Saudi Gazette report
JEDDAH — Gold dealers have warned customers against buying potentially adulterated gold promoted by illegal vendors who invade the Saudi gold and jewelry markets during the Haj and Umrah seasons when demand for the precious metal increases tremendously.
Victims of these illegal traders have complained about buying jewelry that does not conform to Saudi standards and specifications and that con men have exploited their ignorance about market rules.
They urged the concerned authorities at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to intensify inspections of gold markets, especially during the high seasons, to protect unsuspecting customers.
Sara Abdali said, “Some jewelers don’t give purchase receipts on the pretext that quantities purchased were small.”
Abdali said she had seen traders displaying large pieces of jewelry that were lightweight, which proves that gold used in manufacturing them was of inferior quality or adulterated.
She said she had learned from experience to only buy gold from licensed shops because owners of these shops never sacrifice their reputation for small gains. Abdali said in addition to the periodic inspections, the Ministry of Commerce must play its role in increasing consumer awareness by issuing bulletins and other educational material.
She suggested that the ministry display posters in front of gold shops containing information on the differences between gold jewelry with and without hallmarks.
Muhammad Azouz, a member of the National Committee for Gold, admitted that some gold merchants exploit customers by tampering with quality and weight.
He cautioned consumers against buying gold from unlicensed vendors who could be pilgrims or visitors who come with their low-quality merchandize from abroad. “These people sometimes sell their products to gold merchants and this is one of the reasons behind the proliferation of adulterated gold in the market,” he said
“Apart from this, there are kiosks that manufacture gold jewelry upon order from customers and most of the time they do not use gold with 100 percent purity. Customers ought to make sure that the factory’s trademark is engraved on the pieces they buy.”