All that glitter???

What is it like to live in Luxor? Share your experiences of Luxor's culture.

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Major Thom
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All that glitter???

Post by Major Thom »

I wonder how many people have brought gold items in Egypt, ie bracelets, earrings, rings, pendants etc. Myself and wife did! While we were on holiday we thought we would get them valued. When we purchased them the seller wieghed them and polished them, looked up the gold value and told us the cost.
We found out that in actual fact we cannot resell anywhere because non had a registered hallmark on them and could only be sold as "Yellow Metal" in Europe because of this, therefore although the items may be 14 carot, without a hallmark they can only be treated as yellow metal, taking the value down by approx. 50%. We did not know this at all! Most Countries have a hallmark for gold, even if its just a single stamp number or emblem. So people need to take care when purchasing and ask to see the registered gold mark. Without the gold mark the item cannot be classified as gold, but yellow metel. We have been fortunate to off load most of our things we purchased in Luxor now because one or two Arabic purchasers have bought them, it was not a case of wanting to really, but there is no place they fitted in just a couple of alabaster items. I had a Shisha pipe brought across by friends in Luxor, I think if I remember around 200le, here they are around 60 euros.if you want to smoke shisha here expect to pay 15euros. Yes very expensive, but the tobacco or substitute tobacco, (no nicotine or tar) is quite cheap. Flights have started back from the UK but all passengers have to carry a Covid free certificate, or undergo a check when they get here. Going to be interesting. The first flight a RyanAir flight last Saturday had 9 passengers on it. Most want tourist back, but not from the UK.



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Re: All that glitter???

Post by HEPZIBAH »

Whilst I question the relevance of the Opening Post being in Living in Luxor, I cannot fail to respond.

'Buyer Beware'
'If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.'
Two common statements used worldwide, and yet so often forgotten or ignored by those who think they've bought a bargain.

Surely, a worldlywise business man and woman such as you and your wife would have bought the jewellery for it's pleasure to the eye. You desired it, inspected it, negotiated a price, and took home something that you enjoyed. Not noticing that there was no assay mark, and the future issues if you wished to value or sell the items, was either negligence or ignorance on your part - possibly both.

The value of jewellery however, should not just be considered in monetary terms. It is in the joy of ownership, or wearing.

For anyone considering buying items in a foreign land, it is always worth doing a little homework first. Even basic guide books touch on what are traditional or good items to buy from any region, and often touch on the pitfalls to be aware of.
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Re: All that glitter???

Post by newcastle »

Egypt, like the UK, has a Hallmarking system giving the date and carat of an item. As with the UK, only an idiot would buy an item not marked.

It’s not true that items without a hallmark are only regarded as yellow metal. If they were, you’d get a lot less than 50% 😂

But to get anything approaching their value as scrap gold, you’d need to have them assayed....which any reputable jeweller can do. He can then, having determined the purity of the gold, offer you a scrap price.

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Re: All that glitter???

Post by Who2 »

Reminds me of people who come into a couple of bob and think they can play the stock markets.
They are known as 'mug-punters same for novice gamblers.

Years ago two bangladeshi kids came to Luxor, bought loads of gold smuggled it back and made money.
It's an Indian thing they know about gold...qed:... 8)

Ps: In cockney parlance "You got 'mugged right off..
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Re: All that glitter???

Post by Major Thom »

We did enjoy it Hepzi, but like I said in the post, we are getting rid of everything we had in Luxor associated with the place. The things we bought were necklaces, bangles, rings and things, which contained images of Ahkhs, Scarabs and the usual things associated with the Country, they do not look right in a Western World Country. We did purchase everything we got in good faith. It was only in the past 3 weeks that non hallmarked goods are classified as yellow metal, and even from 10 years ago from when we purchased these items we did expect to get near on what we paid for them. Our other items like soveriegns have gone up nearly treble in price, its just the items now classified as yellow gold that have plummeted in price. We did not buy to look upon them as an investment, we purchased them because at the time they fitted in with where we lived, and we enjoyed them. I had until 3 weeks ago never heard of this saying yellow gold. Any way we are no longer the owners of the items we purchased. We decided after someone asked about why do you wear a beetle on your chain, or why a snake! All I am trying to say is the fact that you may be paying for gold that without a hallmark is not worth much outside the Country. An example from buying overseas is, I got my wife some 18K loop earrings when at my daughters in Australia. There was to my knowledge no hallmark, but the jeweler found a letter and a number on the earrings and came back to us, this is the hallmark fom Australasia. Obviously my wife kept these. So the fact is gold normally 14K but without any hallmarks in the Western World is classified as yellow metal. Did you know this fact Hepzi? My uncle when he passed left me a full hunter pocket watch, I have had it now over 30 years, I sold it last week because for 30 years its just been in a draw, I was amazed at its value, but before offering me money the jeweler scrutinised it for hallmarks and even what he called movement. It ended up being made in London in 1939, and 18K, he told me the hallmarks confirmed this. ??? So there must be something to do with hallmarks that verify these things.

