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Friday Metal Porn: "That big dumb chain I wear" edition

WeissWeiss Posts: 9,922 ✭✭✭✭✭

Crossposted to the main coin forum a couple of days ago, but figured it was pertinent to our obsession here, too >:)

Those following at home might recall I've posted an annual update on the gold necklace that I wear:
https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/1063750/how-soft-is-pure-gold-a-three-year-real-world-experiment#latest

This is the second necklace I had custom made for me in a style known as "baht". Baht is the monetary unit in Thailand. But it's also a unit of measurement just under a half troy ounce (15.244 grams) popular in southeast Asia. And it's the style of jewelry where local goldsmiths produce high quality, often unadorned necklace, rings, and bracelets out of high karat (22k to 24k) gold.

We've been told for much of the last century that pure gold is too soft for jewelry. The truth is that most of Asia and much of the middle east would scoff at gold less than 22K (91.6% pure), and most demand 99.9% or 24K pure gold. The standard for Europe is 18K (75% pure). While we in the US buy 14K, which is barely more than half gold (58.3% pure). And 10K? It's just 41.7% pure.

We as coin collectors know that coins are some of the oldest, hardest-working machines that humans have ever invented. And circulating gold coins have been high purity for centuries.

Aside from its very high gold content, baht jewelry sells for a much smaller markup, generally 25% +/- of the value of the gold use in its manufacture. Compare that to the jewelry store out at the mall which can charge 300% to 500% or more of the value of the gold used.

My first baht necklace was about 2 ounces. Had it made for me back in 2005, and I paid a whopping $1120. Wore it for a few years but put it away eventually. Then back in the late summer of 2018 I got the itch again. The gold price was down, my discretionary income was up. Started looking around and found a Hmong jeweler in St. Paul (9999 Gold Jewelry, look them up on Facebook) who seemed to really get great big, chunky, pure gold jewelry. Contacted their main jeweler and, after several conversations, pulled the trigger on an "anchor" style necklace, in 24K .9999 pure gold. I wanted the piece to clock in at just over 5 troy ounces so there was no mistaking its 5 troy ounce weight, so we upped its weight to 156 grams.

Got the necklace just about four years ago today, and I've worn it essentially every day since. I typically wear it on the outside of my shirt (which I'm way too old to try pulling off). But I am who I am. So it sees lots of abuse.

Has my necklace worn? Yes. Absolutely. The crisp ridges that are part of the manufacturing process have become more smooth. "Softened" is a good word. But the key thing is that it isn't anywhere near "wearing out". The weight difference from when I first got it to just now might be explained by the scale, battery power, atmosphere. Or it could be legit a tiny fraction of a gram after constant wear. I just examined each link and they're all rock solid. Note the traditional "dragon" clasp. It, too, is pure gold. Gold is so malleable that the clasp has no moving parts--you literally just bend, or pull, the clasp open and then squeeze, or bend it back to close it (though my necklace is so large I just slip it over my head).

Here's how she looked four years ago:

And how she looks right now. Shown with the OG smaller original 2 ounce gold necklace (that my 13 year old son has just about co-opted), and the 1.5 ounce gold bangle bracelet I had the same jeweler make for my wife a couple of years back.

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

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That is a very nice gold chain, and not 'dumb' at all. Cheers, RickO

  • CladiatorCladiator Posts: 17,917 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I pitty the foo! who thinks thats dumb :D

  • WeissWeiss Posts: 9,922 ✭✭✭✭✭

    And two sovereigns of the late sovereign:

    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
  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A sad loss indeed. She was a remarkable lady. I did pick up a 2022, two oz. silver as a memento. She will disappear from coins and currency. Cheers, RickO

  • WeissWeiss Posts: 9,922 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Cladiator said:
    I pitty the foo! who thinks thats dumb :D

    It's really not that outrageous:

    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
  • ashelandasheland Posts: 22,558 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have always thought that chain was cool. B)
    It’s held up quite nicely.

  • LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,881 ✭✭✭✭✭

    "Remember kid, there's hero's and there's Legends... Hero’s get remembered, but Legends never die. Follow your Heart Kid, and you'll never go wrong"

    -Babe Ruth in the Sandlot

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

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