Gold Smuggling and the Gold Black Market Essay

Total Length: 768 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 2

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Gold has had fans in many places since the dawn of civilization. From the pre-Columbian Americas to Greece, from China to India, gold has served as a symbol of status and also as a tangible means of accumulating and exchanging wealth. In a world in which speculation and virtual currencies reign, gold occupies a more unique position than it has ever before. In Wages of Crime, Naylor reveals the dark underbelly of the world’s most popular precious metal. The chapter “The Underworld of Gold” addresses everything from how gold is mined nefariously in both black and grey market ways, and similarly traded in ways that resemble other types of organized crime. National laws often tax either the import or export of precious metals, driving gold markets to the grey and black zones of the global economy. In a world in which international banking leaves a potentially dangerous paper trail, gold has become a means of anonymous exchange, causing many of the most wealthy and powerful players in politics and business to participate in the black market of gold trading. The most notable examples of those who currently love to use gold as currency include the Philippines/Hong Kong exchange, the Italy/Switzerland exchange, Central Asia and Russia, and the United States.

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As much as 95% of the gold mined in the Philippines is not sold on the level, but smuggled to Hong Kong, according to Black. Black also points out that the number one market for gold smuggled from the Philippines is Hong Kong, one of the world’s biggest hubs of global banking. Most of the gold does not stay parked in Hong Kong, but moves across the border to mainland China, where there is a “voracious demand,” (Black 1). The reason for the voracious demand for gold in China, as with India, is the volatility and unreliability of the national currency. Accumulating wealth in Yuan or Rupees is not desirable, but nor is storing wealth in high-tax zones. Thus, gold becomes the optimal way for the wealthy to invest their surplus savings into something that is relatively reliable and more importantly, transferable.

Naylor also notes that one of the world’s most nefarious gold exchanges occurs between Italy and Switzerland. Switzerland has long been the repository of gold bullion from multiple unsavory sources. Due to lax Swiss banking laws, the nation has been a haven for….....

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Works Cited

Bargent, James and Norby, Michael. “Blood gold: From conflict zones in Colombia to jewelry stores in the US.” Aj Jazeera America. 18 Nov, 2015. Retrieved online:

BBC Earth. “There Are People Mining Gold Illegally in California’s Hills.” 2016. Retrieved online:

Black, Simon. “The Black Market for Gold is Booming.” Business Insider. 23 Nov, 2012. Retrieved online:

Naylor, R.T. Wages of Crime. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2004.

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