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German ProSieben TV Channel Finds 500 Gram Tungsten Bar At W.C.Heraeus Gold Foundry With Bank Origin

Tyler Durden's picture


German TV station ProSieben finds what appears to be some evocative proof of gold counterfeiting, in the form of tungsten gold substitutes coming to the W.C.Heraeus foundry, which is the world's largest privately-owned precious metals refiner and fabricator, located in Hanau, Germany. The foundry has isolated at least one 500-gram tungsten bar due for melting, originating from a (so far) unnamed bank, which as the head of the foundry stated made the unpleasant discovery that "not all the glitters is gold."

Full clip after the jump.

h/t Thomas


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Mon, 03/01/2010 - 17:41 | 250065 spekulatn
spekulatn's picture

Tungsten Bitches

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 17:59 | 250104 Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper's picture

black ops. counterfeits are planted to depress demand.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 18:04 | 250123 spekulatn
spekulatn's picture

black ops. counterfeits are planted to depress demand.


Don't forget hedge fund managers ;>

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 18:17 | 250145 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

With the disclaimers, how the GLD ETF trades aithout a severe penaly to the POG is a mystery to me. The details say they have no guarantee that the ETF doesn't hold a whole bunch of tungsten. I await the day the ETF is found to be as big a fraud as SRS and FAZ.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 18:33 | 250179 Careless Whisper
Careless Whisper's picture

what lessons to learn from your book?

"don't trust your government"


Mon, 03/01/2010 - 19:21 | 250288 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

What are your fraud allegations for SRS and FAZ based on? Just curious.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 23:43 | 250590 Sam Clemons
Sam Clemons's picture

The math doesn't make sense.  They claim to leverage 2x or 3x against the performance of the real-estate index or the banking index.  Since Jan 08, XLF has fallen roughly 50% so SKF should be up 100%.  Somehow it is down 100 to 22, 88%.  The same math problem causes all of these to merely deteriorate on a long scale and only have short-term bounces.  Say XLF is priced at 100 and FAZ is priced at 100.  Assume XLF goes to 110, FAZ goes down roughly 30.  Assume XLF goes back to 100, FAZ (now ~70), goes up 30% (10% * 3) which puts it at 70*.30+70 = 91.  So even though you were right about XLF staying near 100, you lose.  This happens on all time scales.  Granted, the issuers do say they are for short-term trades only.




Tue, 03/02/2010 - 00:20 | 250625 Budd Fox
Budd Fox's picture

It is well known...the leveraged ETFs are junk, the tracking error is ridicolous and they literally decay at the time value of an option...they should be outlawed fast ...

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 01:13 | 250669 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

That's why you short both. Arbitrage bitches.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 01:45 | 250691 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

That's why you short both. Arbitrage bitches.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 06:44 | 250791 35Pete
35Pete's picture

Now THIS is as good as any reason to read the posters on ZH. Thanks Bud!. 

Just last week I opened a position on SRS the afternoon prior to the MBA report. All my work indicated that the res mortgage situation was going to crap, and sure enough it was. 

What happened to my position? SRS gapped DOWN overnight and continued to slide through the day. It didn't make a damn bit of sense. Now, I take plenty of small losses. That's the nature of the beast. And I closed this one pronto. But that's not what frosted me. What frosted me is how this ETF seemed to move opposite of the market information at hand. It's the one time that I screamed FOUL! and nearly lost it. My trading friends, who did not play it that day, couldn't understand it's odd movement either. It's as if the position was completely decorrelated from the market. Me felt like a "pigeon" that morning. 

What about SSO/SDS? I noticed that SSO moves well with SPX, but SDS is quite sluggish. Same thing? 

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 09:21 | 250846 RhoRhoRhoBoat
RhoRhoRhoBoat's picture

Housing stocks rallied.  This is a no-brainer.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 12:18 | 251026 Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture

The SRS tracks REITS. Top ten holdings are:

Simon Property Group Inc. 9.03% Vornado Realty Trust 5.00% Public Storage 4.15% Annaly Capital Management Inc. 3.81% Boston Properties Inc. 3.69% Equity Residential 3.67% HCP Inc. 3.52% Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. 2.92% Ventas Inc. 2.72% Avalonbay Communities Inc. 2.65%


Do your homework.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 04:17 | 250758 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

The math makes perfect sense. You apparently don't understand how SRS works. It tracks daily movements, not overall movements. Which creates a long term tracking error -- *and* a guaranteed trend to zero.

Anyone holding SRS long in the hopes that it will move counter to the DJRI over time is an idiot, and should read the prospectus more carefully before investing.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 14:33 | 251238 Sam Clemons
Sam Clemons's picture

Sorry, the math does make sense as I laid out above in the short-term - I misspoke.  What I meant to say is that investing in them for the long-term does not make sense.  My math example shows why the daily movements (10% up then ~10% back down) and why the daily calculations produce the long term results of declining towards zero. 

The person below this, yes, they will track towards zero and then they do reverse splits to keep their price up.

I think any inverse does this.  As for double longs, I'm not sure.  Never thought about it much.  I would think that it depends if it doubles the dollar amount or the percent to determine if the rate of return declines or increases. Moreover, try not to trade news too often.  It generally fails.  I've learned from experience.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 05:14 | 250774 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Read the damn prospectus idiot. They track the markets change on a DAILY BASIS NOT a cumulative basis. If you don't understand what I just wrote then you are not sophisticated enough to be buying the leveraged ETFs.

BTW, they are designed that way so that they don't go to (near) 0.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 12:13 | 251015 Ghostdog
Ghostdog's picture

Its not so much fraud, as much as it is how much confidence you have in a 13 year old kid running most of these ETF's in their garage.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 16:41 | 251458 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Sam Clemons,

Read the damn prospectus! It tracks the DAILY movements only.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 18:39 | 251634 Sam Clemons
Sam Clemons's picture

I know.  I've read the prospectus.  Read my post about daily movements.  Which makes my proof correct.  I was mainly pointing out what has happened over the long term to SKF proving that it does not cumulatively track it.  Calm down.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 23:29 | 250576 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

That's why you only buy small coins, bitches! No one is going to bother with less than a grand...

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 23:29 | 250579 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

To be sure, it depresses trust and thus demand.
But doesn't it also indicate there is less gold than meets the eye? Which suggests the price should be higher.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 00:33 | 250644 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

It would seem the pressure of the U.S. presidency - and all those White House receptions - are taking their toll after the 48-year-old's first medical checkup since winning the race to the White House. Obama's personal team of Doctors are now stating that Obama should give up the booze for medical grade marijuana.

The doctors go further on to say that Obama should give up the cigarettes and switch to using a vaporizer for his medical grade marijuana to increase his level of THC intake while causing minimal damage to the lungs. The quitting cigarettes is a no brainier. What kind of role model is he wanting to be with the American public? The marijuana/alcohol trade-off is a more "sticky" issue.

Studies conducted by have proven that the consumption of marijuana is MUCH more safer than the consumption of alcohol. No one has ever died from marijuana alone, and domestic and violent disputes often involve alcohol. Based on these findings, the citizenry of Denver voted in referendum I-100 to legalize the use of marijuana back in 2005.

Not that much of these details matter much to President Obama. It's not like he is beating his wife or getting DUIs. But some peace activists say that the President could do more to bolster his anti-war, and puffing of a bong in front of the camera could be just the ticket. While other activists worry, what if Obama takes it personaly when the green back breaks the buck and the country collaspes that he may become "trigger happy" with the nukes if he continues on with the binge drinking.

