[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of Northumberland County 7-14-1981; amended in its entirety at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I). Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Pursuant to § 54.1-4111 of the Code of Virginia, no dealer may purchase precious metals or gems without a license as provided herein.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any piece of gold, silver or other metal fashioned into a prescribed shape, weight and degree of fineness, stamped by authority of a government with certain marks and devices, having a certain fixed value as money.
- Any person, firm, partnership or corporation engaged at any location in Northumberland County, Virginia, in the business of purchasing secondhand precious metals or gems; removing in any manner precious metals or gems from manufactured articles not then owned by the person, firm, partnership or corporation; or buying, acquiring or selling precious metals or gems removed from manufactured articles. The term "dealer" includes all employers and principals on whose behalf a purchase is made and any employee or agent who makes any purchase of or on behalf of the employer or principal. The definition of "dealer" shall not include persons engaged in the following:
- A. Purchases of precious metals or gems directly from other dealers, manufacturers or wholesalers for retail or wholesale inventories, provided that the selling dealer has complied with the provisions of this chapter.
- B. Purchases of precious metals or gems from a qualified fiduciary who is disposing of the assets of an estate being administered by the fiduciary.
- C. Acceptance by retail merchants of trade-in merchandise previously sold by the retail merchant to the person presenting the merchandise for trade-in.
- D. Repairing, restoring or designing jewelry by retail merchant, if such activities are within the normal course of business.
- E. Purchases of precious metals or gems by industrial refiners and manufacturers, insofar as such purchases are made directly from retail merchants, wholesalers, dealers or by mail originating outside the commonwealth.
- F. Persons regularly engaged in the business of purchasing and processing nonprecious scrap metals which incidentally may contain traces of precious metals recoverable as a by-product.
- Any item containing precious or semiprecious stone customarily used in jewelry.
- PRECIOUS METALS
- Any item except coins composed in whole or in part of gold, silver, platinum or platinum alloys.
No person shall engage in the activities of a dealer as defined in this chapter within this county without first obtaining a permit from the Sheriff of Northumberland County, Virginia (hereinafter "Sheriff").
To obtain a permit, the dealer shall file with the Sheriff an application form which includes the dealer's full name, any aliases, address, age, date of birth, sex and fingerprints; the name, address and telephone number of the applicant's employer, if any; and the location of the dealer's place of business. Upon filing this application and the payment of an application fee of $200, the dealer shall be issued a permit by the Sheriff, provided that the applicant has not been convicted of a felony or crime of moral turpitude within seven years prior to the date of application. The permit shall be denied if the applicant has been denied a permit or has a permit revoked under any ordinance similar in substance to the provisions of this chapter.
Before a permit may be issued, the dealer must have all weighing devices used in his or her business inspected and approved by local or state weights and measures officials and present written evidence of such approval to the Sheriff.
This permit shall be valid for one year from the date issued and may be renewed in the same manner as such permit was initially obtained with an annual permit fee of $200. No permit shall be transferable.
If the business of the dealer is not operated without interruption, with Saturdays, Sundays and recognized holidays excepted, the dealer shall notify the Sheriff of all closings and re-openings of such business. The business of a dealer shall be conducted only from the fixed and permanent location specified in his or her application for a permit.
The permit issued hereunder shall be a personal privilege and shall not be transferable, nor shall there be any abatement of the tax upon such license by reason of the fact that the licensee shall have exercised the privilege for any period of less than that for which it was granted. The permit shall at all times be publicly displayed by the licensee on his or her business premises.
Every dealer shall keep at his or her place of business an accurate and legible record of each purchase of precious metals or gems. The record of each purchase shall be retained by the dealer for at least 24 months and shall set forth the following:
Complete description of all precious metals or gems purchased from each seller. The description shall include all names, initials, serial numbers or other identifying marks or monograms on each item purchased, the true weight or carat of any gem and the price paid for each item.
The date, time and place of receiving the items purchased.
The full name, residence address, workplace, home and work telephone numbers, date of birth, sex, race, height, weight, hair and eye color and other identifying marks.
Verification of the identification by the exhibition of a government-issued identification card, such as a driver's license or military identification card. The record shall contain the type of identification exhibited, the issuing agency and the number thereon.
A statement of ownership from the seller.
Every dealer or his or her employee shall admit to his or her place of business during regular business hours the Sheriff or his or her designee or any law enforcement officer of the state or federal government. The dealer or his or her employee shall permit the officer to examine all records required by this chapter and any article listed in a record which is believed by the officer to be missing or stolen and to search for and take into possession any article known to him or her to be missing or known or believed by him or her to have been stolen.
No dealer shall purchase precious metals or gems without first ascertaining the identity of the seller by requiring an identification issued by a governmental agency with a photograph of the seller thereon, and at least one other corroborating means of identification, and obtaining a statement of ownership from the seller. The statement of ownership shall contain the information outlined in § 109-6A(3) above.
No dealer shall purchase precious metals or gems from any seller who is under the age of 18.
No dealer shall purchase precious metals or gems from any seller who the dealer believes or has reason to believe is not the owner of such items, unless the seller has written and duly authenticated authorization from the owner permitting and directing such sale.
The dealer shall retain all precious metals or gems purchased for a minimum of 10 calendar days from the date, on which a copy of the bill of sale is received by the Sheriff, in which the purchase is made. Until the expiration of this period, the dealer shall not sell, alter or dispose of a purchased item in whole or in part, or remove it from Northumberland County.
If a dealer performs this service of removing precious metals or gems, he or she shall retain the metals or gems removed and the article from which the removal was made for a period of 10 calendar days after receiving such article and precious metals or gems.
Each dealer shall maintain for at least 24 months an accurate and legible record of the name and address of the person, firm or corporation to which he or she sells any precious metal or gem in its original form after the waiting period described above. This record shall also show the name and address of the seller from whom the dealer purchased the item.
Every dealer shall secure a permit as required by this chapter, and each dealer at the time of obtaining such permit shall enter into a recognizance to the commonwealth secured by a corporate surety authorized to do business in this commonwealth, in the penal sum of $10,000, conditioned upon due observation of the terms of this chapter. In lieu of a bond, a dealer may cause to be issued by a bank authorized to do business in the commonwealth a letter of credit in favor of Northumberland County for $10,000.
A single bond upon an employer or principal may be written or a single letter of credit issued to cover all employees and all transactions occurring at the same location.
Any person aggrieved by the misconduct of any dealer which violates the provisions of this chapter may maintain an action for recovery in any court of proper jurisdiction against the dealer and his or her surety. Recovery against the surety shall be only for the amount of the judgment which is unsatisfied by the dealer.
Any person convicted of violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor for the first offense. Upon conviction of any subsequent offense, he or she shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Upon the first conviction of a dealer for violation of any provision of this chapter, the Sheriff may revoke the dealer's permit for one full year from the date the conviction becomes final. Such revocation shall be mandatory upon a second conviction.