Buying jewelry as a gift can be a difficult, yet, a very satisfying process. To make it a little easier, there are factors that must be considered before making a purchase.
The first one is the budget you have set for yourself. Setting up a budget range is a primary thing to do before searching possible jewelry to buy.
Along with determining your budget is your desire to make the jewelry last long. Long-lasting gifts are definitely better than those that easily discolor or break. This means that if you want to give jewelry, you may have to go over your budget unless you find something that is long-lasting, affordable, and value-for-your money.
Whatever your budget may be you must invest in patience, to ensure you are getting your money's worth. Thoroughly conducting research can help you find something long-lasting with a price that suits your pocket.
The second factor to look at is the type of jewelry that you intend to give. Every type of jewelry involves a special meaning.
The ring, for example, signifies a promise. A ring that is exchanged between a man and a woman implies a relationship that is more than friendship. Bracelets usually mean ownership of the recipient. Necklaces represent total commitment to a person, idea, decision, or situation.
The different meanings of jewelry can change from one culture to another. Depending on the type of person, who will be the recipient of your gift, the message that you are trying to show may vary. He or she may treat the jewelry as special regardless of his or her relationship with you.
Finding out the kind of jewelry to give is actually easier when you identify your purpose for giving before you start your search.
Hence, understanding your true intention can immediately give you a guide as to which type of piece to choose. A proposal, for instance, will lead you to finding a ring that will fit the occasion. If you are buying for a friend then it will lead you to buying a friendship ring and finding the perfect one, for that perfect friend.
The third factor refers to the physical appearance or beauty of the jewelry. In this case, you have to consider your recipient's preference. If she likes red, for example, you may consider giving her a ring or bracelet with red stones. When it comes to matching the design of the jewelry to your recipient, you need to look at not just the gemstone, but the length and design as well.
Although your ideas count, your recipient's likes matters most. If you do not have any idea as to which design is going to please your recipient, you may want to figure that out in a creative way, like observing her or him without being obvious.
If you do not have the time to do such a thing, you can just proceed with choosing one, which you believe will make your recipient very happy.
It is good to take advantage of the opinion your friends have. Just be open-minded and do not hesitate to seek ideas from other people within your circle.
With your genuine intention to make the recipient truly happy, you can easily discover the best jewelry you can give.
What are the Differences Between Yellow and White Gold?
Often times people do not know the differences between yellow and white gold and this can become an issue to people who are planning to buy jewelry. Many people who are looking for wedding rings are often curious about the distinction between white gold and yellow gold.
Besides the dissimilarity in terms of the color, there is more to discover that make both very different from each other.
So, what are these?
· It complements the diamond better than the yellow gold. Yellow gold makes the white diamond look yellow-tinted. While white gold further enhances a diamond’s brilliance and shine.
· It is harder than yellow gold; thus, more resistant to scratches.
· White gold is often mixed with palladium, nickel or manganese.
· It is coated in rhodium for a bright shiny texture.
· It is lightweight.
· It is soft enough for jewelers to work with.
· Rings that are made of white gold are easier to resize.
· It has the pure color of Gold.
· It is fairly soft.
· Yellow gold is available in different karats.
· It is typically mixed with copper alloy or zinc.
· It does not contain nickel, which causes allergies; hence, it’s safer to wear as jewelry than white gold.
· It is not hard enough, making it susceptible to marks and scratches.
· It does not need to be re-plated as often as white gold does.
In terms of their physical appearance, once transformed into jewelry, yellow gold appears to be more elegant and classic compared to white gold. However, that might not be true for some.
The physical difference between the two could depend on the preference of the person who would be wearing the jewelry. Both also have different price tags. Price is one common factor that could easily help buyers differentiate yellow and white gold.
If you intend to buy a white gold ring, make sure to ask the jeweler the kind of alloy that was mixed in white gold. If it is nickel then, you may want to reconsider buying yellow gold instead. Nickel triggers allergy. You could pursue buying a white gold ring mixed with nickel only if you are resistant to allergies caused by nickel. With a white gold ring, you have to schedule a re-plating once a year.
