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News Link • Economy - International

Germany's golden future

Let no one tell you that the German economy is stagnating. Across the country, shops have been opening up, offering to buy and sell gold. Some have bodyguards treading the pavement outside, some only open their doors if you ring a bell like a brothel, and all have heavy iron or steel window shutters that come clanking down at night.

Germans seem to have a great deal of metal in their mouths because the shops, new or newly painted, are plastered with signs announcing: Best prices paid for Jewellery, Coins and Zahngold – that is, gold fillings. How does that work with Zahngold?

Presumably people are not striding in and ripping out their preciously filled molars in order to raise the cash to pay the rent. I enquired in a shop in Berlin. A very pleasant Lebanese trader told me that customers are coming in with their own Zahngold – kept after they had their fillings exchanged at the dentist – in little bags, he weighs the gold on a delicate scale and makes an offer. As simple as that.

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