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Bill Aimed at Curbing Illegal Sale and Trade of Gold and Silver Introduced in New Mexico

A bill prepared to curb illegal sales and trading of gold and silver is receiving heat from those who work in the industry. Gold and silver historically are one of the least regulated commodities, recently being bought and sold without even the requirement of a receipt.

New Mexico’s state legislature, however, has proposed a law that would require buyers of precious metals to photograph every item and then document the seller’s hair, gender, height, weight, complexion, and date of birth.

While somewhat unorthodox and possibly invasive, the bill’s sponsor hopes the regulations would cut down on gold and silver buyers purchasing stolen goods.

Workers in the industry say the bill is overly burdensome to the everyday operations of their business. Gold and silver buyers already face great incentive to report suspicious activity and work diligently to avoid the purchase of stolen goods because they would ultimately be responsible for the costs of stolen goods accidentally purchased.

Recently a story our of Georgia detailed an instance in which a small silver and gold dealer kept a customer in his shop as the police were summoned after the suspect came in with a large amount of coins and asked for a greatly reduced price. The suspect was apprehended and the goods were returned.

David Castle, owner of Gold and Silver Exchange in New Mexico, said he figured it would add an additional 840 minutes to their day. He said 840 minutes would be required to do all the cataloging, the photography, all the sending of the transactions, tracking where very little piece went.

The proposed law in the form of a bill passed the first committee unanimously.

Greater regulations in the purchase and sale of gold and silver coins is a contentious issue on many fronts as increase retail prices in recent years have made precious metals extraordinarily valuable for both legal and illegal trade. As more gold and silver is passed in trade on increased pricing, new regulations and possibly taxation may appear inevitable, though gold and silver have survived for millennia as the most valued traditional form of exchange. The bill in New Mexico is likely to be watered down as the number of requirements appear to breach many privacy issues and are possibly unnecessary in safeguarding small gold and silver dealers who already practice due diligence.

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