They are able to do any forms and models of gold jewelries. This industry has been initiated since 1950s, had been victorious in the 1970s, and now become one of oldest gold jewelry industries in Magelang Regency. Due to soaring gold prices, they are not getting many orders now.
By SAHRUDIN, MagelangImages
Gold shop owners in Magelang Regency and Magelang Municipality, surely they had long been familiar with Abdul Basar, 73 years old. Basar is the owner and founder of a gold industry, located in Dusun Seneng RT 4 RW 1, Banyurojo Village, Mertoyudan Subdistrict of Magelang Regency. He established the small industry in the 1950s.
“At the time, gold prices were still cheap, approximately 500 to 600 rupiahs per gram,” Basar said.
When I stopped by his workroom, Basar and one of his employees were completing a number of jewelries that had been ordered by several gold shop owners from Ketandan of Yogyakarta. Currently, more orders from Yogyakarta rather than from Magelang.
“We now only to get order from a jewelry shop in Magelang, between 50 grams to 1 ounce,” Joko Yuwono, 55, one of Basar’s employees, added. Joko had worked at this small-scale industry since the 1970s. In the 1990s, Joko created a tiger head-shaped gold buckle studded with 40 diamonds. His work made it into the top 10 in a gold jewelry competition in Jakarta, and he received a prize from the late Ibu Tien Soeharto (wife of former President Soeharto).
Joko told, the lack of jewelry orders in last few years especially due to soaring gold prices. This condition, of course, favor the end users, but not always good for gold industries for decreasing people’s purchasing power.
“Gold price hits record high in last few years. Consumers may prefer to sell rather than to buy,” Joko said. Small-scale gold jewelry industries which can not develop their creativity, will have difficulty in competing with other, bigger producers.
“I have a friend, jewelry producer in Salaman Subdistrict. But I don’t know is he still making gold jewelry today or not anymore,” Joko added. In fact, many home-based jewelry producers who also suffered from this similar situation. Here in Dusun Seneng of Banyurojo Village was at least 6 small-scale gold industries, but now only two are able to survive.
Joko said, some people choose to invest in gold because gold prices do not fluctuate too much. While gold prices rarely go down dramatically, they do not make dramatic gains either.
Abdul Basar’s gold jewelry industry had been victorious in the 1970s. At the time, he employed 15 workers for numerous orders. Averagely in a week, there were orders of about 500 earrings, 500 pendants and hundreds of rings, necklaces and bracelets.
It needs 24-karat bullion gold bars to make those jewelries. There were a bullion gold bar that weighs up to 3 kilograms. According to Basar, “London” was the best brand bullion gold bar to make jewelry. “We here named it a ciok kim gold,” Basar told.
This period, Basar and his employees used to work on a sack of bullion gold bars to produce jewelries. For they used to seeing so many bullion gold bars, Basar told a unique story he experienced in 1973.
“I just bought bullion gold bars, I put some in plastic bags, while I pocketed some other. I took a becak (trike, tricycle, pedicab) and sit on it. When it comes down from the becak, some of those bullion gold bars, without me knowing it, were scattered on the seat. The becak driver didn’t know that things left on his becak seat were bullion gold bars. He thought they were tools for making jewelry. When he brought them back to me, I gave him substantial rewards,” Basar told.
But the story was just a memory. Now, for the lack of orders, there are not many bullion gold bars to be used for jewelries. “Several pieces only,” Basar said. But like decades ago, Basar and his employees are still able to do any forms and models of gold jewelries. “We can completed our work faster if you bring a sample or a model,” Basar added.*** [email@example.com]
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