Saturday, 27 June 2009

Fool's gold?

Just thought I’d better point out that, in addition to bona fide pure and unadulterated gold, there also exists what is commonly known as ‘fool’s gold’. Take what seems to be a curiously generous proposition - add some disclaimers, plus a wadge of small print - and it's probably not nearly as genuine an offer as you originally anticipated ...

It’s worth taking a look at the gold rush phenomenon, which happened in various parts of the world in the mid-late 19th century. For instance, gold was first discovered in California on 24th January 1848 at Sutter’s Mill on American Fork River, when James W Marshall had the curiosity to examine some quartz rock lying in his mill stream. Shortly thereafter, immigrants were travelling from all over the world to San Francisco to dig for gold – however, as soon as winter 1850, the time for making fortunes was already almost over.

The events of the Californian gold rush prompted San Franciso born David Belasco to write a play, which in turn inspired Puccini to write one of his most dramatic operas, La Fanciulla del West – an abject lesson in the perils of speculation and a tragic tale of innocent lives lost in the pursuit of fool’s gold.

It used to be the streets of London that were considered to be paved with gold, but perhaps now it’s a city somewhere in the Middle East. I recently visited Dubai and, outside the entrance to my hotel (the highly recommended Royal Mirage), were these incredible hand painted gold camels (above) – curiously cool, if a tad over the top. Gold seekers who are into such conspicuous consumption might like to consider this rather unique gold plated baby pram, left.

I also heard that it’s possible to eat gold. I found this fascinating blog about edible gold and ten different ways to eat it – if you’re so inclined you can even feed 24 carat gold caviar to your dog! By the way, I also noticed that Waitrose’s brand spanking new branch in the Dubai Mall has what looks like gold leaf lettering instead of their usual green corporate logo …I suppose it blends in with the surroundings, but personally, I prefer the more authentic approach of the Organic Foods and Cafe, which seems to stand out as being altogether more original – and it’s much more eco-friendly and natural too.

Which leads us on to fool’s gold: it’s probably not a great idea to be taken in by the dazzling glitz of gold - and it’s definitely best to know about the provenance of any piece of jewellery you are buying. All of the stylish gold accessories in Sarah Bond’s Saretta collections, currently available at ShopCurious, are not only ethically sound, but have been hallmarked at the London Assay office.

Of course, these days, even with a relatively small amount of money, you can also invest quite sensibly in gold ETFs or buy gold coins with a value that is recognized the world over. I know what sort of gold I’d prefer to invest in though – I simply love this exquisite gold arm cuff...

Do you?


Gold Coins said...

Every one want to save there wealth physically gold bullion is good choice.Thanks for the great reading, we buy gold coins in a recession. I will pass this on to our Ira clients to read.

Gold Coins

Gold etf said...

Interesting post. There are certainly more people with money (or gold in this case) than good sense! lol