Rust Discovered On Bank Of Russia Issued 999 Gold Coins

Tyler Durden's picture

Here's a head scratcher: as everyone knows from elementary chemistry courses, gold is the most inert metal in the world - it  does not rust, nor corrode. Yet this is precisely what Russian commercial precious metal trading company, International Reserve Payment System, discovered on thousands of (allegedly) 999 gold coins "St George" (pictured insert) issued by the Central Russian Bank. The serendipitous discovery occurred after various clients of the company had requested that their gold be stored not in a safe, but in a far more secure place: "buried under an oak tree." As the website of IRPS president German Sterligoff notes: once buried, "the coins began to oxidize under the influence of moisture." And hence the headscratcher: nowhere in history (that we know of) does 999, and even 925 gold, oxidize, rust, stain, spot or form patinas, under any conditions. Furthermore, as IRPS discovered, Sberbank of Russia released an internal memorandum ordering the purchase of the defective coins with
the spotted appearance. Sterligoff concludes: "
It should be noted that
the weight and density of the rusty coins coincide with the
characteristics of gold that would be expected after after
conventional testing methods would reveal. We think that the experts
will be interesting to determine the nature of this phenomenon." So just how "real" is 999 gold after all, either in Russia or anywhere else?

As a consequence of this discovery, IRPS decided to "rid itself of all stocks, bought up earlier from the Central Bank on behalf of investors. Investment coins "St. George The
Conqueror", as well as other gold coins of the Bank of Russia, are now
excluded from the company's operations until all circumstances in the case are determined." Additional, as disclosed in the interview below for Here and Now show on TVRainRu, the Russian Central Bank would buy back the coins at a price of 9,300 rubles, despite prevailing prices for the bullion at well over 10,000.

As Zero Hedge has pointed out previously, the Central Bank of Russia has been one of the biggest purchasers of gold in 2010, having bought gold every single month. It would be embarrassing if it were discovered that not only is the bank diluting the gold content once received with oxidizable materials, but subsequently passing it off for 999 proof precious metal.

And if this is happening in Russia, one wonder what trickery other Central Banks, with a far lower amount of gold in their vaults, resort to...

h/t Janis

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Nolsgrad's picture

transcript? I don't speak Ruskie

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

The afternoon sun glistened on the sweat that lathered Summers' red forehead as a fly landed on his eye.  He instinctively slapped himself; this nearly woke him up.  "Huh whaftha?  Uhhg..."  He rolled over, never once opening his eyes.  Inside Timmah was busy getting destroyed at PPT.  He had finished all but 12 levels, but now he faced the infamous "Algorithm Machines from Hell".  He had played all afternoon without any luck.  He was exhausted, "Timmah!"

He leaned back in his bean bag chair, and thought about what life would be like if he was CEO of Goldman Sachs.  Then he remembered that BlankCheck was partying in the Hamptons, and as he wondered what Lloyd was up to, his ipaduh beeped. 

Timmah ran over and clicked it off snooze.  There was an urgent message from President Medvedev.  All it said was, 'There is a rumor floating around that I was sold some bunk.  If I find out I was, there will be hell to pay.  For starters, I will make sure Hillary Clinton loses access to all the high profile dating sites in Moscow!'  Timmah did not want Hill upset.  "Timmah!"  He scrolled down to a video link and pressed play:

"It appears that a bald man in a silver suit [flash shot of Ben Bernanke] and wearing a pinky ring has been using the Russian Mint as an underground liar, this from a report by the local news station Khfonunski.  The man was last seen exiting the area in what looked like a flying Smart Car [shot of Bernanke flying out of an opening roof]."

Outside a propeller could be heard, and then a loud bang!  LawWrench Summers snorted and rolled over in his hammock.  The Smart Car had crash landed into the side of the Oak tree.  Timmah ran outside in time to see Bernanke open and fall out the side door.  "Agh, Timmah, they almost shot me down over Siberia.  I could barely stand this thing."  He said as he stood up from his knees.  He pointed to the car, "It is freezing in there, Timmah!  I thought I told you to install a heater?  Do you know how long it takes to make it over the Canadian Arctic?  I nearly froze my balls off!"  Timmah chuckled to himself, "Ti-him-meh!"