He might think that it was the revenge of the south to put him in the White House when the country is about to go bankrupt, and start firing missiles like a mad man. But none of this is his fault, as it was set in motion years ago by the corporations and bankers and sold out DC politicians. Obama's therapist states he may better off dealing with these stressful events better by smoking some medical grade marijuana than reaching for the next beer.

His family will be safer, the world will be safer, and he will be healthier and happier. The president is pretty healthy otherwise, eats modest portions and exercises regularly. He is an avid basketball player and golfer.

Although he looks 10 years older after getting into the White House, that is mostly from the burden of knowing he reports to the New World Order and knowing Israel is moments from blasting Iran into the Straights of Gomez. He knows the pressure will be on him after just winning the Nobel Peace Prize and surprising most of the civilized world.

The world will be watching to see if the President displays his peacful playfull side and ignore the midlle east, or will he turn into another "Bush" blasting away imaginary enemies to make himself look good?"

The Wall ST Onion says "yea" to the President toking off the pipe and staying off the booze!

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 05:02 | 250770 merehuman
merehuman's picture

figured the prez was a stoner.

you took my money, but you aint gitten my stash

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 14:55 | 251279 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

i wonder if his doctors know about his proclivities for coke and gay sex? hope he plays safe, at least he gets the good shit.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 03:06 | 250739 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

doesn't this increase demand for the real thing?

1. people who own gold have more reason to assay it to make sure its real.
2. when they find more counterfeit they will demand the real thing.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 10:02 | 250869 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

So should I cut open all my Pamp Suisse assay cards and go through each piece of bullion? 

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 16:06 | 251400 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I don't think so. what was fake,if you notice, was the ingot that the refinery got not what they produce. They're like quality control. Their bars and yours are serialed number. It seems from this article and video that for now it's the producers that have to be wary of the gold products they receive not the consumer. so to answer your question ,no you don't have to cut you bars open.

Fri, 03/05/2010 - 00:18 | 254530 hbjork1
hbjork1's picture

No need to cut bars open. 

The speed of sound in tungsted is almost twice that for gold.  With the right apparatus, the bar can be "pinged" to determine whether or not it is gold. 

Vibration test suppliers sell accelerometer equipped "hammers" that can be used to check metal shapes to be tested for resonant frequencies.   The device will need an oscilloscope to store and observe the "vibe" response and perhaps a second accelerometer temporarly glued (superglue) to the bar to look for layers. Different metals will have differend slopes on the accelerometer output traces.

Anyone who has a large store of gold could afford the method.



The equipment could be rented.  It is standard hardware in the vibration test business.




Tue, 03/02/2010 - 03:08 | 250741 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

doesn't this increase demand for the real thing?

1. people who own gold have more reason to assay it to make sure its real.
2. when they find more counterfeit they will demand the real thing.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 18:41 | 250198 Gordon_Gekko
Gordon_Gekko's picture

Courtesy of JP Morgan.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 18:47 | 250217 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Ha ha!
Gold is for suckers.
Go get'em Gordo.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 23:16 | 250561 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

there is a big difference between bars and coins.

at least so far, ..........i think?

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 01:19 | 250674 RossInvestor
RossInvestor's picture

The newsletter writer who broke the story on the gold T-bars is Rob Kirby.  According to him and a subsequent report by Jim Willie, the fraud was undertaken during the Clinton Administration by Alan Greenspan and Robert Rubin.  Kirby and Willie estimate 1.3 - 1.5 million 400 oz. gold-plated T-bars were fabricated.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 14:33 | 251236 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

1.3 - 1.5 million 400 oz. gold-plated T-bars were fabricated.

$600,000,000,000 estimated street value. 

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 22:08 | 250485 dark pools of soros
Tue, 03/02/2010 - 00:01 | 250609 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

counterFIAT everythang!

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 14:35 | 251244 Gold...Bitches
Gold...Bitches's picture

Wolfram auf der ganzen Welt

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 15:09 | 251304 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

Somebody neeeds to work on Google's German translator! 

The story is about, "tongues 10 (cm) in blonde," not, "tungsten in gold!"

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 14:57 | 251281 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I just called the Manhattan office of Heraeus 212.752.2180.
They told me that the clip being trumpeted on the net is from 10 years ago. Not that there aren't crooks out there faking anything of value but the current table pounding is over very old news.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 17:41 | 250066 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Well well, the dam is beginning to show cracks and seepage. May I suggest that this will be spun as some local trying the game the system? Of course, no "official" media station will ask the really tough questions.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 19:44 | 250313 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

Like what amazing new technology did these alchemists use to turn gold into tungsten?

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 20:13 | 250349 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture


Yeah, that's the ticket. Along those lines.

Or like "How did they pour the tungsten in the middle of the Gold? It is like making chocolate bunnies?"

Or maybe "Wow, tungsten. It must be worth even more than gold if it's in the center? Does it have chewy caramel and peanuts too?"

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 20:46 | 250396 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

People often forget that metal of triple or 4-Nines purity is produced (refined) electrolytically.

Theoretically all you have to do is plate a shaped bar of tungsten with .999 gold to a thickness that will support the stampings. The tungsten bar could be easily formed into an ingot shape using a process called electrochemical machining (ECM) which I have done lots of over the years. (Great process to make turbine blades with a .1 thou tolerance!)

It looks like these guys however overdid the gold thickness and thus probably just heated a suspended tungsten bar in an ingot mold to around 2,200-2,500F (melting requires 6,000 degrees+) and poured a melt of .999 Au around it. (Rather wasteful)

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 22:52 | 250525 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Based upon the video, it looks like the core was less than 50% by volume when you consider the total amount of top and bottom, sides and ends. I was also surprised how think the "coating" was.

Still, being paid Gold prices for 200 grams of tungsten times x number of bars per day is a decent days work, wouldn't you say? The first thing I thought was black ops to suppress the price of Gold.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 00:21 | 250628 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

I think it will have the precise opposite effect!

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 23:23 | 250570 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Omg! And if I had a nation of underpaid people that I could force to... But I would need gold... Oh wait...

Chinese alchemy bitches!!

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 06:49 | 250792 35Pete
35Pete's picture

Holy crap. You can get .1 mil tolerance?? I work on printed circuit board technologies and we etch to .5 mil. .1 mil is incredible. 

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 09:29 | 250850 Hughe Crapper
Hughe Crapper's picture

No problem. I sport one out every hour. ;)

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 19:50 | 251711 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

Not a photoresist/circuitboard/FeCl situation... ECM on turbine blades. If you are out a bit well you know what happens.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 11:00 | 250914 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Tungsten (W) is the hardest metal on the periodic table and the metal with the highest melting point. Gold boils well before the temperature at which W melts. W is also relatively non-reactive chemically. Very difficult to form and machine, requiring expensive equipment and know-how. Probably would have to produce a fair number faux bars to turn a profit.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 19:51 | 250326 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Alright this blew my mind, how deep does this run?  I mean 500g is not that much, it's about 16 troy ounces.  That's nothing in the greater scheme of things, less then $20,000.  I mean shit if you can't trust a 500g bar then 1kilo bars are right out too, and then one has to ask what is safe.  When I heard the tungsten rumor I was leery of it and even if it was true assumed it would be only in the big bars.  Tungsten is not that easy to work it's not like a good counterfeit would be easy for an amateur to make.  The fact it would be so hard makes me think a pro or group of pros is doing this and most likely not just "a bar here and a bar there".

My knee jerk on this is that it hits two targets.  First it kills trust in gold.  Second it allows gold fraud and those with means to accumulate good gold while bad gold goes into the market.  But this could also cause disruption ins the paper gold market which would bring about more chaos if they start not being able to meet physical delivery and word gets out about it.  Are the oligarchs ready to bring the system down so early?

