Trade in gold coins on the rise

Pawn shops in downtown Omonia and other parts of Athens have been doing brisk business in the illicit trade of sovereign gold coins, according to research by Kathimerini published yesterday. The research reveals that hundreds of citizens have been turning to self-proclaimed experts in the small-scale trade of gold and bypassing official banking practices in a bid to acquire gold sovereigns – albeit at a fraction of the legal price – without having to produce proof of income or assets. While gold sovereigns are sold at around 290 euros at the Bank of Greece and Pireaus Bank – the country’s only two licensed suppliers – small-scale traders offer prices ranging from 8 to 30 euros. Unlike at the banks, however, customers can purchase in excess of 15,000 euros’ worth of gold sovereigns without having to explain the provenance of the money they are investing.

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