Welcome to our October news roundup, where we look at the stories you may have missed over the last month. In this edition, we’ve got news from the financial sector that could affect you, important new police warnings about gold jewellery, and good news from the National Pawnbrokers Association awards.
A new Code of Practice has been launched this month to help the financial services industry better recognise signs of financial abuse and provide support for victims. The code has been put together by UK Finance, the trade association which represents credit providers, banks and financial markets.
Sadly, financial abuse has become a recognised issue within the financial services sector. It can take many forms, but is described by UK Finance as ‘financial control, dependency, exploitation or sabotage’. This can affect victims of wider domestic abuse, the elderly, disabled or vulnerable persons, where access to accounts may be authorised for more than one person.
The new voluntary Code of Practice is directed at financial businesses which deal with customers. Its aim is to raise awareness among staff, ensure training is given on how to proceed when financial abuse is suspected, and provides a framework for staff members to help victims regain more control over their finances. The code also includes information and guidance so victims can be referred to the best support organisation for their circumstances.
Police Warn of Rise in ‘Asian Gold’ Thefts
The Metropolitan Police have issued a warning to Asian families this month, as its come to light burglars are targeting homes where ‘Asian gold’ is likely to be held. Last year, there were 1,891 burglaries with Asian victims, in which 6,369 items of jewellery worth £9million was stolen. In many cultural traditions in India and surrounding countries, gold jewellery is passed down from generation to generation. For this reason, it can be doubly heart-breaking when valuable family heirlooms are targeted and taken. As Diwali (the Hindu Festival of Lights) is just around the corner and families will likely be out of the house attending the celebrations, it’s more important than ever to be vigilant.
The police recommend people photograph their jewellery to ensure they have a record should something be stolen. This can also help the police trace the item. Mark your jewellery with SmartWater or other traceable liquid, to ensure it will be flagged as suspicious if being sold on, and keep it in a safe which is securely attached to the wall or floor.
Sotheby’s Hold Auction Dedicated to Gold
The legendary auction house Sotheby’s hosted their first ever auction dedicated to gold this month. Titled The Midas Touch, the auction on 17th October offered a vast array of gold items, which included artworks, vehicles and antiques. Some of the more interesting pieces up for sale included:
- 24-carat gold bedsheets, which are woven from 40% gold thread and 60% fine silk. Includes 4 pillow cases, 1 sheet and 1 duvet cover. Estimate: £30,000 - £50,000
- A gold painted Ferrari, one of only four in the world. Estimate: £350,000 - £450,000
- A solid gold, life-sized bust of the supermodel Kate Moss by artist Marc Quinn. Estimate: £300,000 - £400,000
- A gold Methuselah (6-litre) bottle of Dom Pérignon champagne. Estimate: £15,000 - £20,000
- A 23-carat gold medallion pendant designed and stamped by Picasso. Estimate: £12,000 - £16,000
The auction house decided to create a gold-themed sale due to the growing popularity of the precious metal and its universal appeal. The pieces for the auction were chosen due to their artistic, cultural or aesthetic significance rather than their weight in gold, which made for an interesting mix of items.
Duchess of Cambridge Wears Princess Diana’s Tiara to State Banquet
This month, the British Royal Family welcomed King Willem-Alexander with his wife Queen Maxima of the Netherlands, and hosted a state banquet in their honour. State banquets or dinners are held for visiting foreign heads of state and government, and are usually lavish affairs with a strict dress code. The ball gowns and diamonds were out in force at the event, with many items of jewellery on display the public don’t get to see very often.
Most notably, the Duchess of Cambridge wore The Lover’s Knot tiara, which was originally made for Queen Mary, the Queen’s grandmother in 1914. It’s a piece which was favoured by Diana Princess of Wales and consists of diamonds and pearls in a crescent moon shape.
H&T Pawnbrokers Wins Employer of the Year at National Pawnbrokers Association Awards
We are proud to accept our award from the National Pawnbrokers Association, who held their annual award ceremony on 15th October. H&T Pawnbrokers won the NPA’s Employer of the Year award, which commended the way our staff are trained, encouraged and treated over all. With 190+ stores covering the whole of the UK, we have a lot of employees to take care of and we are dedicated to creating a positive and professional working environment for all. We’re very pleased to receive this accolade and will continue to make H&T a fantastic place to work.