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 20:11 | 250351 Anonymous
Mon, 03/01/2010 - 20:37 | 250385 Shameful
Shameful's picture

I'm familiar with the article, and they talked about the process of counterfeiting the large bars.  Remember 500 grams is not very much.  It's about the same as 1lb.  It's not something I could do in my kitchen with a few free hours and no training.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 21:00 | 250412 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

Tungsten ECM/ gold electroplating you could do in your kitchen with a 100 amp rectifier, cyanide solutions and tanks. (Don't forget to heat treat after to expel the absorbed hydrogen and 'soften' the gold)

Easier (but more expensive gold-wise) to make them with a small outdoor foundry powered by propane or NG.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 21:38 | 250451 Shameful
Shameful's picture

I understand it's feasible, but to get the right stamp it would have to come from the mint, or be an excellent forgery of the stamp right?

My question is how far down does this go, are we to fear 1 ounce coins?  Also I'm assuming the count would sound different right?  And on any real scale multiple people would have to be in on it, especiallythe mint workers right?

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 21:52 | 250460 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

1 ounce coins and similar ingots will be safe and easy to detect counterfiets if tungsten is the underlying base metal. Bite, bend and a dull sound when struck as compared to a high 'ting' note on hard dense metals like tungsten. Depleted uranium (19.1 g/cm3) would be tougher to detect but would emit low amounts of radiation.

Easy way is to get one gold coin that you know is real and compare others by 'tapping' the edge of the coins...

Unfortunately there is absolutely no way to gaurantee that a proper looking stamp is real... that's the easiest thing to duplicate!

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 21:53 | 250469 Shameful
Shameful's picture

Well at least I can play with my 1 makes me question the pamp suisse bars with assay cards, most of the rest of my gold is small fractional pieces, if they are going to fractions then the situation is truly dire!

Thanks for your insight, it's appreciated.  Like I said I didn't expect smaller scale counterfeits to hit the public till after paper money hit the wall.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 22:07 | 250484 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

You were correct in assuming the real risk is in the larger bars... just google every now and then to make sure it hasn't spead to the small stuff. When that happens... they will by necessity employ electroplating (and easy to detect fraudwise)... rather than cast.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 12:25 | 251040 Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture

You have been one hell of an educating kitty cat this morning Zerohead. Thanks for some great info.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 22:38 | 250512 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I hear ya - I was always wondering about the 1oz Valcambi bars for ScotiaBank (a London pool bank). The serial number is on the card inside the sealed case, but not on the ingot itself. Like this:
I am not sweating the assay - but not etching the small bars seems to be a recent development. Not welcome in this instance.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 13:18 | 250797 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

If you want to test facebook and twitter coins. There's easy way.

Take 1 coin set it on a padded surface, the carpet if it's a non shaggy weave but a mouse pad will do too. Then drop another coin on top of it from about 8 to 10 inches above it. If the coin on top "sings" when it hits it's gold or silver. Do this many times. You will eventually learn to recognize the frequency.

I bought a 1 ounce eagle and 10 ounce bullion of silver the other day and the 1 ounce eagle sounds thuddy. Somethings not quite right with it. So I'll have to check it dimensionally and for weight. Good thing I got a nice gram scale for blueprinting rods in engines. But I believe it might have just a tad bit of lead in it.

I found a better way to test for sound. Take a coin (any coin a quarter will do) and the throw the testing coin in the air and use the tightly held coin to flip it. It should give you nice ringing singing display. If it's silver with lead in it no singing ringing, If it's tungesten should be much much lower pitched ringing. If it's fine gold fine silver it'll sing and ring till you catch it or it falls to floor and starts new ringing.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 21:09 | 250423 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

If someone had the capital (or a machine that could create something that appeared to be capital) and didn't fear punishment, I'm sure they could find an engineer to design some equipment to make the process much easier.

I understand it would be much easier to do with a 400 ounce bar but maybe there is something to it. Maybe this range of weight is large enough to make it worthwhile (and harder to detect) while being small enough that some powerful people don't get pissed/ripped off.

All just speculation.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 22:53 | 250526 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

i imagine the people behind this have plenty of capital...hell, it may have even been financed by us taxpayers.

ps - that was a damned hard math question - at least we know bernanke is not posting from home at night. lol.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 22:46 | 250521 Gold...Bitches
Gold...Bitches's picture

thats one reason i really like the older US pre 1933 gold coins that are a little beat up (little/no numismatic value) as they go for just about the gold value, but they have much less chance of not having the gold in them they are supposed to.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 22:47 | 250522 Gold...Bitches
Gold...Bitches's picture

even better is pre 1965 US silver coinage.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 00:23 | 250633 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture


Wed, 03/03/2010 - 15:13 | 252616 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Fake Gold in Ft. Knox
Fake gold bars! What's next?

It's one thing to counterfeit a twenty or hundred dollar bill. The amount of financial damage is usually limited to a specific region and only affects dozens of people and thousands of dollars. Secret Service agents quickly notify the banks on how to recognize these phony bills and retail outlets usually have procedures in place (such as special pens to test the paper) to stop their proliferation.

But what about gold? This is the most sacred of all commodities because it is thought to be the most trusted, reliable and valuable means of saving wealth.

A recent discovery -- in October of 2009 -- has been suppressed by the main stream media but has been circulating among the "big money" brokers and financial kingpins and is just now being revealed to the public. It involves the gold in Fort Knox -- the US Treasury gold -- that is the equity of our national wealth. In short, millions (with an "m") of gold bars are fake!

Who did this? Apparently our own government.


In October of 2009 the Chinese received a shipment of gold bars. Gold is regularly exchanges between countries to pay debts and to settle the so-called balance of trade. Most gold is exchanged and stored in vaults under the supervision of a special organization based in London, the London Bullion Market Association (or LBMA). When the shipment was received, the Chinese government asked that special tests be performed to guarantee the purity and weight of the gold bars. In this test, four small holed are drilled into the gold bars and the metal is then analyzed.

Officials were shocked to learn that the bars were fake. They contained cores of tungsten with only a outer coating of real gold. What's more, these gold bars, containing serial numbers for tracking, originated in the US and had been stored in Fort Knox for years. There were reportedly between 5,600 to 5,700 bars, weighing 400 oz. each, in the shipment!

At first many gold experts assumed the fake gold originated in China, the world's best knock-off producers. The Chinese were quick to investigate and issued a statement that implicated the US in the scheme.

What the Chinese uncovered:

Roughly 15 years ago -- during the Clinton Administration [think Robert Rubin, Sir Alan Greenspan and Lawrence Summers] -- between 1.3 and 1.5 million 400 oz tungsten blanks were allegedly manufactured by a very high-end, sophisticated refiner in the USA [more than 16 Thousand metric tonnes]. Subsequently, 640,000 of these tungsten blanks received their gold plating and WERE shipped to Ft. Knox and remain there to this day.

According to the Chinese investigation, the balance of this 1.3 million to 1.5 million 400 oz tungsten cache was also gold plated and then allegedly "sold" into the international market. Apparently, the global market is literally "stuffed full of 400 oz salted bars". Perhaps as much as 600-billion dollars worth.

