Precious metals not included in state's regulation

Precious metals not included in state's regulation of weight and measure

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The Department of Agriculture said it doesn't have the manpower or the funds to oversee scales for precious metals. The Department of Agriculture said it doesn't have the manpower or the funds to oversee scales for precious metals.
6 News tested several gold chains and jewelry at Fagan Jewelers and the weight came out to 16.7 grams and the same result was shown in three other Knoxville locations. 6 News tested several gold chains and jewelry at Fagan Jewelers and the weight came out to 16.7 grams and the same result was shown in three other Knoxville locations.
"I just don't see how they could ever regulate every store to make sure they're being honest one day or every day," said Ron Fagan, owner of Fagan Jewelers. "I just don't see how they could ever regulate every store to make sure they're being honest one day or every day," said Ron Fagan, owner of Fagan Jewelers.

By SAMANTHA MANNING
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The Tennessee Department of Agriculture monitors scales for products including produce, meat and fuel, but the agency does not monitor precious metals.

When consumers sell gold or other jewelry, the scales are not certified by the state.

Owner of Fagan Jewelers in South Knoxville, Ron Fagan, said in order to get an accurate estimate, a business must have a scale from a reputable supplier.

"You need a quality scale, something that you can depend on," Fagan said.

The Department of Agriculture said it does not have the manpower or the funds to oversee scales for precious metals.

"Not knowing the inventory in the state, we wouldn't know how many field staff we would need," said Jimmy Hopper, assistant commissioner in regulatory services for the Department of Agriculture. "If we chose to devote some resources to testing precious metals scales or any other item that we're not doing now, it would have to reduce significantly what we're testing now."

Fagan said he doubts state oversight would make much of a difference anyway because of the large number of locations selling and buying gold.

"I just don't see how they could ever regulate every store to make sure they're being honest one day or every day," Fagan said.

6 News tested several gold chains and jewelry at Fagan Jewelers, and the weight came out to 16.7 grams. The same result was shown in three other Knoxville locations.

Fagan said there are warning signs for customers to be aware of when selling gold.

For one thing, Fagan said a customer can call ahead to see the amount a shop is offering to pay per gram of gold that day.

Fagan said, if a store tells you they cannot give you a quote until they see the gold, it is not true.

"If you have 14 grams of 14 karat gold, that's what you have," Fagan said.

Fagan also said transparency is key.

Fagan said shops should conduct an acid test on the jewelry in front of the customer to determine the karat.

"If a person won't show you what they're doing in a store that you're in, they won't let you see how they came to that conclusion, then you need to get your gold and leave," Fagan said. "It's really up to the individual to deal with somebody they can trust."

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