Showing posts with label coin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label coin. Show all posts

"Pondo Ng Pinoy" May Cause Coin Shortage


Philippine Low Denomination coins


Fearing a coin shortage caused by his pet project, Manila archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales asked priests in his archdiocese to remit quickly the 25-centavo coins they collected.

In a memorandum, Rosales said he received word from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas his "Pondo ng Pinoy" project may cause a shortage of 25-centavo coins.

"I was told by somebody from Bangko Sentral that the Pondo ng Pinoy project was doing a disservice to the communities because parish priests were keeping the coins longer than necessary," he said in his memorandum, excerpts of which were posted on the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines website.

Rosales drew up the "Pondo ng Pinoy" project to collect 25-centavo coins from the faithful to give to charity, on the premise that small amounts can pile up to become big contributions.

But he said parish priests keeping the coins longer may lead to a shortage of the 25-centavo coins.

"We wish to remind parish priests not to hoard the coins in their parish offices or rectories but to remit them as soon as possible to the Pondo ng Pinoy office," he said.

In his circular, Rosales also authorized his priests to collect the "Pondo ng Pinoy" bottles in establishments that are under their jurisdiction.

"Our attention has been called to the fact that there are so many bottles of 'Pondo ng Pinoy' in various establishments, such as offices, schools, malls, and other institutions," he said.

The CBCP said that from July 2004 to December 2007, the fund has reached over P161 million. - GMANews.TV

Bullion Report: Gold Parties Instead Of Tupperware Parties




On a quiet, tree-lined street in this upscale Chicago suburb, a gaggle of women noshed and drank wine as they waited their turn to have their once-fashionable gold rope chains and unmatched earrings scrutinized under a magnification loupe, poked at by a gold tester and even put through an acid test.

Say good-bye to Tupperware and hello to gold.

This was a gold party, and some of the women walked away with wads of cash in exchange for what they considered junk, unlike other neighborhood parties where they write out checks for plastic salad spinners or skincare and cosmetics.
Debbie Johnson was handed $1,600 after she turned in broken gold chains, earrings without pairs and the wedding bands from a marriage gone sour more than two decades ago.
"I had a baggie in my drawer that I've been throwing broken and old things into for 20 years," she said. "I had a good idea of what it was all worth."

Kathy Goro gave up a lovely gold necklace her husband gave her when they were dating more than 25 years ago, plus a bracelet and another chain from the 1980s. Her take: $230. Though she still liked the necklace and valued it sentimentally, she never wore it because it pinched the tiny hairs on the back of her neck.

"It's old stuff. I don't want to wear it," she said. "It's over, so let's get rid of it. They gave me a pretty penny for it. I'm happy."

Lots of pretty pennies and big bucks have made women - and men - across the U.S. happy in recent months as they gave up their gold pieces amid record-breaking prices for the commodity.
Though gold prices have slumped from their peak at the $1,000 level last spring to the still-healthy $700s in recent weeks, the parties continue to gain in popularity.

"People love the idea of coming to a party and making money," said Janine Cosek, a local representative for The Gold Refinery.

Cosek works in sales for a semiconductor maker during the day and spends nights and weekends picking through gold relics at homes in Chicago's northwest suburbs. In the two months since she has worked for The Gold Refinery, she has been to more than 30 parties.

She gets a commission on each party's total take, which she said averages about $5,000. So, too, does the party's host. For opening her Park Ridge home to her friends and serving them wine and appetizers, Karen Anderson was paid $640. That broke down to 10% of the total amount paid out that night plus a $50 bonus because more than 10 women sold their jewelry. And if women at her party book their own parties, Anderson gets 5% of what's paid out at those parties.
"It went very well," Anderson said, as the party ended. "I'm most pleased with the profit for myself."

Gold parties first caught fire earlier last year in Michigan, whose residents were among the first to feel the pangs of a sinking economy and were trading in gold to pay the bills. Many consider these the modern-day Tupperware party, a kind of twisted irony on the heels of a recession.

"This has become a new craze because there's limited disposable income out there," said Matt Mauro, general manager for Michigan-based The Gold Refinery. His company relies on word-of-mouth as well as its Web site, TheGoldRefinery.com, for marketing, though there are few tools more powerful than the parties themselves.

"There are a lot of folks who say they never realized that the gold they've been ignoring for the last 15 years was worth this much," he said.

Don't rush in

But consumers should be wary before their first party. Gold is measured in pennyweights in the U.S. There are about 20 pennyweights to an ounce of gold. Mauro, like most brokers, bases his payouts on where gold prices are and where he thinks they're headed. Though the numbers change daily, he uses a proprietary method that averages out the current prices with his best guesses of the future. For her part, Cosek merely punches in Mauro's calculation.

But not all gold is equal. It is measured on a 24-karat system in which 24k is pure gold while 18k is 18 parts gold and six parts other metals, making it 85% pure gold. That's confusing to some people who believe that if they had an ounce of 14k gold it would be worth the going market price of gold.

That's the risky part -- both for brokers and those selling their gold. At Anderson's party, for example, no one ever asked how much they were getting per ounce or to have the math explained. If Mauro had been a shyster broker, they could have been cheated out of money.

On the other hand, Mauro is relying on Cosek, who is doing this in her spare time, to determine the weight and verity of the gold. What's more, he's giving out stacks of cold, hard cash in a highly volatile market. Gold peaked at over $1,000 an ounce in March and hovered at such lofty levels for much of the summer. On Thursday, gold prices for December contracts closed at $738.50.

Mauro's cushion is the volume of gold his company sends to refineries coupled with the low overhead. As a result, he's likely to pay more per ounce than a local jeweler might. "We've got it down to a good business science," he said. "But we need to be careful if we're paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for a piece of gold that it is real gold and that the price of gold won't drop dramatically."

Like many brokers, Mauro has all the gold he's purchased melted at a refinery and then sells it in a process that puts the gold back in circulation.

Consumers interested in having parties should check with their state attorney's office to be sure licenses aren't required. The Better Business Bureau, which has been accumulating stacks of complaints about gold brokers the past year, offers these tips to those wanting to sell their gold for cash:
  • Because the price of gold fluctuates, take a piece to several well-established jewelry stores for quotes and/or appraisals.
  • Understand the karat and weight of your gold. It is illegal for jewelry in the U.S. to be labeled "gold" if it is less than 10k.
  • Understand the scales and be sure that the dealer is weighing and paying the gold by the same standard. Be alert that a dealer does not measure the gold by pennyweight and then pay by the gram, which is commonly used in Europe. That would mean the dealer is paying the consumer less for more weight of gold.
  • Remember that everyone's making money on this. As a result, a piece appraised at a certain value is worth just a portion of that because the purchaser has to make a profit margin on the transaction.
  • Keep all transactions in the open and never agree to a buyer who wants to take the jewelry or coins somewhere else or to a back room.
  • Check out any companies, including online companies, with the BBB, and use a search engine to find out what other consumers are saying about their experiences with the companies. - Marketwatch