An obscure news item originally published in the N.Y. Post [written by Jennifer Anderson] in late Jan. 04 perhaps makes sense now.
DA investigating NYMEX executive

Manhattan, New York, --Feb. 2, 2004. A top executive at the New York Mercantile Exchange is being investigated by the Manhattan district attorney. Sources close to the exchange said that Stuart Smith, senior vice president of operations at the exchange, was served with a search warrant by the district attorney's office last week. Details of the investigation have not been disclosed, but a NYMEX spokeswoman said it was unrelated to any of the exchange's markets. She declined to comment further other than to say that charges had not been brought. A spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney's office also declined comment."
The offices of the Senior Vice President of Operations -- NYMEX -- is exactly where you would go to find the records [serial number and smelter of origin] for EVERY GOLD BAR ever PHYSICALLY settled on the exchange. They are required to keep these records. These precise records would show the lineage of all the physical gold settled on the exchange and hence "prove" that the amount of gold in question could not have possibly come from the U.S. mining operations -- because the amounts in question coming from U.S. smelters would undoubtedly be vastly bigger than domestic mine production.
No one knows whatever happened to Stuart Smith. After his offices were raided he took "administrative leave" from the NYMEX and he has never been heard from since. Amazingly, there never was any follow up on in the media on the original story as well as ZERO developments ever stemming from D.A. Morgenthau’s office who executed the search warrant.
Are we to believe that NYMEX offices were raided, the Sr. V.P. of operations then takes leave -- all for nothing?
The revelations of fake gold bars also explains another highly unusual story that also happened in 2004:
LONDON, April 14, 2004 (Reuters) -- NM Rothschild &Sons Ltd., the London-based unit of investment bank Rothschild [ROT.UL], will withdraw from trading commodities, including gold, in London as it reviews its operations, it said on Wednesday.

Interestingly, GATA's Bill Murphy speculated about this back in 2004;
"Why is Rothschild leaving the gold business at this time my colleagues and I conjectured today? Just a guess on my part, but [I] suspect something is amiss. They know a big scandal is coming and they don't want to be a part of it... [The] Rothschild wants out before the proverbial "S" hits the fan." -- BILL MURPHY, LEMETROPOLE, 4-18-2004

What is the GATA?
The Gold Antitrust Action Committee (GATA) is an organisation which has been nipping at the heels of the US Treasury Federal Reserve for several years now. The basis of GATA's accusations is that these institutions, in coordination with other complicit central banks and the large gold-trading investment banks in the US, have been manipulating the price of gold for decades.

What is the GLD?

GLD is a short form for Good London Delivery. The London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) has defined "good delivery" as a delivery from an entity which is listed on their delivery list or meets the standards for said list and whose bars have passed testing requirements established by the associatin and updated from time to time. The bars have to be pure for AU in an area of 995.0 to 999.9 per 1000. Weight, Shape, Appearance, Marks and Weight Stamps are regulated as follows:
Weight: minimum 350 fine ounces AU; maximum 430 fine ounces AU, gross weight of a bar is expressed in troy ounces, in multiples of 0.025, rounded down to the nearest 0.025 of an troy ounce.
Dimensions: the recommended dimensions for a Good Delivery gold bar are: Top Surface: 255 x 81 mm; Bottom Surface: 236 x 57 mm; Thickness: 37 mm.
Fineness: the minimum 995.0 parts per thousand fine gold. Marks: Serial number; Assay stamp of refiner; Fineness (to four significant figures); Year of manufacture (expressed in four digits).

After reviewing their prospectus yet again, it becomes pretty clear that GLD was established to purposefully deflect investment dollars away from legitimate gold pursuits and to create a stealth, cesspool / catch-all, slush-fund and a likely destination for many of these fake tungsten bars where they would never see the light of day -- hidden behind the following legalese "shield" from the law:
[Excerpt from the GLD prospectus on page 11]
"Gold bars allocated to the Trust in connection with the creation of a Basket may not meet the London Good Delivery Standards and, if a Basket is issued against such gold, the Trust may suffer a loss. Neither the Trustee nor the Custodian independently confirms the fineness of the gold bars allocated to the Trust in connection with the creation of a Basket. The gold bars allocated to the Trust by the Custodian may be different from the reported fineness or weight required by the LBMA’s standards for gold bars delivered in settlement of a gold trade, or the London Good Delivery Standards, the standards required by the Trust. If the Trustee nevertheless issues a Basket against such gold, and if the Custodian fails to satisfy its obligation to credit the Trust the amount of any deficiency, the Trust may suffer a loss."

The Federal Reserve knows but is apparently part of the scheme
Earlier this year GATA filed a second Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Federal Reserve System for documents from 1990 to date having to do with gold swaps, gold swapped, or proposed gold swaps.

On Aug. 5, The Federal Reserve responded to this FOIA request by adding two more documents to those disclosed to GATA in April 2008 from the earlier FOIA request. These documents totaled 173 pages, many parts of which were redacted (blacked out). The Fed's response also noted that there were 137 pages of documents not disclosed that were alleged to be exempt from disclosure.
GATA appealed this determination on Aug. 20. The appeal asked for more information to substantiate the legitimacy of the claimed exemptions from disclosure and an explanation on why some documents, such as one posted on the Federal Reserve Web site that discusses gold swaps, were not included in the Aug. 5 document release.
In a Sept. 17, 2009, letter on Federal Reserve System letterhead, Federal Reserve governor Kevin M. Warsh completely denied GATA's appeal. The entire text of this letter can be examined at
The first paragraph on the third page is the most revealing.

"In connection with your appeal, I have confirmed that the information withheld under exemption 4 consists of confidential commercial or financial information relating to the operations of the Federal Reserve Banks that was obtained within the meaning of exemption 4. This includes information relating to swap arrangements with foreign banks on behalf of the Federal Reserve System and is not the type of information that is customarily disclosed to the public. This information was properly withheld from you."
The above statement is an admission that the Federal Reserve has been involved with the fake gold bar swaps and that it refuses to disclose any information about its activities!

Why use tungsten?
If you are going to print fake money you need to have the special paper, otherwise the bills don't feel right and can be easily detected by special pens that most merchants and banks use. Likewise, if you are going to fake gold bars you had better be sure they have the same weight and properties of real gold.
In early 2008 millions of dollars in gold at the central bank of Ethiopia turned out to be fake. What were supposed to be bars of solid gold turned out to be nothing more than gold-plated steel. They tried to sell the stuff to South Africa and it was sent back when the South Africans noticed this little problem.
The problem with making good-quality fake gold is that gold is remarkably dense. It's almost twice the density of lead, and two-and-a-half times more dense than steel. You don't usually notice this because small gold rings and the like don't weigh enough to make it obvious, but if you've ever held a larger bar of gold, it's absolutely unmistakable: The stuff is very, very heavy.
The standard gold bar for bank-to-bank trade, known as a "London good delivery bar" weighs 400 troy ounces (over thirty-three pounds), yet is no bigger than a paperback novel. A bar of steel the same size would weigh only thirteen and a half pounds.
According to gold expert, Theo Gray, the problem is that there are very few metals that are as dense as gold, and with only two exceptions they all cost as much or more than gold.

The first exception is depleted uranium, which is cheap if you're a government, but hard for individuals to get. It's also radioactive, which could be a bit of an issue.
The second exception is a real winner: tungsten. Tungsten is vastly cheaper than gold (maybe $30 dollars a pound compared to $12,000 a pound for gold right now). And remarkably, it has exactly the same density as gold, to three decimal places. The main differences are that it's the wrong color, and that it's much, much harder than gold. (Very pure gold is quite soft, you can dent it with a fingernail.)

