Lots and lots of gold

Here at Kamaaina Loan And Cash For Gold, we buy and sell gold every day. A typical deal might involve 20 or 30 grams of 14K gold. Sometimes more, but always gram by gram.

Thus we were impressed in reading this Bloomberg News story about a guy who

 used his connections in Iran and Turkey to move almost a metric ton of gold to Iran every day for 1 1/2 years.

Bloomberg didn’t say whether those were long or short tons, but either way that’s a lot of gold. There are 28 grams in an ounce, so that’s around 900,000 grams a day. Multiply that by 1.4, since the gold we take in averages around 60% fineness, and you get around 1,250,000 grams equivalent of jeweler’s gold.

We’d have to do 250,000 deals (at 50 grams a deal) to equal one day of Riza Sharraf’s gold trade.

Riaz Sharraf, via Bloomberg News

Riaz Sharraf, via Bloomberg News

Not that we envy Mr. Sharraf, who now resides in a small cell in a Turkish prison. It started when fog made an airplane full of his gold land at an alternate airport where the customs officials asked questions and seized the gold for non-declaration.

Except, get this. Maybe it wasn’t gold.

Sara Turizm, for its part, claimed that Omanye had sold it fake gold. It provided to the Ghana courts in June an analysis of the gold done by Emirates Industrial Laboratory LLC. The “gold” was 99 percent lead for the base, brushed with a patina of 96 percent nickel.

Sarraf’s lawyer says, “My client is innocent. I look forward to proving that in court.”

An interesting legal point. Is it a crime to smuggle lead?

All of this is fascinating but has nothing to do with pawn, except we deal in gold at our Maui pawn shop and Riza Sharraf dealt in gold in Turkey and Iran — or something. If you are a fan of mysteries with surprise twists and turns, you will like the story of Riza Sharraf.