decided to send the item to the company.
Once the British Gold Refinery received Lisa’s watch, she was understandably shocked to be told they would be offering her almost 60% less for the item, just £214.
She was further dismayed to discover that she would have to pay them £50 to have her watch returned.
Following her experience, when interviewed by Rip-Off Britain, Lisa said:
“I wouldn’t sell my watch to British Gold Refinery even if they offered the full value of it. I would rather flush it down the toilet than give it to them.”
The BBC also conducted their own investigation into the British Gold Refinery by sending items of gold for valuation. Three items were sent, all independently verified by a jeweller to confirm weight and purity. Using the online calculator provided by British Gold Refinery, the items were valued at over £900.
When British Gold Refinery received the items, they dropped their valuation to just £335.94, a reduction of almost two-thirds. On further investigation, the BBC discovered that the bracelet which had been certified as being 18ct gold and weighing 8g had been valued based on it being 16ct gold and weighing just 4g. In addition, a gold chain certified as being 14ct gold was only valued as 9ct gold.
It took the BBC multiple requests to get their gold returned and it took 5-days before they finally received their items back.
This is not the first time that the British Gold Refinery has received unfavourable attention. Back in January 2012, the ASA adjudicated over claims of misleading advertising.
In commemoration of the London 2012 Olympics, the Royal Mint have unveiled the UK’s first ever 1-kilo gold and silver coins.
At an eye-watering £100,000.00, the kilo gold coin is priced at around 3 times its intrinsic gold value. The silver version is priced at £3,000.00, nearly 4 times its silver value.
Designed by Sir Anthony Caro, the gold coin has an issue limit of 60. The silver version is limited to 2,012 pieces and has been designed by Tom Phillips.
One could argue that the uniqueness and collectability of these coins justify the high price tag, however anyone purchasing for investment purposes should take note that the world’s largest gold coin, a 1 Million Dollar Canadian Maple Leaf sold for just it’s scrap value back in June 2010.
Interestingly, The Royal Mint produced a 1 kilo gold coin in 2011 to commemorate the Royal Wedding. Minted for the island of Alderney, this coins had a bargain-basement price of just £40,000.00!
Link: Royal Mint reveal 1 kilo coins
When we wrote our Tesco Gold Exchange review (back in November), we speculated what a customer would be paid for Asian 21ct gold jewellery.
Well, it appears our suspicion was correct. We’ve just had confirmation from a customer who sent their 21ct wedding jewellery to Tesco’s for valuation and were offered a sum based on their 18ct rates.
Based on today’s prices, a customer sending 21ct gold to Tesco would be paid just 65.2% of its true value.
That’s a very poor deal!
Demand for scrap silver is very high at present and our silver prices per gram reflect the strong market conditions.
We are currently paying the following rates for unwanted silver items:
Our prices per gram are guaranteed for 3 days, we pay the same rates for hallmarked and non-hallmarked silver and we don’t charge testing or refining fees.
If you wish to sell your unwanted silver, our process is very simple.
We deal with all packages on the day of receipt. The quickest method of payment is for us to pay you direct into your bank account. All high-street banks are now part of the Faster Payments System, which simply means we can get the funds into your account within 1 hour.
See our main scrap silver prices page for a full breakdown of the prices we pay.
Supermarket chain Tesco have entered the ‘cash for gold’ market with the launch of a new web site, Tesco Gold Exchange (tescogoldexchange.com).
Tesco Gold Exchange is being operated for Tesco’s by Ramsdens, an online cash for gold operation and chain of high street Pawn Brokers.
Looking at the prices being quoted on their gold calculator, it appears they are paying roughly 70% of market value for scrap gold. This is a lot higher than many TV advertising companies, but still falls way short of the rates paid by specialist gold buyers, such as Gold-Traders.
It’s interesting that when using their calculator, they highlight the poor prices offered by some of their competitors, like postgoldforcash.com (WHSmith).
It appears Tesco Gold Exchange only recognise 9, 14, 18 and 22ct carat gold when making valuations. I’m not sure what would happen if you sent them some Asian 21ct gold – at a guess, it would probably be valued at the 18ct rate.
Undoubtedly, Tesco Gold Exchange will prove profitable for Tesco. However, for the savvy customer who does their research, there are far better places to sell your gold for cash.
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Unsure of the weight or type of gold you have? No problem! Simply complete our simple online claim form and send us your scrap gold for a free, no-obligation quote.
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