White gold is usually coated in rhodium to enhance its appearance. Rhodium, however, wears off by time. This is why jeweler selling white gold rings or other white gold jewelers often offer discounted polishing or replating.
You can see the difference between yellow and white gold when you try to match both with your skin tone. People with warm skin tones look great wearing yellow gold jewelries. Those with cool skin tones, on the other hand, look better with white gold jewelries.
Polishing is often required for yellow gold rings because yellow gold is more vulnerable to scratches. Marks and scratches can quickly take away the shine and make the ring look old. Jewelers often provide polishing at a lower rate for customers buying yellow gold rings.
The upward price of gold in January was driven by large purchases of gold bullion coins. According to the latest production figures from the U.S. Mint, January sales of American Gold Eagle bullion coins soared by 93.8% over the previous month. A total of 127,000 ounces were sold in January compared to 65,500 ounces in December 2011. The surge in demand for gold bullion coins is now at the highest level since January 2011 when 133,500 ounces were sold.
Investors are taking opportunity of the bargain price of gold which remains below last year's high. After hitting a London PM Fix price of $1,895 on September 6, 2011, gold sold off by 19.2% to a closing low of $1,531.00 on December 29, 2011.
Since the beginning of the year, the price of gold has steadily advanced. The closing London PM Fix price of $1,744.00 on January 31st represents a gain of $213 per ounce for the month, up 13.9% from the 2011 year end price. The price of silver has also advanced strongly in 2012 with a gain of 26.8% from last year's low amid record breaking demand for the American Silver Eagle bullion coins.
Sales of the American Gold Eagle bullion coins hit an all time record in 2009 when 1,435,000 ounces were sold. A summary of annual gold bullion sales since 2000 is shown below. Buying and selling Gold is a great opportunity! Call us today @ 281-241-9005
Extracted from the web @ http://goldandsilverblog.com/gold-bullion-coin-sales-soar-by-in-january-as-confidence-in-the-dollar-crumbles-0344/
Increasing emerging market demand for luxury goods, including diamonds, will boost the price of diamonds, perhaps even more than gold prices are expected to increase, analysts say.
Edward Sterck, BMO Capital Markets analyst, told Bloomberg News that rough or uncut diamonds will rise on the average by 9 per cent to $145 a carat next year, 1.4 per cent in 2013 and 4.8 per cent in 2014.
Compared to gold, which is forecast to decline for three years starting 2013, after a 19 per cent gain in 2012, diamond will continue to increase by 2.6 per cent in 2015 and 3.2 per cent in 2016, Bloomberg reported.
India's and China's expanding middle class will drive the demand for diamonds in the upcoming years, analysts said.
The Asian two nations, along with the Middle East, will make up for 40 per cent of global diamond demand by 2015, Anglo American Plc said.
A Bain report released earlier said global demand for diamonds will expand at an average of 6.4 per cent a year to almost 247 million carats by 2020. Production will likewise soar to an annual 2.8 per cent to 175 million carats, the Bain report added. In 2010, output reached 133 million carats.
Global appetite for diamonds is forecast to surpass supply by 7 million carats in 2016, compared with the 1 million carats shortage this year.
Prices of diamond have not been inflated by artificial demand as with the scenario correlated with gold buying.
Therefore as countries like China and India keep growing and the size of the middle-class population rises, more people will be able to afford diamonds," Rob Henderson, chief economist at National Australia Bank Ltd., said.
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Extracted from the web @ http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/273333/20111228/diamonds-outwin-gold-prices.htm
Gold prices will rally again in 2012 to reach $2,000 to $2,500 per ounce because demand is still strong and the precious metal is still seen as a safe haven, according to Sabine Schels, a commodities strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Despite the correction in gold prices
in recent months [XAU= 1594.89 -3.86 (-0.24%)
, Schels said sustained investor demand would result in gold prices averaging $1,850 in 2012, up from $1,573 in 2011.
“We see no let up in investor interest. Exchange traded funds’ levels continue to hold up,” she said.
Schels said the negative outlook for sovereign debt , coupled with easy monetary conditions in the euro zone, the US and Japan, meant gold would retain its "safe haven" status, while still offering comparatively strong returns.
