You know all those adverts they are showing on TV at the moment where they are trying to persuade us to send in our gold that we no longer need? The ones where they ask us to just pop our rings and chains into the pre-paid envelope, and send it off, and then wait for the fat cheque to arrive by return of post?
From companies like this and this and this
The TV adverts are full of testimonials from delighted customers who sent off their unwanted gold, or the wedding ring from their first marriage, or that huge chain their ex-girlfriend gave them, and look! They received £258 in return! The adverts are full of shots of people waving fans of tenners, grinning widely at their financial savvy.
Some of the adverts also show pictures of the huge smelting plant where all this gold is melted down. Soft-focus images of chains and rings being poured into a crucible, fat sparks spitting out as they are rendered down to make a river of purest molten gold, it's like a scene from Lord of the Rings.
I assume that all these adverts are a sign of the recession, and that a lot of people are taking advantage of the convenient way to raise a few quid by selling off their "unwanted gold". The little list at the bottom of the screen of the items they take was revealing: chains, rings, bracelets, dental.
Oh sweet lord, they are offering money for gold teeth. Is it just me, or is that an invitation for violence and theft on a grand scale?
Don't just steal their jewellery, knock out their teeth too! We'll take them! No questions asked!
Been out burgling? Send us the loot! All smelted down and untraceable in moments....hell, we'll send you cash back by return of post! C'mon! Don't be shy!
I don't see this ending well.
Unless, and I am not sure that this is likely, the police are screening everything as it is received, comparing the envelopes of golden trinkets to their database of stolen items. Easy to then pop round to the originating address...
"Someone with a huge wad of cash for you...open up! Can you hear it rustling out here?" (whispers) "Ready with that taser, lads..." (muffled giggles)
Yeah right. That seems rather too pro-active and organised, to be honest.
The other option is that it's all a front for something else. Who else would want to gather up as much gold as possible, even sending out cash in return?
Hmm, let me think...