300 year-old gold coins found near Bellary

BELLARY: Over 200 ancient gold coins, believed to be 300-years old, were today unearthed during a drainage work near a house at nearby Sandur.

A total of 213 antique gold coins, depicting the images of Lord Shiva, his consort Parvati and the Moon, were found by the house owner while taking up drainage work on his land, police said.

The gold coins also bear a brief description in Devanagiri script.

The coins were seized after the house owner informed the police, they said.

Archaeological officials from Hampi are expected to reach Sandur to conduct numismatic studies, police said. :- The Times Of India
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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Gold jewellery exports expected to rise 7%

GEORGE TOWN: The total value of exported gold jewellery products from Malaysia is seen increasing slightly by about 6.8% to RM4.5bil this year from the RM4.2bil in 2011, due to expected price stability this year.

Penang Goldsmith Association (PGA) chairman Joeson Khor told StarBiz that the price of gold was at present around US$1,680 per ounce, compared with US$1,900 per ounce at the end of August.

“Gold prices should remain quite stable for the year 2012, hovering around US$1,700 to US$1,850 per ounce by mid-2012.

“The stability of gold prices in the first half of the year should stimulate overseas buying and help raise gold jewellery export figures by a single digit percentage.

“We expect exports to the Middle East this year to increase,” he said.

The rising tension between the United States and Iran could be a factor in pushing up gold prices, Khor said.

Due to the weakening economies of the United States and Europe, jewellery manufacturers are now reducing the gold karat of jewellery to make them more affordable.

For example, jewel manufacturers worldwide were now making more nine-karat gold jewelleries rather than 18-karat gold jewelleries to make the pricing more attractive, he said.

On the growing popularity of silver, Khor said due to high gold prices, jewellery manufacturers worldwide were now using silver to make jewelleries.

“For example, silver is used in place of gold with cubic zirconia to sell to the US and European markets, where the economies are weakening. In the semiconductor business, there is also a trend to use silver to replace gold in semiconductor devices, as silver is cheaper than gold,” he added.

The price of silver per ounce now hovers at around US$33, compared with about US$26 per ounce in December 2011.

“The price of silver should remain stable between US$26 and US$36 per ounce this year,” he said. :- the star
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250 kg gold jewellery seized from Delhi firm

The company has been booked for alleged misuse of SEZ privileges for gold jewellery imports. A case under various sections of Custom Acts, Foreign Trade Development and Regulation Act and SEZ Act has been registered. The director of Kundan Rice Mill, Pradeep Garg, has been summoned by the Delhi unit of DRI.

Officials said the seized gold was brought from Dubai few days ago. While the firm has the licence to trade gold bars and bullion, it started import and export of gold jewellery, an official said.

The firm used to import gold jewellery strips by misdeclaring them as “semi-finished gold unstudded bangles of 995 karat purity”. This jewellery was again shipped back to Dubai without any value addition, the official said.

“Garg not only reaped the benefits of SEZ but also cooked his book of accounts for getting credit facilities from bank and obtained Income Tax exemption. It has been found that the firm was engaged in Rs 4,500 crore of export/import of gold bars in previous fiscal years. Garg was also trying to project his firm as a ‘star trading unit’,” said a senior DRI official.

Investigations also revealed while obtaining approval from Noida SEZ committee, Garg had concealed the fact that he had previous DRI cases against him.

“We also suspect the involvement of SEZ officials who might have helped Garg and his firm. The role of a few officials of the Ministry of Commerce is also under the scanner,” said a DRI sleuth.

Officials claimed that the firm has been involved in the alleged illegal import of gold jewellery for the past few months. Probe is on to establish if the company was involved in money laundering.

Raids at Noida revealed that no manufacturing activity undertaken by Kundan Rice Mill, an therefore there was no generation of employment. It has been found that the firm was generating negative Foreign Exchange Earning (FEE) — the value of firm’s import was more than its export. :- The Indian Express
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Gold from Thailand, China flood Indian markets

MUMBAI - There will soon be a new gold rush in India, never mind the doubling of duties on gold from 2% to 4% in the Union Budget. Savvy Indians have already managed to circumvent the hike and are keen on accumulating gold jewellery pieces from Thailand and China, which are glittering anew on Indian retail shelves.
Though physical buying in India has almost evaporated for the last five days, with bullion markets remaining closed to protest the increase in import duties on gold, most jewellery houses have shored up their import of gold jewellery directly from select countries making it a cheaper proposition than buying gold in India.
Duty on gold jewellery imported from Thailand, for instance, is just 1% due to India's free trade agreement with the country. Traders said Thailand also seemed to have taken advantage of the recent duty hikes in India to push through its long term gold programme.
"Thailand is not a known jewellery producer and most of the imports taking place are from China and Malaysia, routed through Thailand. However, Thailand is an emerging export market as it seeks to diversify its growing foreign exchange reserves and mitigate risk against the backdrop of rising US and European debt concerns,'' said an analyst.
He added that the country had already made three significant purchases in the last year. The Thai government added another 500,000 ounces of gold to its reserves in September 2011, raising its total gold reserves to 4.9 million ounces.
Traders said exports of gems and jewellery from Thailand in 2009 were worth $9.4 billion, far below the projection of $10 billion due to the global recession. The next year though, this improved by 10%. Traders said demand from Indian jewellery houses this year is expected to further propel the sector's exports.
The 49th Bangkok Gems and Jewellery fair held between February 9 to 13 this year also was a roraring success, according to Indian traders. More than 100,000 foreign buyers, many of them from India, participated and viewed the products from 3,900 Thai traders.
"Though India has been the world's largest gold market for decades, in the final quarter of 2011 there was a 50% decline as compared to the same period in the previous year. This is a significant decline in the demand for gold. The collapse in the value of the rupee also made gold more expensive for Indian consumers,'' said Raghu Rajan, bullion expert.
In comparison, gold imports from Hong Kong to China rose from 118,904 kilo in 2010 to 427,877 kilo in 2011, an increase of 259% as compared to the previous year.
Traders confirmed that the sharp increase in the import duty on gold in India had created the possibility of a flood of cheap import of gold jewellery from Thailand. ``It is not just 4%. With education cess, the figure comes to 4.12%. If jewellers pay 4.12% import duty on gold which is a raw material and 0.3% excise on jewellery which is a finished product, jewellery manufacturing itself cannot remain viable. At this time, importing gold jewellery from Thailand is much cheaper,'' said Manish Bahl, bullion dealer at Mumbai's famed Zaveri Bazaar.
Added Sanjay Kothari, vice chairman of the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, ``The discrepancy is huge. It should be corrected, lest it sets a wrong precedent. The government has been notified of the matter.''
A trader pointed out that even if some of the jewellery design imported from Thailand did not gell with Indian consumers taste, melting that into gold and selling it in the domestic market would still make it a viable option.
Traders added that country's with which India has such treaties stand to benefit if differential duties persist and that Thailand's jewellery associations had already made arrangements to take advantage of the situation in India.
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