Moneygrove's picture

Gold coins that have been at the sea bottom are cleaned !!!!!!!!!!! Look at ship of gold from monaco coins !!!!!!!!! they become a rusted like  mass that after cleaning are single coins !!!!!!!!  even proof coins have spots!!!!!!!!! story is messed up !!!!!!!!! then saying pcgs coins on ebay are fake ???? one or 2 are and you can check # on pcgs web page !!!!!!!!!! go to and see what coins are going for today !!!!!!!!!!!!!! p.s i have a 60 x 60 peter max worth about 200k that i got off ebay for $7,500 thanx !!!!!!!! I just got the bill from axa fine art to insure it !!!!!!!!!!!!!   

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Dear Moneygrove,

You may not have noticed but one of the keys on your keyboard seems to be sticking. In fact, it appears to be the exclamation point key. And possibly the question mark key. They may just be worn out from over use. May I suggest you simply replace the keyboard? Walmart is running a special this week on wireless units.

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ops, maybe I should take my own advice. :>)

RockyRacoon's picture

Ah, there you are CD.  It's like going to a loud party and looking for the one sane person you know.  I think I've figured out the reason for this article.  It's total BS so Tyler threw it in the shark tank to see how long it would survive.   It's an all-skate event.  Tyler really is a smart group o' guys/gals.  It let's the steam outta the system and prevents a blow-up.  Look at all the nut cases posting below (and I include myself).  Aren't we having some fun now?  Monday morning we'll buckle down and get on with the serious events of the day.  We'll wake up amidst the broken beer bottles, soggy cigarette butts, nekkid wimmin, and the strange car parked in the living room.  That was fun!

nope-1004's picture

Rust, Bitches!






Jim_Rockford's picture

I thought I saw Gekko leaving the Home Depot with a bottle of Naval Jelly.  I hope he knows the difference between "Naval" and "Navel".  That shit burns like Corexit times 100!

e_goldstein's picture

nah, i just think that the rust look is because there are small amounts of copper in the alloy.  .999 is 22 kt, if the entire alloy (the gold and whatever other metals are in the mix) contain copper, the copper atoms will tend to group together, and sort of "leech" through the "precious metals," giving the coin the look of rust.  It would be helpful if there was greater magnification on the areas in question.


disclaimer: "i am neither a metallurgist nor an alchemist. I do have 12 years experience casting precious metals, but my opinion could be wrong and i am just offering my wild ass guess." 


disclaimer ii: "i own gold and silver and platinum and palladium and shotguns and shotgun shells and rice and beans... so stay off my lawn, goddamnit. 

Richard Weed's picture


999 gold is 23.976 karats

22 karat gold is .917 pure

Are you sure you have been casting precious metals for over 12 years (as you state)...?

e_goldstein's picture

yep, you're right, i was wrong about the purity.  i shouldn't post after tequila shots...

Richard Weed's picture


When you buy a "999 gold" coin for a 10% premium, you are also getting a lot of impurity... you just paid 10% more for "air"

[the value of the coin you just bought is 90% gold... and 10% air]

I think I would rather have the russian coin which might be 98% gold, 2% impurities, and no "air".

Think about it.

But what do I know, I am just a Dick Weed.

RockyRacoon's picture

American Gold Eagles are 22k.  They still contain 1 ounce of gold, hence they weigh more than 1 ounce (1.0909 troy ounces).   I didn't know if you were aware of that so I thought I'd throw it in.

Better a Dick Weed, than a Dick Head, eh?

A Nanny Moose's picture

Don't forget the drunk chinaman precariously perched in the oak in the front yard

Good times

knukles's picture

Why not just "move the keyboard"?  Works swell.

Lord Koos's picture

Maybe it's not a keyboard problem, maybe he just needs to switch to decaf.


Pope Clement's picture

Peter Max has said that much of what is attributed to him is fake!!!! and even stuff he has done is fake too!!!!Pablo P said much the same thing!!!!

Tarheel's picture

Russia is corrupt????? OMG!!!!!

