Scrap gold price warning issued in Edinburgh

Image caption, Tests found that prices offered for scrap gold varied widely

People thinking of selling their scrap gold should beware of "unscrupulous" buyers, Edinburgh trading standards officers have warned.

The advice came after officials carried out tests on gold merchants, including jewellers, pawnbrokers and online postal purchasers.

They found large variations in prices offered for scrap gold.

Trading standards officers said sellers should shop around if they are considering selling their gold.

In one case, a gold necklace valued at between £270 and £300 received offers as low as £69. The top offer was £260 - a difference of £191.

Councillor Robert Aldridge, environment leader at Edinburgh City Council, said it was "staggering" to see such wide variations in the prices offered for gold, which has been climbing in value for the past 18 months.

"While you would expect gold traders to be making some profit when buying gold, certain unscrupulous individuals and companies are obviously capitalising on the demand for gold and offering way below the market value," he said.

"What is even more concerning is that these companies often use glitzy advertising campaigns to target vulnerable people needing money quickly."

Sellers are also being advised to check on the quality of their gold by looking at the hallmark.

Scott Walter, assay master at the Edinburgh assay office, said: "When a piece of jewellery is re-sold or scrapped, second-hand dealers will base their price on the gold content guaranteed by the hallmark."

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