gata.org / By Jon Yeomans, The Telegraph, London / July 16, 2017
At Baird & Co.’s gold refinery, boss Nick Hammond is sorting through a tray of scrap jewellery. Bracelets, necklaces, a horse pendant (called a “banger” because it is hollow, and could explode under high heat) and a military medallion dated 1895 are all destined for the furnace. “It’s sad, but we can’t hold them back — they all go in the pot,” Hammond says, pointing out that Baird would have paid around L30,000 to pawn brokers and other dealers for the contents of the tray.
Baird’s high-security factory, on an industrial estate in East London, is home to the UK’s only gold refinery. The family-held business, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, is a supplier of gold bars to the Royal Mint and one of the UK’s biggest producers of gold wedding bands. It has just opened a showroom and vault in the Hatton Garden area of London, hoping to lure new customers into the world of gold. “If you want long-term exposure to gold, you have to make the case for physical gold,” says Hammond.
The yellow metal is famed for its status as a safe haven and a store of wealth in times of uncertainty, but is there really a growing demand for physical gold? And how are companies exploiting the opportunity? …
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