Amid Selloff, Gold King Won't Flush His Throne

Hong Kong merchant melts down palace to capitalize on rising prices ... except for toilet
By Paul Stinson,  Newser User
Posted Jul 7, 2008 2:53 PM CDT
Amid Selloff, Gold King Won't Flush His Throne
This picture taken in Hong Kong 24 February 2005 shows a solid gold and gem-encrusted toilet valued at 38,000,000 million Hong Kong dollars (4.8 million USD).    (Mike Clarke/AFP/Getty Images)

(Newser) – With gold prices hovering around $1,000 an ounce, one Hong Kong jeweler is melting down the shining palace he spent a decade building, unloading chandeliers and armored knights—everything but his 24-karat toilet, the Wall Street Journal reports. "I don't care if gold hits $10,000 an ounce," Lam Sai-wing says of the Lenin-inspired commode. "I'm not melting it down."

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At its peak, Lam's "Swisshorn Gold Palace," as he referred to his 7,000-square-foot collection, included a king-size bed and the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, and became a hit with tourist groups from mainland China. Lam's company has made about $64 million unloading 3 tons of gold thus far, and could sell more if prices rise further. (Read more gold stories.)

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