Buying gold items for investment anyone?

Self taught goldsmith Tiong with the tools of his trade.

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SIBU, Dec 20: Now is the best time to buy gold either for safe keeping or for investment, says a goldsmith, Alex Tiong.

The price for the commodity, he said has dropped to RM244 per gram from about RM280 in October this year.

“If you have the money, then go for gold as the price is quite low now. Buy it for investment purposes as the price might be upped again in the future, who knows,” he said.

Tiong, 47, noted that buying the item is always a good form of investment as compared to other metals like silver.

Tiong has been in the business for about 35 years. He  learned the ropes of making and repairing jewelry by himself.

“This is one of the skills where people will not be kind enough to teach you. So you have to learn it by yourself,” he said.

At a young age of 15, Tiong started to learn the skill by observing how his bosses worked until he has an array of skills in dealing with this precious metals.

Tiong, who is married with three school going children, started off as an assistant in a jewellery shop here after completing his PMR exam.

In his quest to learn more about the job, he quit and worked for other goldsmiths in Bintangor, Sarikei and Brunei.

“I was working for people for about 10 years. The first three years were the most difficult as I knew nothing and had no skill whatever about the job. I almost give up to take up other job instead,” he recalled.

However sheer grit and determination enabled him to overcome all challenges.

After 10 years of scrutinising how his bosses went about with their job, he ventured out on his own by opening his own shop in Market Road here selling mostly silver articles.

“With the little knowledge learned, I tried it out by going through many trials and errors until I am as good as them,” he said.

While his wife tends to the shop, he is in his mini-workshop in a house of his relative, working with gold and silver.

He is so good now that he could make finger ring, necklace, bracelet and bangles from raw silver and gold. He uses a variety of tools and machinery, including the rolling mill, drawplate, swag blocks and other forming tools to make the metal into shapes needed to build the intended piece.

“It normally takes me three to four hours to make one finger ring and longer time for other delicate items. I also have customers who want me to either repair or beautify their items which I charge a nominal labour fee of between RM20 to RM30,” he said.

Working with gold, he said is a demanding task because the metal will lost its weight from gold dust formed during brazing and polishing.

“Our job is not an easy one as it requires patience, tolerance and perseverance. Only those who has the passion for the job will be able to make a living out of it,” he emphasized. — DayakDaily