Cash4whatnow?

Commercials facinate me. As does advertising in general, though not to the a Likekian degree. Lately, I’ve been wondering about the ubiquitous commercials for the company that lets you send your “unwanted gold jewelry” to them in a pre-paid envelope in exchange for cash, using a discreet transaction process. I have two questions (one specific, one general) about these ads and the company:

1) Why, in the commercial segment showing the company’s own refinery in action, does the smelted gold suddenly turn into what look like tiny pearls in the refinery-worker’s grimy hand when he lifts the finished product out of the cooling bath? Is that what they do when they get your unwanted gold? Turn it into tiny pearls using some arcane alchemical process? ‘Cause if so, that’s pretty cool. But I’m not sure I see the financial upside for the company.

2) Doesn’t this service seem like it might be a godsend for petty criminals? Most (if not all) municipalities and/or states have laws on the books requiring ID for pawnshop sales. This makes it harder for crooks to sell stolen goods (e.g. “wanted gold jewelry”). The system also makes tracking stolen goods easier for law enforcement. But now the same mugger/thief/burglar can send their heist off to this company and they’ll melt it right down on the spot! Try tracing that, coppers. Now, I know nothing about this company. Perhaps they have some type of procedure in place to try and help to prevent this. Maybe they photograph the items and keep records accordingly. But, regardless, it seems like such records would be sub-par evidence in many ways and also as if such procedures could be pretty easily circumvented.

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