ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Hiwa Rashid, 35, has been casting gold coins since 1994. He demonstrates how golden objects and jewelry are melted down, their impurities removed, and how they are shaped and stamped to the customer’s specifications.
“We melt the gold to remove impurities,” Rashid explains. “We use the design that the client has asked for. Then we start to stamp it.”
Rashid warns that buyers regularly lose out when they purchase gold by weight, as it is often mixed with other less valuable materials.
“Some gold at bazaars with special designs have additives. Some come from factories in France, Italy, and other countries. When customers buy gold items with additives, customers pay for the weight of gold and additives,” Rashid explains.
“Yet, when customers want to resell their gold items, the owners of gold stores separate out the additives and pay only for the pure gold. In that way only the customer loses.”