Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing


Holding Periods; Remounts; Exemptions - Compliance Advisory - Maryland Licensing of Secondhand Precious Metal Objects Dealers & Pawnbrokers


Local police agencies can request additional 45 day holding periods in stolen property cases; Remounts for existing dealer; customers exempt from reporting requirements; Clarifies that coins, not other numismatic items exempt

New Law Effective October 1, 2013

Holding period for items involved in stolen property investigation increased to continuous 45 day extensions

New language added to Bus. Reg. Art., Ann. Code of Md., §12-401 provides that law enforcement may require licensed dealers to retain an applicable object for an additional 45 days in order to complete an ongoing stolen property investigation, as long as the law enforcement unit has complied with the provisions set forth in subsection (c)(2)(i), (ii) and (iii). See also §12-401(c)(3)(renewal of request to hold ). Consequently, a dealer may be required to hold a covered item beyond the statutorily-required 18 days for an additional 12 days in compliance with §12-401(c)(1) and another 45 days if law enforcement has satisfied the requirements of §12-401(c)(2), including that a specific request is made, law enforcement has reasonable cause to believe the item has been stolen, the item is the subject of a continuous, open, active investigation, and law enforcement can document that progress is being made.

Dealers can remount jewelry for an existing customer, without reporting precious metal or precious or semi-precious left over.

New language added to Bus. Reg. Art., Ann. Code of Md., §12-101 and 12-102 set forth the definition and exemption to the license requirement of a "remount sale" item. This exemption, in §12-102(b)(6) is restricted to a dealer and an "existing customer," that is, the buyer or owner of an originally mounted precious or semiprecious stone or precious metal directly purchased from the store, dealer or retailer, and where the "existing customer" is seeking a new, upgraded mounting of the item. As set forth in previously existing subsection (b)(5), any excess precious metal or precious or semi-precious stone that remains with the dealer after the remounting process is not subject to the reporting requirement to law enforcement.

Coins are exempt from reporting requirement; other numismatic items are not.

One further change in the law eliminated "numismatic items" from the exclusions to the license and reporting requirement in Bus. Reg. Art., Ann. Code of Md., §12-102(a)(3). Accordingly, a precious metal cast in any form other than a coin must be reported.

As a reminder, in accordance with §12-102(a), the following transactions involving the acquisition of the following are not required to be reported to law enforcement:

  1. merchandise acquired from an established manufacturer or dealer who holds a license under this title, other than a pawnbroker, if the dealer who acquires the merchandise keeps an invoice or other customary proof of origin for the merchandise;
  2. a metal acquired for use in dentistry by a dentist licensed to practice dentistry under Title 4 of the Health Occupations Article;
  3. coins; or
  4. the purchase of junk or scrap metal that is subject to the record keeping and reporting requirements under §17-V1011 of this article.

Further, in accordance with §12-102(b), a retail jeweler does not have to report a transaction that he or she:

  1. accepts, in accordance with a posted return policy, the return of an item that the jeweler originally sold;
  2. accepts, in accordance with a published trade-in policy, merchandise in trade that the jeweler originally sold;
  3. repossesses merchandise that the jeweler originally sold, if the original buyer has defaulted;
  4. retains merchandise that the jeweler originally accepted for repair as a bailee for hire, if the customer who deposited the merchandise:
    1. defaulted; or
    2. failed to reclaim the merchandise within the time agreed on with the jeweler;
  5. accumulates pieces of precious metals in the course of performing repairs, remountings, fabrications, or custom orders; or
  6. participates in a remount sale.


Any person who trades commercially with the public in items composed of gold, silver, platinum, palladium or iridium is required to hold a license issued by the Department. The law requires anyone who facilitates for a fee the sale of a secondhand precious metal object for an unlicensed person to be licensed. Included, but not limited to jeweler pawnbrokers, antique dealers, auctioneers, estate buyers, consignment store owners, buy/sell or a person involved in activity that involve previously owned precious metal objects.