Gold will also benefit from a continued need for central banks in emerging markets to diversify their holdings, she said.
Schel’s view differs from some other market participants, who say the sell-off in the precious metal will continue.
Earlier last week, commodities trader and economist Dennis Gartman told CNBC he expected the precious metal to fall to $1,500 per ounce or lower, and has sold off his personal gold holdings. Meanwhile, trader Steve Cortes predicted an even steeper fall-off to $1,000.
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Byron Wien, the investment strategist, has been forecasting the future for decades. But this is the first year that he has officially recommended gold in his model portfolio.
And at the beginning of this month, Mr. Wien, vice chairman of Blackstone Advisory Partners, said he was maintaining his 5 percent allocation to gold for next year.
The metal has become the insurance policy of choice for many sophisticated investors. Even among those who were never gold bugs, there is now a belief that it has its place in a portfolio.
Mr. Wien’s view comes despite the fact that gold, which was up 29.5 percent in 2010, was up an additional 20.7 percent at the end of October of this year, according to Mr. Wien’s most recent report — nearly double the increase for real estate, the second-highest increase among Mr. Wien’s recommended asset classes.
His decision to continue recommending gold comes even while some investors feel that after such a steep run, prices may fall. The returns reflect the hard reality that as governments print money, thereby debasing the value of their currencies, gold still looks like a sensible option.
“The money supply will be expanded in the major currencies in the developed world, and investors will seek the protection of hard assets: something real, and gold is perceived as real,” Mr. Wien said by telephone.
Is he expecting gold to continue its astonishing ascent? There are reasons to doubt that it will. For example, the dollar has rallied as fears of problems in the euro zone have grown. Often that increase forecasts a drop in gold value, since deterioration in currency values suggests higher gold prices.
That does not change Mr. Wien’s view. “You don’t buy insurance because you think you will have a fire or a flood,” he said. “You buy it and you hope you don’t collect on it.”
Even the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, has been watching the price of gold as an index of investor confidence in the future. “I think the reason people hold gold is as a protection against what we call ‘tail risk’ — really, really bad outcomes,” Mr. Bernanke said at a hearing in July before the U.S. Congress. “To the extent that the last few years have made people more worried abut the potential of a major crisis, then they have gold as a protection.”
Sounds logical, right? And yet gold is a controversial investment.
“Gold is even more speculative than real estate,” said Fran Kinniry, a principal in Vanguard’s Investment Strategy Group. “At least with housing, you have the income from rents. With gold there is no income at all. Gold does not pay dividends or interest, so the only thing you get is the price differential. It has benefited from many months of flight-to-safety flows that can crash at any moment.
“The fundamental underpinnings are so shaky that I have no confidence whatsoever that any so-called relationship between the price of gold and anything else is a stable relationship,” Mr. Kinniry said.
Even so, as the Italian and Greek governments fail to resolve their problems, gold looks particularly attractive because, with the dollar, it is considered a safe harbor in times of such uncertainty.
“Gold is a money that governments don’t print,” said Charles Stevenson, a private investor who first bought gold during the inflation of the 1970s and continues to own gold today, although he has traded in and out along the way.
“It’s a way to hold value when there is nothing to invest in because it stores value the way money is supposed to, ” he said. “If you hold your assets in money, inflation now exceeds interest rates, and the government is draining purchasing power.”
The situation is sufficiently volatile that Gary Brinson, a veteran strategist and scholar who runs the Brinson Foundation, agrees that gold, even at its currently high price, may have a small place as insurance.
“You can get into windows of time where gold will act as a counterweight in an otherwise asset-based portfolio,” he said. “The problem is that if you pay too much for it, its ability to offset the inflationary effect is diminished.”
As recently as a month ago, gold fell drastically, surprising and worrying investors. “There are caveats,” Mr. Stevenson said. “In a bad world, gold won’t necessarily maintain its value. If real estate drops in half and gold drops a quarter, for example, you can sell gold and buy twice as much real estate.”