A top-of-the-line fake gold bar should match the color, surface hardness, density, chemical, and nuclear properties of gold perfectly. To do this, you could start with a tungsten slug about 1/8-inch smaller in each dimension than the gold bar you want, then cast a 1/16-inch layer of real pure gold all around it. This bar would feel right in the hand, it would have a dead ring when knocked as gold should, it would test right chemically, it would weigh *exactly* the right amount, and though I don't know this for sure, I think it would also pass an x-ray fluorescence scan, the 1/16" layer of pure gold being enough to stop the x-rays from reaching any tungsten. You'd pretty much have to drill it to find out its fake.

Such a top-quality fake London good delivery bar would cost about $50,000 to produce because it's got a lot of real gold in it, but you'd still make a nice profit considering that a real one is worth closer to $400,000.
What's going to happen now?
Politicians like Ron Paul have been demanding that the Federal Reserve be more transparent and open up their records for public scrutiny. But the Fed has consistently refused, stating that these disclosures would undermine its operation. Yes, it certainly would!

UPDATE: Audit of Fed Reserve Amendment Passes!
In an unprecedented defeat for the Federal Reserve, an amendment to audit the multi-trillion dollar institution was approved by the House Finance Committee with an overwhelming and bipartisan 43-26 vote on Thursday afternoon despite harried last-minute lobbying from top Fed officials and the surprise opposition of Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who had previously been a supporter.
The measure, co-sponsored by Reps. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), authorizes the Government Accountability Office to conduct a wide-ranging audit of the Fed's opaque deals with foreign central banks and major U.S. financial institutions. The Fed has never had a real audit in its history and little is known of what it does with the trillions of dollars at its disposal.

The manufacture of fake gold bars goes back years and, because of this, it is not likely that the originator of this scheme will ever be revealed or brought to justice. Meanwhile the world is just beginning to learn that much of its national reserves of gold may be fake. If more testing reveals that this gold was guaranteed by Fort Knox and the US Treasury then perhaps they will demand an exchange for "real" gold -- wouldn't you?
This is all happening at a time when the US economy is at its lowest and most vulnerable. The effects could be devastating.
Some investors are already selling gold commodities before these facts are widely known. They are investing instead in silver -- the next best metal. This will undoubtedly drive silver prices up.
According to Jim Willie, 24 year market analyst and Ph.D in statistics, "The bust cometh, and it will be spectacular. The stories told in the press will be peculiar, since not told objectively. The headlines might be a comedy, with phony reports of foreign subterfuge, when the perpetrators are home grown."

This is yet another story in the decline of America and capitalism -- a decline based on greed, deception and fraud.
Only a small number of people control the world’s finance, simply because they control the politicians. The world’s financial crisis is rooted in the manipulation of the world’s money. During the last three hundred years powerful wealthy families having no allegiance either national or racial owned the banks in Europe. They soon learned that they could control the world through the manipulation of capital stored in their banks. Amazingly enough, the capital never leaves the bank. It is simply moved around from one account to another.
The Illuminati is a money cabal of twelve families. They loaned large sums of money to the Austrians to fight their enemy of the day, and then financed the the enemies to fight the Austrians. They financed Napoleon’s wars against Russia and other nations, and then financed these nations in their struggle against the French invaders.
The Illuminati financed the allies and their enemy Germany during the First World War. They also poured millions into the giant IG Farben Chemical Industries that built up Hitler’s vast armaments industry. They have no allegiance, but to their secret society.
The secret order ot the Illuminati sought to establish a One World Government with its own international currency. Their goal: to abolish all social classes and religions and ownership of private property. They would establish a new World Order ruled by the Illuminati.
The manipulated the bank failures, and then raised the cry for stability in the banking system and they had the solution. Political pressure was mounted in 1913 the Federal Reserve Board was established with the token participation of the U. S. President who was given the privilege of appointing the Chairman of the Board, selected by the money Barons.
The Federal Reserve Board now directed the money matters of the U. S. –lots of it. They now could manipulate the entire economy---creating inflation or deflation, recession or boom. And, they encouraged the government to borrow money-–lots of it—and the bankers reaped billions in interest. It was profitable scheme for both the Illuminati and the Greymen.
Neither Presidents, Congressmen, nor Secretaries of the Treasury direct the Federal Reserve. In the matters of money the Federal Reserve directs them.
Then the Illuminati and the Graymen conspired to secure their ‘paper’ loans to the Federal Government. They pressured the politicians to legislate the Income Tax, (also passed in 1913) with the assurance that the income tax would never rise above one percent.
The Greymen, the industrialists secured another provision in the income Tax Act that granted their ‘Foundations’ exemption from income tax. Moe money was loaned to the large corporations, who flooded the American Markets with their over-production, which the natural increase in population and leveling, or reduction, in their purchasing power failed to absorb.
Again, the international bankers had the solution. They loaned vast sums of money to the Third World and other nations who could not use the capital effectively; to buy American overproduction. Generally, the interest rates and economic breakdowns forced the lending nations to plead bankruptcy. When these nations reneged on their loans, the international bankers said, “no problem, we will just take over these resources,” In desperation, on Asian leader caught up in this international conspiracy, said: “First, we lost control of our money, then we lost control of our governments, and we became a financial colony”.

Over half the United States national debt is now in the hands of foreign nations. Since WWII, in the absence of any other stable currency, and the rejection of gold in Brento Woods, the world accepted the American dollar as the standard medium of internationial exchange. The price of oil and gold and the values of foreign ecuurncies were established in American dollars backed by the American industrial empire.
This prompted foreign nations with trade surpluses to the United States, to convert their revenues to American securities which forms a major portion of the U. S. debt. Some of these countries are now facing their creditors, and in turn, may cash in their credits with the United States, which the U. S. is in no position to redeem. It is a serious delima for all creditor nations. To kill the ‘American golden goose’ is to plunge the world into economic and financial collapse. The Trancendors view this world scenario with pessimism; the problem is simply too vast, too serious indeed. Fornately, it will be relatively shor-lived, unlike the Great Depression, two to three years—long enough to establish a ‘New World Order’.
The massive indebitedness of nations was not an accident. It is a crisis brough on at three lebels. First it was a conspiracy to collapse the financial systems of the world and out of the chaos, create a ‘New World Order’ with a system of financial control in the hands of the conspiratorial elite who would, in effect, rule the world. The financial elite, commonly known as the ‘Illuminati’ and the ‘Graymen’, a secret cabal of internatioinal bankers and industrialists, were aided in their conspiracyhy with secret irganizations of the “intellectual elite” in the banking, media, industry, politics and professional faculties.
The Illuminati and the Greymen have a common objective, a One World Government with an international currency replacing the U. S. dollar. That is where their common agenda with the money barons ends.
It is now a question of who will dmonate and control the new world government and its World Bank—the financial cabals of the Illuminati and the Greymen, or, democratically appointed representatives of world nations.
The “intellectual elite” argue that the world is changing dramatically and requires new solutions for the new problems—the problems of the world terrorism, ecological problems, globalization of economies and communication, the instability of currencies world wide and man’s venture into space. These are huge problems requiring solutions of a universal nature, requiring an international regime through a World government, the United Nations.
Devolution of national powers to the United Nations would be required. This would be hard for staunch nationalist Americans to accept. This would mean the end of human rights as put forth by the Free Masons who were the writers of the Constitution.

