Jordanian Goldsmiths Losing Business

Dozens of Jordanian goldsmiths have been forced out of business because of increasing gold prices, which have made it difficult for them to make a living.

The goldsmiths rely on selling most of their products to clients in oil-rich countries in the Arab region. However, the rise in gold prices, combined with ongoing economic weakness, has left shops with no option but to close.

"There used to be 400 workshops, but now there are only 50. This is a result of the increase in gold prices, which means that people do not buy (gold)," said one workshop owner, Ziad al-Lama.
"We had to reduce the weight of the pieces. For example, one that used to weigh 10 grams, we make it seven grams. We have to drop 30 percent of the weight. As a result, a piece that used to cost JD100 ($140 USD) now costs JD70 ($98 USD)," al-Lama said.

Jordanians are also buying less of the precious metal, which is used as bridal gifts for weddings.

Gold prices have increased by nearly 17 percent this year, and hit a record $1,920.20 an ounce in September. It had fallen to $1,675.30 an ounce on Tuesday.

Despite the decrease, experts said gold will remain strong because investors have no other safe havens.

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