Armenia's Ministry of Finance wants to sell most of the valuables of the State Treasury of Precious Metals and Precious Stones Agency worth a minimum of AMD 1.533 billion (US$3.157 million) at market prices.
The sale of the diamond stones, artificial stones, emeralds, silver and gold jewelry, if approved by the government, will begin in the second quarter of this year and extend until 2022, at public auctions.
The reserves of the State Treasury of Precious Metals and Precious Stones Agency are supposed to meet the urgent needs of the state and national economy. However, the proposal now being drafted doesn’t specify any urgent need.
It only mentions the ministry’s concern that items made of precious metals and precious stones lose their appearance and value over the years, and there hasn’t been any sale organized for these items during the last two decades.
The draft also cites the example of the failed attempt to sell state reserve pearls in 2017, when there were no buyers, since the pearls looked outdated.
If the ministry succeeds, the State Treasury of Precious Metals and Precious Stones Agency will possess only ‘highly sellable’ valuables worth 400,000 million drams in total four years hence, which is less than one quarter of its current holdings.
Photo: Armenian Finance Minister Vardan Aramyan