What makes the situation particularly complicated today is that the easiest vehicle for average investors who want to hold gold are gold exchange-traded funds. They are volatile because you can buy them on margin, and that attracts speculative buyers.
There are wild cards, too. People who need money sell the assets that can be sold. “If you invested in John Corzine’s MF Global and you needed to sell those assets, you couldn’t do it,” Mr. Stevenson said. “There is always a bidder for gold, just like there are always bidders for top-quality real estate, but there might not be bidders for B-quality real estate.”
Certainly there were historical periods when gold was a bad bet. It was a disappointing holding between 1980 and 2000, when other assets were growing in value. As interest rates declined, any company in which one invested could refinance, making it a benign environment to use cash for other investments.
But James Grant, who has a newsletter, remains bullish despite the hiccups because he believes that the “central banks — north, south east and west — have gotten out of the central banking business and into the central planning business, meaning that they are devoted to raising up: if they can; economic growth and employment through the dubious means of suppressing interest rates and printing money. The nice thing about gold is that you can’t print it.”
Having said that, Mr. Grant acknowledges that when gold fell 50 percent in 2008, ‘it certainly tested confidence,” he said. But he simply does not believe that, for now, bankers can see into the future and improve things.
Extracted from the web @ http://finance.yahoo.com/news/nervous-market-gold-gains-respectability-180123711.html
Gold has already made a monster move from $260 an ounce in 2001 to its $1,920 peak. But what now? What’s left in the tank? Frank Giustra, a gold guru has been predicting a major gold price correction, deeper than the pullback to $1,600 in September. He has said he keeps 40% of his wealth in gold assets expecting much higher prices after the pull back.
Like a lot of fiat currency bashers, he’s still big on tangible assets and has diversified into Argentinean farmland, Canadian cattle operations, Colombian land and Italian olive groves. During the 2008–09 financial crisis he became concerned that the banking system would fail and GLD shares would not be backed by gold. Giustra prefers the Swiss ZKB Gold ETF, which trades as ZGLD in Zurich and can be bought through many U.S. brokerage firms. Shares of ZKB can be exchanged at the Zurich Cantonal Bank for gold. In this way, sophisticated gold buyers avoid the difficulty of exchanging paper for gold in a global emergency.
Most of the reasons gold has gone up for the past decade are still in place, says Giustra. Its glimmer reflects unease about the ability of the U.S. to reduce its budget deficit. Also bullish for gold is the Federal Reserve’s easy money policy. Over time gold trades in an inverse relationship to the dollar. The gold market is sensing another round of Fed quantitative easing in the near future. “Today we look at gold as a hedge against all currencies,” Giustra tells me.
The golden rule of thumb seems to be that the more dollars you create, the more you debase the dollar—and the higher gold goes. After the first round of easing in 2009 gold jumped from $900 an ounce to $1,200, sparking a change in mentality in the market. Barrick Gold, another Canadian mining company and one of the world’s largest, raised $5 billion to cover its gold hedges so that it would be exposed fully to gold price fluctuations.
By September 2010 gold had reached $1,300 an ounce as central banks in nations like China, India, Russia and Thailand kept buying gold reserves. Central banks are looking to trim dollar exposure and have been buying whatever the International
Monetary Fund chooses to sell.
Gold demand from individuals in India and China is also strong. China is now the world’s largest gold producer, and its latest five-year plan is encouraging everyone to buy more gold—either on a planned Pan Asia Gold Exchange or in chains of gold stores throughout China, where gold jewelry is all the rage. Caibai, a single shopping mall in Shanghai, did $1 billion in gold bar and jewelry sales last year.
Gold mining stocks have underperformed the metal lately due to rising mining costs, labor unrest and higher taxes or nationalization by unfriendly governments. Christopher Wood at CLSA Securities sees gold rising to at least $3,300 an ounce and likes the potential of miners to outperform the metal. “Gold mining stocks are not just a speculation on the price of gold; you earn income on gold’s rise,” he says. Wood likes newmont mining (nem, 68), which yields 2.1% now and has pledged to pay $4.70 per share when and if gold hits $2,500 an ounce. Buy it now and your yield will be 6.5% if gold can tack on $700 an ounce. Wood is a buyer of barrick gold (ABX, 51), the world’s largest producer, with a 1.1% yield. goldcorp (GG, 51) and anglogold ashanti (AU, 47) round out Wood’s blue-chip mining portfolio.
