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3 years since I got the 5 ounce 24k gold necklace

WeissWeiss Posts: 9,922 ✭✭✭✭✭

Posted to the US coin forum, but figured some might find it interesting in here, too:

This is the 3rd installment of an annual series. I made a similar post about a year ago.

Way back in 2005, I came across a jeweler in Canada with a workforce of Vietnamese jewelers who specialized in making .999 pure gold jewelry. It sounds pretty crazy to most Americans: We've been told forever that "pure gold is too soft for jewelry", so we've been sold 18k (75% pure), 14k (58.3% pure), and even 10k (only 41.7% pure). But as a metals hound, I learned many years ago that lots of cultures wear jewelry much more pure than ours. The standard in Europe is mostly 18k. In the middle-east, the standard is typically 22k. And in much of Asia, the standard is at least 22k and often 24k pure gold. And as a coin collector, we all know that gold coins have traditionally been at least 90% pure gold, and coins are some of the hardest-working machines in human history.

Curious and disappointed with the purity and cost of mid-karat gold, I commissioned a 2 ounce "baht" necklace. Baht is a traditional unit of weight in Asia, where one baht = 15.244 grams. It's also a generic name for jewelry that is made, bought, and sold by weight. It's so ubiquitous, it's even the name of the currency in Thailand (formerly "Siam" or land of gold).

That necklace was a traditional baht style, complete with the traditional "M" shaped clasp. There are no moving parts to that style of clasp--pure gold is so malleable you literally twist the clasp to open it, twist and pinch it back shut to close it!

That first 2-ounce baht necklace cost me a whopping $1120 including manufacture, shipping, and insurance :) And that's the other great thing about this style of jewelry. The jewelers don't charge anywhere near what American retailers charge. It's a commodity to them. Their skill is incredible, but their overhead is very low. So the cost over the cost of the metal is in percentages instead of multiples like it is for retail jewelry.

I wore that first necklace often, but eventually I started paring down what I wore and put it in the jewelry box.

Then metals started really getting interesting to me again maybe 4 years ago. And gold prices seemed relatively low. So I searched for another jeweler who worked in 24k gold and found one in St. Paul. This Hmong jeweler does dazzling stuff and their prices were super low. I did some due diligence, then pulled the trigger. I consulted with the jeweler to come up with a weight, a length, and ultimately a style that was the least gaudy that a necklace weighing 150+ grams (5 troy ounces) can be.

It only took about a week to get my prize, and I've worn it pretty much every day since then (08-02-18). So that's been just about 3 years now. How has she held up?

2018, just after she arrived:

And here's how she looks as of 11:00 am 09-20-2021:

So she's lost maybe 1/5th of a gram--though that could be atmosphere, battery power, etc. She's "softened" just a bit. The edges of the anchor chain style are not quite as crisp. But that's fine with me. No signs of cracks, splits, breaks. I never use the clasp, simply slip the whole thing over my head.
As Covid started to lift, I began wearing both chains. I do that on and off. But I always wear at least the big one.


We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
--Severian the Lame

Comments

  • fcfc Posts: 12,788 ✭✭✭

    Nice post. My wife is khmer/viet and I sometimes visit vietnamese jewelers in Dorchester, MA. The 24K stuff really does have a nice color to it compared to 18K. My wife has a few pieces her mother gave her. Great looking jewelry. Very hefty.

  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,883 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 21, 2021 5:48AM

    I remember when you first posted having the 5oz chain made and I really like it! (Liked it then and like it now)

    It is very interesting how gold jewelry can be bought in many eastern countries by karat weight, with most being high karat , 22 or 24k with modest premium over spot.

    I can’t wait to see the 10oz !

    Edit : terrible spelling!

    It's all about what the people want...

  • cohodkcohodk Posts: 18,498 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Im not a jewelry wearer, but that is an impressive chain.

    And welcome back @fc

    Excuses are tools of the ignorant

    Knowledge is the enemy of fear

  • DrBusterDrBuster Posts: 5,300 ✭✭✭✭✭

    How many times have you pity'd some fools with all that bling on?

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That is definitely a good looking gold chain...Actually both are, but I like the heavy link design. Cheers, RickO

  • USMC_6115USMC_6115 Posts: 2,944 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Awesome!

  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,883 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Weiss

    How many inches is the necklace? If you can slip it over your head it must be 26” or larger right?

    It's all about what the people want...