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Re: All that glitter???

Post by Major Thom »

Ok I accept your statement Newc, I just disagree. The only hallmarked goods we got in Luxor were purchased from the Jolie Ville jewelers, they were genuine and bore a middle east stamp. When we took our items in the jeweler tested them with some chemical and confirmed the items were 14K in his mind, but told us that without a hallmark they could not be resold as such but as yellow metel.

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Re: All that glitter???

Post by crewmeal »

Flights have started back from the UK but all passengers have to carry a Covid free certificate, or undergo a check when they get here.
Yet again there is confusion about all this. According to sources elsewhere (Egypt ex pats) all you need is travel insurance. Some say you have to fill in a form and others say you must get tested prior to flying to Egypt.

It would be nice if someone who has travelled to Cairo to report what is actually reqired.

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Re: All that glitter???

Post by A-Four »

Who2 wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:33 pm
Years ago two bangladeshi kids came to Luxor, bought loads of gold smuggled it back and made money.
It's an Indian thing they know about gold...qed:... 8)
Are you sure they were Bangladeshi kids my dear Dr, such people are not known to have such wealth, whether in the old country, or even here in the likes of the East End. The women like inexpensive costume jewellery, as in the old country. Most of the people who now live in the U.K. come from the northern rural part of Bangladesh known as Sylhet, where unfortunately poverty is widespread. If and when they do become wealthy here, it is usually put into brick and mortar.

You are correct about the Indian people, such people can be found throughout the world, it's not just in the U.K. that we first found them years ago opening up corner shops. Today Indian business plays a very important part in the 'back-bone' of British wealth, however this is not the case in many other countries, so such wealth that these people made had to be of the 'liquid' 22ct (easy squashable) variety.

The conversation about gold on this forum seems to be a bit strange really, it may become interesting if a goldsmith shows up. :wi .

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Re: All that glitter???

Post by newcastle »

Major Thom wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:39 am
Ok I accept your statement Newc, I just disagree. The only hallmarked goods we got in Luxor were purchased from the Jolie Ville jewelers, they were genuine and bore a middle east stamp. When we took our items in the jeweler tested them with some chemical and confirmed the items were 14K in his mind, but told us that without a hallmark they could not be resold as such but as yellow metel.
You’re missing the point. Non- hallmarked gold items cannot be sold by a jeweller as “gold”..they have to be described otherwise. Maybe gold coloured....or yellow metal.

But....if, when tested, they turn out to be, say, 14k gold, the jeweller should offer you the scrap gold value. He is not going to try and re- sell them as jewellery items.

Why would he? Only idiots or cheap chavs buy jewellery which looks like gold but isn’t marked.

Scrap 14k gold is worth about £25 a gram. If you were offered anything less, you were diddled.........again :lol:

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Re: All that glitter???

Post by newcastle »

crewmeal wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:02 am
Flights have started back from the UK but all passengers have to carry a Covid free certificate, or undergo a check when they get here.
Yet again there is confusion about all this. According to sources elsewhere (Egypt ex pats) all you need is travel insurance. Some say you have to fill in a form and others say you must get tested prior to flying to Egypt.

It would be nice if someone who has travelled to Cairo to report what is actually reqired.
It would....

But it’s early days yet with few foreigners flying from London to Cairo.

I posted the official Egyptian government form elsewhere....which looks pretty definite. You have to certify that you’re insured but it would be totally impractical for them to investigate each policy on arrival. A further point is that any insurance you have might be void if you’re travelling contrary to FCO advice....which still regards Egypt as an “essential travel only” destination.

Whether travellers from the U.K. require clearance PCR is the main point of uncertainty. I’ve seen reports that EgyptAir’s London office have said it isn’t....but haven’t checked that myself.

There were tourists from Ukraine arriving at Sharm and Hurghada yesterday. No mention of them requiring COVID-19 clearance before coming.

Presumably, no airline is going to allow you to board in London unless they are sure you’ll be admitted in Cairo....otherwise they are responsible for bringing you back :lol:

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Re: All that glitter???