This all boils down to is the ancient feudal war between the Free Masons and the royal Massonic Lodge of Europe who reward their members not by their good deeds but by their inbred, royal bloodline. The ancient blood ties be they real or not, traced their family linage back to two daughters supposedly fathered by Jesus with Mary Magdalene who was exiled to the south of France shortly after the crucifixion.
It all started in 1704 when Queen Sophia married William Hanover of Germany. England got a large piece of land on the coats of Germany and William Hanover brought the Royal Masonic Lodge into England. Those Free Masons who believed in the Rights of Man refused to convert to the Royal Masonic Lodge became outlaws and migrated to the Americas. What the American Revolution was all about was not paying English taxes on tea but preserving a way of life—“freedom.”
When King Hanover traveled around his country visiting hamlets and villages the mayors and other officials would suck up to the King by proffering up their daughters in the hope that they could get them pregnant. Then they could claim family ties to the bloodline of Jesus Christ.
The Free Masons had to go underground to preserve their sacred knowledge and law.

I have always subscribed to the idea that the natural evolution of any government is more and more control of its people to where they become completely enslaved. I believe some of the ancient civilizations on earth reached the ultimate goal of mind control slavery where they could broadcast messages directly into the heads of their subjects on a daily basis. We are nor far from that now with our television, radio and movies.
They want to take us back to the days of Feudal Europe where the Barons own the land and the Surfs and slaves do the work. When you have a free society like American you have to destroy them economically before you can completely enslave them.
There is not a single president of the United States who was not selected, groomed, and financed for that political office. Once in office they occasionally refuse to play the game. Several presidents brought with them a strong, personal agenda for economic and financial reform and the controlling interests reaction was swift and deadly. There is no event that demonstrates the ‘conspirators’ ruthless political control that operated beyond the laws of nations better than the assignation of President Kennedy and his brother, Bobby.
President, Nixon saw through the control process from the start. As a corporate lawyer in new York, working for, The Powers That Be,’ he knew the system and played the game. He kept his money in BB Rebozo’s Miami Trust bank. Gradually during his term in office, he took a more independent stand, particularly in the financial affairs of the nation. Watergate removed him from office.
President Carter grew increasingly concerned about the control of the nation’s finance over which, he discovered, he had no control. He pressed for change and he was dropped after on term.
President Reagan grew increasingly more concerned about the President’s total absence of control of the Federal Reserve Board. He wanted to establish a bank run by the government, for the nation. Often at night, he would pray for guidance. He left a quiet, but disillusioned man.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 17:45 | 250073 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Tyler Durden you are the man!

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 19:05 | 250266 boiow
boiow's picture


Mon, 03/01/2010 - 17:48 | 250076 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture

This is one reason why per oz premiums on coins is higher than bars.

Tungsten coins not so profitable, or as easy to make.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 17:57 | 250096 Postal
Postal's picture

So how can I verify that my silver dollars are real silver?

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 18:02 | 250114 Ragnarok
Ragnarok's picture

I wonder what the smallest size they can get away with is?

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 18:09 | 250127 deadhead
deadhead's picture

think zinc pennies and history.


Mon, 03/01/2010 - 18:16 | 250140 Ragnarok
Ragnarok's picture

The platting or casting around the tungsten would have to be a certain thickness so that when the bar or coin is struck/pressed one would only see gold.  So I imagine there is a technical, if not practical, limit to the size of the coin/bar.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 18:56 | 250240 perchprism
perchprism's picture


Big differences in melt temperature and malleability.  The problem is the density is about the same.  Anyway, as soon as it's put in the cup to melt, the tungsten remains behind.  It could not practically be put into coin blanks with a gold cladding, since the striker would know immediately something was wrong when the dies got worn out right off.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 21:07 | 250418 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

And the final product would not pass the bend or bite test!

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 18:52 | 250225 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I have a bag or two of those steel, zinc coated 1943 pennies. Hmmm, 1943 WWII.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 18:18 | 250148 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

500 grams was pushing it.

Tungsten is EXTREMELY hard to work with (a friend of mine worked in a high-end tungsten lab for 20 years). in order to make bars, they will start with either tungsten powder or rods, and "hot roll" them together. This works well on larger bars, but there are very large internal forces that build up inside as time goes on. Eventually, they will crumble. The smaller they are, the sooner this will happen (its a function of mass and surface area).

Of course, if anyone was able to make a source of high quality tungsten round blanks the size of coins, we might be in trouble.

The indentations from the pressing would be very hard to replicate, requiring a significant amount of gold to fill in the voids. QC would also be an issue. Plain bars with no printing are the easiest.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 18:34 | 250180 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I hope you are right about it being difficult to make tungsten-fake gold coins to 1 oz. size.

Nonetheless, this is very bad news.

I hope someone can invent / supply a cheap way to check our gold!

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 19:53 | 250328 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

They did. Hundreds of years ago. Bite the coin. Gold is very soft and malleable. If your teeth dent the coin, it's gold. If not, it's counterfeit.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 21:27 | 250439 bchbum
bchbum's picture

Gold coins are not pure gold, too soft.  They have copper (or other metal) added to make them harder.  97 or 98 pure.  I think you have to drill to be sure.  This guy said that gold makes a plunk and tungston a plink, I guess I'll just believe whatever I'm told, its much easier.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 23:05 | 250543 Frank Owen
Frank Owen's picture

That is not true of all coins. Canadian Maples, the Aussie coins, American Eagles, the Philharmonic coins are all .999+ The 22 karat coins are about 92% pure.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 10:53 | 250906 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Gold BUFFALOES are 999 (and not available anymore), the EAGLES are alloyed, same composition as Kruggies.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 23:18 | 250564 merehuman
merehuman's picture

Ok i will bite. After i find my dentures

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 00:38 | 250648 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture


Tue, 03/02/2010 - 14:48 | 251266 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

I think I have a design that will work, but the economics of it mean we'd need to charge around $1000.00 for the device due to the limited demand.

Probably OK for coin dealers, they could charge you to check your rounds.

Wed, 03/03/2010 - 08:15 | 252093 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

write me at i'm interested!

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 19:18 | 250282 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

"Tungsten is EXTREMELY hard to work with "

or not. . .

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 21:31 | 250443 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

If you look closely at the cut in half bar, you can actually see these tungsten rods side by side together. Thanks for you informative post.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 00:16 | 250621 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

From 2007 - reports of British gold failing to meet good delivery standards

To be traded, gold bars have to meet so-called London Good Delivery (LGD) standards, as laid down by the London Bullion Market Association. Mr Allen wrote to the journal: "There is some uncertainty about the status of LGD standards in respect of certain categories of gold bars that have been held in deep storage for many years."

The Bank was in discussions with the association to clarify how much of its gold was in substandard condition, Mr Allen added.

A Bank spokesman insisted it was not a big problem. The gold could easily be sent off to a refiner to be melted down and turned into new bars, he said. According to market observers questioned by Metal Bulletin, cracks and fissures suggested that the bars may not be pure gold. The gold in coin form may also be contaminated with base metal.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 13:57 | 251205 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Make? Isn't vehicle armor made from tungsten? Thought there was some missing a while ago in our

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 18:22 | 250156 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

Metal is metal.  As small as you want.

Ounce coins (or smaller) are not immune.  It depends on the economics of the fraud.

I am Chumbawamba.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 18:45 | 250206 Hulk
Hulk's picture

I had a nightmare last month in which I was melting all my Maples to make sure they were not tungsten. I woke up just as they were starting to melt I think I'll melt all my maples tonight just to be sure.
1st annual Maple Melt, 03/01/2010.. JEEZ LOUISE.....

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 20:49 | 250403 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Silver stampede and dig a bigger hole to hide it?

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 18:16 | 250142 Orly
Orly's picture

Silver should be no problem.  Tungsten and gold have very similar displacement and weighting properties that can fool a quick survey.  Once the brick has been assayed, however, it is a different story.