  • WeissWeiss Posts: 9,922 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LukeMarshall said:
    @Weiss

    How many inches is the necklace? If you can slip it over your head it must be 26” or larger right?

    Yep. About 28":

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
  • jdimmickjdimmick Posts: 9,577 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have a 1 oz baht chain I bought over the counterwhile back, I am not a jewelry guy bout thought it was neat to keep for a while

  • MartinMartin Posts: 807 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I’d wear that thing to show one of my rentals and I wouldn’t come back alive
    Martin

  • hammer1hammer1 Posts: 3,874 ✭✭✭✭✭

  • TwoSides2aCoinTwoSides2aCoin Posts: 43,758 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Awesome post. That Baht gold chain is the way to carry money in excess of "cash" allowed, when traveling the globe.

  • ChrystalTylerChrystalTyler Posts: 1
    edited April 19, 2022 12:28PM

    I like jewelry made of gold. You can make anything from it to your taste. The most important thing is to find a professional jeweler. Moreover, gold is an investment for me. It often gets more expensive when stocks get cheaper. Therefore, I use it as insurance in case of a stock market crash. I have been working in this sphere almost all my life. I have seen a lot during this time. However, many factors affect GoldTrends. The most important thing is to study the market and avoid questionable tactics of transactions.

  • jmski52jmski52 Posts: 22,266 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Have you run into any problems at airports when travelling?

    Q: Are You Printing Money? Bernanke: Not Literally

    I knew it would happen.
  • WeissWeiss Posts: 9,922 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Haven't done a lot of traveling since Covid. When I do, I leave the necklace in the vault.

    I did go to the St. Louis Arch 2 or 3 years ago with a group of friends. If you haven't been lately, they've increased security so much so that you have to go through airport-type scanning, including placing personal belongings into bins that are scanned.

    I figured there was no reason to delay everyone behind me, so I took the necklace off and put it into my bin...and it was gone on the other side of the scanner. Imagine the heart attack I had.

    Luckily one of my friends was behind me and saw it slip out when the tray was moved. Security handed it to me on the other side of the scanners.

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
  • FrankHFrankH Posts: 757 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @TwoSides2aCoin said:
    Awesome post. That Baht gold chain is the way to carry money in excess of "cash" allowed, when traveling the globe.

    Will TSA allow the required cutters for piecing out change? :D

  • bronco2078bronco2078 Posts: 9,961 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Weiss said:
    Haven't done a lot of traveling since Covid. When I do, I leave the necklace in the vault.

    I did go to the St. Louis Arch 2 or 3 years ago with a group of friends. If you haven't been lately, they've increased security so much so that you have to go through airport-type scanning, including placing personal belongings into bins that are scanned.

    I figured there was no reason to delay everyone behind me, so I took the necklace off and put it into my bin...and it was gone on the other side of the scanner. Imagine the heart attack I had.

    Luckily one of my friends was behind me and saw it slip out when the tray was moved. Security handed it to me on the other side of the scanners.

    When i was a kid i thought that arch went over the river. I was so disgusted to find out the truth i refused to go up it.

    Any sad city could put a little arch up beside a river. :/

  • WeissWeiss Posts: 9,922 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 16, 2022 2:17PM

    But it's not supposed to be a bridge over a river. It's supposed to be a monument to America's westward expansion: a gateway to the American west.

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
  • bronco2078bronco2078 Posts: 9,961 ✭✭✭✭✭

    ya but over the river ! it would be nearly a mile end to end and a mile high ! that is impressive

  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,203 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Weiss said:
    But it's not supposed to be a bridge over a river. It's a monument to supposed to be a monument to America's westward expansion: a gateway to the American west.

    I've saw it in 1973 and it's huge. I was very impressed with its size. They even have a train to take people to the top observation deck.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • bronco2078bronco2078 Posts: 9,961 ✭✭✭✭✭

    i went up in 94 when i was an adult. I made a point to bitch loudly about it not going over the river while I was up there.

    Being up there I realized we haven't the technology to make a mile high arch over the river so its a moot point.

  • AUandAGAUandAG Posts: 24,489 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Neat chain for sure. I had, she's now passed, a relative from India (by marriage)....Every time she would go back to India for a visit she'd bring back 22k jewelry. About the only way she could get her wealth out of India. She'd bring back 8 - 10 ounces per trip and went twice a year. I'd sell for her and just asked and got melt. Commodity for sure for her.
    bob :)

    Registry: CC lowballs (boblindstrom), [email protected]
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