Arezzo Weathers Gold Volatility

Between the rising—and volatile—price of gold, and the dollar-to-euro ratio, these are tough times for the Italian jewelry industry. But 2005 statistics from the Arezzo jewelry district in Tuscany are somewhat encouraging. While far from indicating a full-fledged recovery, data from the Arezzo Chamber of Commerce's Studies and Statistics Service show that the 2005 production value of gold in the region grew about 10 percent over 2004 figures. Firms also processed more gold (160 tons versus 155 tons in 2004) and less silver (78 tons compared with 85 tons). Chamber of Commerce data also show the value of Arezzo's exports increased 13 percent in 2005 over 2004 figures, bringing the region's contribution to the total of Italian jewelry exports to 32 percent, versus the previous year's 28.8 percent. Consolidation continues, however, as the number of firms shrank from 1,621 in 2004 to

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