Apparently, some smart Deutschlanders assayed the brick.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 18:42 | 250202 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture


As long as the density of the fake metal you're introducing into the mix is higher than that of the metal you are trying to fake then the counterfeit is easy.  You simply start with a slug that is an alloy of cheap metals that has the same density as the target metal.

Gold is difficult to counterfeit because it is one of the highest density metals in the periodic table, and the available cheap metals that are near in density are few (W being the most ideal), and the more dense metals are rarer and more expensive (Pt, Os, etc.)

I am Chumbawamba.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 18:51 | 250223 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Chumba, doesn't pure silver have a really nice ring when dropped onto something hard? 

I would think that silver would be OK, up to the 1 toz sizes anyway.  And, as you mentioned earlier, the economics have to add up for the counterfeiters (on the other hand the cost of slave labor in North Korea is almost zero).

Agree re gold being hard to counterfeit in coin sizes.  By the way, I think Osmium and Iridium are cheaper than gold:


Mon, 03/01/2010 - 19:01 | 250246 35Pete
35Pete's picture

Yes it does. Practice with both a Maple or a .999 round and then an eagle as they have different purities (that's why an eagle is larger than a maple, an eagle contains 1 troy oz of .999 but it's NOT .999 pure through and through). 

You will find the distinct clang of all of them to be rather pleasurable. Sort of like the sound of.... 


Mon, 03/01/2010 - 21:55 | 250474 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Verbal silver porn. Kinda like the "articles" that everybody "reads" in Playboy.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 19:16 | 250278 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

Yes, silver has a beautiful ring when you strike it.  You'd have to put any smaller denominations (like 1ozt coins) on some sort of padded upright supports to get them to ring, then again, I don't know anyone dumb enough to try to counterfeit 1ozt silver rounds.

Not sure about the current price of Os or Ir, but again, economics...

I am Chumbawamba.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 19:49 | 250324 ZerOhead
ZerOhead's picture

Correct... however depleted uranium is 19.1 grams per cubic centimeter. Plenty of that on the ground in Iraq.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 22:57 | 250533 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Now wouldn't that be the ultimate payback if the Iraqi's were picking up depleted uranium, making bogus Gold bars, and then selling them to Americans.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 12:49 | 251084 Howard_Beale
Howard_Beale's picture

Well there's that idea but what about the Chinese putting high levels of lead in jewelry sold to Mattel or all their crap on Ebay--A slower longer poisoning of sorts.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 06:14 | 250784 gilligan
gilligan's picture

Straightforward way to detect a fake would be to use ultrasonics.  Ultrasonic probes are routinely used in aircraft non-destructive inspection.  It would pick up the gold-tungsten interfaces in a fake.  Would even work for coins.



Tue, 03/02/2010 - 12:40 | 251065 Gunther
Gunther's picture


Fri, 03/05/2010 - 00:33 | 254537 hbjork1
hbjork1's picture



Another one is a resonance "hammer" used in vibration testing as posted further up the chain. The hammer would not be as quick and easy as what you suggest but would be less expensive.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 19:02 | 250159 35Pete
35Pete's picture

I wouldn't worry about Ag. 

Not now at least. It wouldn't likely be cost effective. 

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 19:04 | 250262 merehuman
merehuman's picture

Silver, so far has not a high price.

That may change now.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 19:18 | 250281 chet
chet's picture

Can't imagine that anyone would bother to counterfeit silver dollars.  Too small fry, unless you have the ability to really churn them out.  If you wanted to pass them of in numbers you'd have to have different dates, with different levels of wear and tear.

But maybe I'm wrong.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 19:29 | 250297 JohnG
JohnG's picture

The best way is the "ring" test (imho).  A real silver coin has a very distinct ring when dropped on a hardwood table.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 17:47 | 250080 Hephasteus
Hephasteus's picture

If they are already faking 500 gram bars then the game is almost up.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 21:40 | 250452 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Yep, my thinking exactly.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 22:16 | 250491 tip e. canoe
tip e. canoe's picture

...or maybe that's what they want you to think...

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 17:47 | 250082 AnonymousMonetarist
AnonymousMonetarist's picture

Ruh roh ..

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 17:48 | 250083 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Gold will shoot up on this news item !

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 17:52 | 250092 35Pete
35Pete's picture

Holy shit. 


Mon, 03/01/2010 - 17:54 | 250094 carbonmutant
carbonmutant's picture

 I thought they were counterfeiting the kilo bars...

If they're doing it to the small stuff it's gonna be hard to treat gold as currency...

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 17:58 | 250101 cocoablini
cocoablini's picture

Wow- the gold market is in deep shit. Holding physical in your hands in now a dubious, dubious insurance.
I suggest people start moving into smaller miners, in safe countries like Canada as they are going to have to make up all this gold that has been promised, counterfeited, stolen, derivatized. The big boys are probably making this stuff so when comex hasto deliver they deliver bricks .

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 18:58 | 250244 chumbawamba
chumbawamba's picture

Bullshit.  A simple acoustics test (tap on it like a tine on a xylophone) will tell you what you need to know.

Let's not get all hysterical and throw away the only protection the little guy has.

Physical metal in your hands is the only thing between you and corporate/statist-induced destitution.

I am Chumbawamba.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 19:03 | 250258 35Pete
35Pete's picture


Mon, 03/01/2010 - 19:38 | 250305 TheGoodDoctor
TheGoodDoctor's picture

An ounce? :)

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 00:25 | 250635 wake the roach
wake the roach's picture

"Physical metal in your hands is the only thing between you and corporate/statist-induced destitution".

Not trying to start an argument here but I just do not see that point as valid...

To purchase gold you must believe either.

1. That you will sell at or before market top for fiat currency.

2. You are holding out for the introduction of a new gold standard.

3. You are waiting for armageddon and a new physical gold currency/barter system.

4. Huge increase in demand for gold fillings, electrical connectors or bling bling.

From what I gather most physical investors here on ZH fit into catagory 2 or 3 so it begs the question(s).

What chance is there for the introduction of a new gold standard and if so, what is the liklihood that governments are going to allow gold to be redeemed for the new currency at the value required for the standard to work?

What is the chance that if armageddon arrives, you will be able to trade a kilo of gold for a tin of sardines?

Ok, gold will retain some value over fiat currency but lets face it, gold is not going to make average Joe a wealthy man. Gold will take whatever new value that governements say it has unless your last name is Soros, Rogers or Faber.



Tue, 03/02/2010 - 01:33 | 250682 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Actually, only the last half of door #3. Armageddon is "game over" because Jesus shows up. He doesn't care about gold and neither should you in that case. 

But most readers here either a) don't believe in Jesus b) believe Jesus still has a few years (decades, centuries?) before John's writings come to pass. So having food supplies, precious metals, and the means to protect it, and one's life, isn't a bad idea considering the unpredictable nature of societal collapse.

What is the chance that if armageddon arrives, you will be able to trade a kilo of gold for a tin of sardines?

Save it to buy the Brooklyn Bridge instead.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 02:40 | 250730 wake the roach
wake the roach's picture

hello again haha.... Point taken, replace "armageddon" with "complete global economic and social systems disintegration".

"So having food supplies, precious metals, and the means to protect it, and one's life, isn't a bad idea considering the unpredictable nature of societal collapse."

Thats kinda the point I was hoping someone would make, for most people who have very little wealth to protect (the growing majority), there is much better value to be found in products that protect our only true wealth ("one's life").

I hate to think of all the scared, financially illiterate ma and pa PM's investors out there (search youtube), spending their life savings on the advice of Faber, Schiff or Rogers only to get completely and utterly destroyed...