Post by Who2 »

fool's gold
noun [ U ]
UK /ˌfuːlz ˈɡəʊld/ US /ˌfuːlz ˈɡoʊld/........ 8)
"The Salvation of Mankind lies in making everything the responsibility of All"
Sophocles.

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Re: All that glitter???

Post by HEPZIBAH »

Who2 wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:32 am
fool's gold
noun [ U ]
UK /ˌfuːlz ˈɡəʊld/ US /ˌfuːlz ˈɡoʊld/........ 8)
Reminds me of another well known saying 'A fool and his money are soon parted.'
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Re: All that glitter???

Post by Who2 »

Quote: "Are you sure they were Bangladeshi kids my dear Dr ?

Positive as they were both employees of mine, we sent them to Luxor to visit the Sunshine Orphanage as
we were their main sponsors. qed.... 8)
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Re: All that glitter???

Post by Major Thom »

Fools gold is Iron Pyrities. Normally a chemical effect on iron! Anyway its good to know no one purchases these non hallmarked goods in Luxor. (Or have they?)

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Re: All that glitter???

Post by carrie »

Dont think any one but you would wear the brassy gold that they sell here.

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Re: All that glitter???

Post by A-Four »

Major Thom wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:19 pm
Fools gold is Iron Pyrities. Normally a chemical effect on iron! Anyway its good to know no one purchases these non hallmarked goods in Luxor. (Or have they?)
You raise a very interesting point Major Thom, of which it seems few on this form have little or no knowledge of. Those who have in the past bought 'gold' in Luxor from other than either national or international hotels or either Radwans (opp the old Isis Hotel or Phillips Jewellers in town, could be in for a rather large unwelcomed surprise.

During my time in Egypt I only ever warned my own visiting family or very close friends,.....the simple fact is Europeans should never ever buy gold rings or other gold jewellery in Egypt and certainly especially Luxor.
Last edited by A-Four on Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: All that glitter???

Post by A-Four »

Major Thom wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 5:39 am
Ok I accept your statement Newc, I just disagree. The only hallmarked goods we got in Luxor were purchased from the Jolie Ville jewelers, they were genuine and bore a middle east stamp. When we took our items in the jeweler tested them with some chemical and confirmed the items were 14K in his mind, but told us that without a hallmark they could not be resold as such but as yellow metel.
I am sorry I missed this, but yes you bought from a reputable place being Jolie Vile jewellers, as it was then, along with the places I mentioned above. The reason why the item is 14ct is because this grade is known as U.S.A. gold standard. When fewer American tourist stopped visiting Egypt in the late 1990's, the standard was raised to meet the Central European standard which is 18ct, but remember this is still the tourist rate standard in Egypt. The only official gold standard in Egypt is for 22-24ct and this has the official marks, usually a depiction of a lotus flower, though this I understand has recently changed.

When it comes to valuation or sale to a jeweller, they are not stupid and neither should you, they can call it what they like, but at the end of the day they will tell you they pay the scrap value, even though if you offer a beautifully crafted gold item, they will simply sell it at a massive mark-up as it is.

As for un-marked gold, so what, it very easy to find the gold content in any item, the nitric acid test is crude, though common. The common rule is that gold jewellery is subject to craftsman charges and of course V.A..T. , which adds a lot of to an item, where simple gold bars attract neither extra charge.

Note. I understand that Cyprus has a strict gold standard as with the U.K., but take the gold to such as Istambul in Turkey , they do not mess about, gold is gold there. They do not call the a water way in that city the Golden Horn for nothing,........did I mention free of V.A.T. :wi .

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Re: All that glitter???

Post by Who2 »

Remember Silver Thursday ? when those Yank's cornered the silver market.
Back in the 80's, I sold tons of the stuff round the garden, as did most people,
it all got melted down, beautiful never to be replaced or seen again silver antiques.

They were the Hunt Brothers I believe, 'clever couple of *unts.... 8)
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Re: All that glitter???

Post by A-Four »

Who2 wrote: I sold tons of the stuff around the garden.
As Maggie once said to Norman Lamonts dismay (re G. Soros) you can not buck the market.

With ref to your above quote, I assume you sold your stuff, across the road from what was once part of Mr and Mrs Covent's garden, the one, same couple who owned the land where they had the premises known today as The Bleeding Heart, given to them by Queen Elizabeth l, after she had confiscated such land from the Bishop of Ely, for being disrespectful to Her Maj.

I assume you more than likely sold the stuff in the place known as The Silver Vault, opp Covent Garden in Chancery Lane, at that time the best price would have been there.

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Re: All that glitter???

Post by Who2 »

Right and wrong, I think you are talking about Lord & Lady Hatton.
Wrong garden though.... 8)
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