Extracted from a the Dec. 5 Investment Guide issue of Forbes Magazine. Click here for the full Investment Guide 2012 special report.
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Rogers says we have been in a commodities bull run since 1999 and the underlying trend is for prices to head north. But how can he say that when there are growing fears that the global economy is heading for a downturn? "As in any market, there will be corrections from time to time. The drivers of commodity prices are the emerging economies, particularly China."
But supply patterns are telling us something too, according to Rogers. "We've got supply shortages, and they are getting worse. There haven't been any gigantic oil finds since the 1960s and the International Atomic Energy Agency is telling people that reserves of oil are in steady decline.
"There hasn't been a lead smelter built in the US since 1969; the average age of farmers in America is 58, which tells us agricultural land could soon be neglected because not enough people are going into farming.
"Exports of gold from South Africa will decline because most of the mines there are very old and not enough new ones are coming on stream."
He is even bullish about water, but warns that people need to tread with care: "I would not suggest you own water, because if you do, when things get really bad the politicians will sneer and say 'You filthy, horrible capitalist, you are making money off people's God-given right to water.' If you are lucky, they will hang you in the city square.
"But if you can solve the water problems, they will build a monument to you in the city square and you will be extremely rich."
But is Rogers right about commodities? Certainly, we have witnessed an incredible bull run during the past decade. The Economist's index of non-oil commodity prices has trebled since 2011. The recent surge has reversed a downward trend that had lasted more than a century. In short, much of the ground lost over 150 years has been recovered in the space of just a decade. So is there a "new paradigm" developing in commodity markets?
According to a report in the Economist last month, the answer is broadly yes. Like Rogers, the magazine does not need rocket science to explain what's happening. The surge in commodity prices is explained simply as the result of exploding demand and sluggish supply.
Growth in emerging markets is viewed as both rapid and resource-intensive. Supply is only slowly catching up. And what big reserves there are around the planet are found in mainly in remote and sparsely populated areas – Brazil, western Australia and sub-Saharan Africa. Brazil is blessed with timber, exceptionally fertile land, metal ores and now oil, but the latter is far off the coast and in deep water beneath a layer of salt.
The Economist says the imbalance in commodity markets is likely to persist at least until resource-hungry countries become more developed and new supplies become available.
"And in the meantime, the surge in emerging market demand will continue to hurt the advanced economies," it says. "The rise in oil and commodity prices has pushed up inflation in rich countries and acted like a tax on consumers."
But in the short term, the picture is less clear. Much depends on whether the stuttering world economy lurches into a sharp downturn, as it did in 2008-09. If that happens, expect another race to the bottom.1
1 Extracted from the web @ http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/oct/16/commodity-prices-invest
Demand for physical gold, which picked up considerably as prices fell more than 20 percent from last month's record highs above $1,920 an ounce, is continuing to support the precious metal, with Asian buyers particularly active in the market.
Premiums for gold bars in Hong Kong stood at around $3 an ounce, their highest level since at least February, while the premium in Tokyo held at 50 cents, dealers said. Seasonal buying, particularly in main consumer India ahead of the Diwali festival of lights on October 26, should underpin gold prices, Swiss bank UBS said in a note.
"Over the last couple of years, the two weeks leading to Diwali brought overall buying that was consistently above average - even twice the weekly average - despite rising prices," it said.
"Although day-to-day volumes will naturally show some degree of price sensitivity, as they have in previous years, this seasonal demand is an important underlying support for gold, as any dip in prices will likely encourage a buying spree."
Doubts remained over the metal's ability to recreate the stellar gains recorded earlier in the year, however. Prices remain up 17 percent since the end of December despite September's retracement, their sharpest monthly drop in nearly three years.
Societe Generale said it remains broadly bullish on the outlook for gold despite the recent retrenchment in its prices, but lowered its 2012 price forecast for the metal.