As we know, Pm's are not risk free investments and I believe its important to make that clear for the growing number of people frequenting ZH who with all probability, found their way here via sites like and believe they will wake up one morning filthy rich...

To give people who have very little knowledge of economics/finance the idea that PM's are a sure bet is completely irresponsible and no different to the government, banks and MSM's deception that realestate and the markets will only ever go up. Not that I'm accusing anyone here of that  ;-)...

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 09:31 | 250851 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

As we know, Pm's are not risk free investments and I believe its important to make that clear for the growing number of people frequenting ZH who with all probability, found their way here via sites like and believe they will wake up one morning filthy rich...

PMs are not investments.  Miners are investments.  PMs are IMO the best way to move wealth from one currency regime to the next.  This is especially true if all paper currencies have the same set of problems, and in the current case that is true.  Gold is capital.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 12:32 | 251055 WaterWings
WaterWings's picture

Hopefully the Ma and Pa's have a diversified portfolio of tangibles - not only PMs. The first few years will be about staying alive. Barter will be based on what other people need to stay alive as well. Only short-sighted morons will invest more in precious metals than what it takes to stay above room temparature.

Dealing in precious metals on black market terms is asking for unwanted attention anyway. Anyone with an ounce of gold is either going to take a haircut or literally get scalped - better to have a sardine stash to exhaust long before you need to tap into your PM stash. Gold is golden but only if you plan on holding it until you can find a trustworthy buyer that understands its value. 

But there is nothing better.

Wed, 03/03/2010 - 00:58 | 251966 fromthebleachers
fromthebleachers's picture

"the growing number of people frequenting ZH who with all probability, found their way here via sites like and believe they will wake up one morning filthy rich..."

Oh darn. Now I am disappointed.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 19:45 | 250317 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Agreed. Sell all physical and pile into COMEX futures and ETF's. They are the only safe gold investment. Real metal is too dangerous.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 21:41 | 250453 Crime of the Century
Crime of the Century's picture

I don't know why someone junked you, I thought it was quite humorous. I also would not lose one bit of sleep over small bars from a name refiner.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 23:20 | 250567 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Not worth forging 1 ounce ingots. Stick with 1 ounce ingots or coins and you'll be all set. If they're resorting to this, verifiable P.M. will be going through the roof. Just took delivery of 30 oz. silver coins, may not be as precious as gold but damn, it's just as pretty! The buffaloes are nice.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 07:05 | 250796 35Pete
35Pete's picture

I think argentum is absolutely beautiful. More volatile, so the risk is much higher, but the rewards are too. 

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 10:48 | 250902 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Actually, the buffaloes are the one silver round that had a publicized knockoff problem. The round looked ok, but where it should have had "999 fine silver", the word "silver" did not appear. Weight was off, so would only fool the careless, considering Amazon sells accurate gram/grain scales for @ $20.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 03:57 | 250754 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Excellent point. Physical gold locked in private vault is far too risky a bet. Better go with those ETFs, for convenience AND safety!

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 20:01 | 250339 Rusty_Shackleford
Rusty_Shackleford's picture

How is it that the actual world above ground SUPPLY of gold being significantly LESS than what has been assumed lead to a drop in it's price (in FRN's)? 

If this is true and statistically significant, all faked bars will simply be assayed out of existence. No?

If you learned that the US secret service had just seized a large amount of counterfeit $1000 bills, would prices in the economy start immediately rising?

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 07:08 | 250798 35Pete
35Pete's picture

Rusty. Go to the USGS, and if you have the inclination, tabulate the known silver reserves from their downloadable *.csv files. Tabulate both total and recoverable reserves. 

Next, get a hold of a CPM Ag Yearbook, and tabulate annual output. 

Then.. track the COT report for a bit, and cross-correlate the short open interest with the aforementioned data. 

IIt doesn't add up. Try it yourself. Don't rely on "experts" to tell you of course. 

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 22:01 | 250480 dogbreath
dogbreath's picture



Mon, 03/01/2010 - 18:00 | 250107 MarketTruth
MarketTruth's picture

So you can not short the Euro, the dollar is being printed like there is no tomorrow and now proof that gold is being 'forged'.

Can you say End Game?

Wonder what the IMF is holding and why China is not a good candidate? Is it because China would want to take physical delivery and they know China would test all bars.



Mon, 03/01/2010 - 19:04 | 250261 35Pete
35Pete's picture

It's not end game yet. I see more and more people waking up everyday. 

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 19:22 | 250289 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

It's a specious argument to say that gold is worth less because it was counterfeited at a big foundry. People have been trading fake and counterfeit stuff forever. Fake gold isn't new.

Gold might become worth more if the counterfeiting is exposed because of public outrage.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 18:01 | 250112 truont
truont's picture

Oh $h!t

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 18:09 | 250128 tpberg7
tpberg7's picture

It seems that things could change quickly once the word gets out about which bullion banks are involved.  It will be interesting to watch the mainstream press continue their attempts to obsure this story.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 22:22 | 250503 mouser98
mouser98's picture

i chuckled in agreement when i read your comment, but then i realized that the mainstream media's response will likely be: Brittany's sister is pregnant/not pregnant again.  (replace Brittany with any of your favorite celebs).

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 01:34 | 250685 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

(replace Brittany with any of your favorite celebs)

Queen Elizabeth?


Tue, 03/02/2010 - 07:10 | 250799 35Pete
35Pete's picture

I don't have a clue why the British people put up with that parasitic hag. Question for the Brits. 

Why do you keep funding this ultimate welfare queen? Tell the royal family to go out and get some goddamn jobs just like the rest of you!

The Middle Ages are long past. Get with the program. 

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 09:54 | 250860 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Amen, brother.

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 10:48 | 250903 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Not saying our system is perfect, but how are the Democrats getting on with installing a healthcare system which already exists in every other industrial country and was backed by an overwhelming electoral mandate in yours before vested interests started scaring the bejeezus out of the population about how terrible it would be not to get screwed over by an uncaring corporation every time somebody in your family got seriously ill?

Eyes, beams, etc

Tue, 03/02/2010 - 12:01 | 250994 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Nationalsocialist healthcare is a tax increase, and a government takeover of a huge swath of the economy; it has nothing to do with social equity or saving people from bankruptcy due to health expenses.  We will all pay more and we will all get less.  We will be expected to take what we get and like it, or else.  There is no way to save significant money on health care without reducing the amount of care delivered.

"Our point, however, is not that dictatorship must inevitably extirpate freedom but rather that planning leads to dictatorship because dictatorship is the most effective instrument of coercion and the enforcement of ideals and is, as such, essential if central planning on a large scale is to be possible.  The clash between planning and democracy arises simply from the fact that the latter is an obstacle to the suppression of freedom which the direction of economic activity requires.  But in so far as a democracy ceases to be a guarantee of individual freedom, it may well persist under a totalitarian regime.

The fashionable concentration on democracy as the main value threatened is not without danger.  It is largely responsible for the misleading and unfounded belief that, so long as the ultimate source of power is the will of the majority, the power cannot be arbitrary. The false assurance which many people derive from this belief is an important cause for the general unawareness of the dangers we face.

-  Hayek, The Road to Serfdom

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 18:10 | 250129 Anonymous
Anonymous's picture

Tungsten via North Korea, the new Federal Reserve Note! Get yours today!

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 18:10 | 250131 pocomotion
pocomotion's picture

If my wife ever checks that ring, I am doomed.

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 18:24 | 250160 deadhead
deadhead's picture


that was my only laugh of the day...thanks!

and, I love Poco!

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