JohnG's picture



.999 gold when real cannot, will not, and has never corroded.  These "rusted like masses" you write of are simply marine life that has grown on the outside of the coin or other piece made from the gold.  It's just chipped off and the mass dropped in acid to clean.

Acid cannot hurt the gold either, unless you are electroplating with pure lab grade sulfuric and a current running through it.

You cannot do this as that acid is extremely hard to come by unless you have a license to purchase for industrial uses.  Not battery acid, not nearly.

wafflehead's picture

you dont know what youre talking about buddy ! gold or platinum can be dissolved with a mixture of nitric/hydrochloric acid of 1:4. You should not make comments like these unless you are expert in the field.

Richard Weed's picture

Right you are WaffleFace... aka Acqua Regia... and especially when heated, can dissolve gold in 3 winks of an eye.

sullymandias's picture

We sometimes see gold coins which have rust stains on them. Mention this to most people and their jaw drops open, because they are about to say that gold doesn't go rusty. Of course not, but it sometimes gets stored in steel boxes in safes or deposit boxes. If these are then stored in damp or humid conditions, the box may rust, and this can stain the coins if it comes into contact with them. The rust stain can be dissolved using almost any acid, even quite weak one such as lemon juice, vinegar, or the carbonic acid present in fizzy drinks. Obviously these may leave the surface of the coin sticky, but this can be rinsed off. If rust stains are persistent, you could try using a stronger or more concentrated acid (strength and concentration are not the same thing), such as we describe in our page about red spot.

RockyRacoon's picture

You are SO correct.  I think the whole ordeal is a pile of.... well, you know.

All they had to do was assay the coin and answer the question.  Big deal.

Hulk's picture

You are something else MR Lennon Hendrix! Bravo!

caconhma's picture

The summary of this video is simple: there is no such thing as "rusted " gold regardless of what the Russian Central Bank or "independent" appraisers say or do.

It appears that we live in a very fraudulent world. The good news: this is coming to the end.  Similar to what happened following to the fall of the Roman Empire, the mankind is about to go to the "new Dark Ages". WOW!

Noah Vail's picture

I agree, pure gold will not corrode under any circumstances, only when it has impurities will that happen. It does not, however, take much in the way of impurities to cause corrosion. It could be just crappy refining, not intentional fraud. Caveat: the Russians surely know how to do it right.  Solution, assay the suckers, don't f*** around with specualtion. Another solution: don't buy gold from any but the most trusted sources. Some folks hate to pay what they call a premium, but that is the price for trusted coins. Do you like risky gold at a discount? Would you buy Russian or Chinese coins? I surely wouldn't. Caveat emptor.

A Nanny Moose's picture

ugh! This does not bode well for my Panda.

George the baby crusher's picture

Nothing wrong with Pandas.  Have bunches of them, all tested.

FEDbuster's picture

You may want to avoid the Zimbabwe Mugabes they are selling on Craigslist.

russki standart's picture

Transcript? Who needs one, lets just nuke the F@cks and get it over with once and for all! Hey Obama, ??????, are you paying attention?

russki standart's picture

It´s easy. When dealing with a russian whore, all you need to know is , iti suda, iti von!

Arbman's picture

This is too bad. What a pitty. If you could understand Russian, you would be laughing your head off.


Arbman's picture

This is too bad. What a pitty. If you could understand Russian, you would be laughing your head off.


choob's picture

Man, ZH used to be great, now we're becoming as alarmist and 'let's ignore the possibilities to further our own agenda'-ist as the lamestreamers.

Gold coins often spot with rust from the containers they are stored in. Unless the coins are properly chemically analysed we're all full of shit.

Ejumacate yo'self

JLee2027's picture

Not head scratching at all...Gold does not rust...period.

DarkAgeAhead's picture

There could be chocolate in those gold coins from the looks of it!

atriuum's picture

It Russia.  The gold rust, and the cho-co-lat smells like fecum magnificum.

Problem Is's picture

Maybe the spots were caused by Al Gore gisum on gold coins he paid the Russian masseuse with...

If Gore's masseuse looked anything like that hot Russian blonde anchorette...

nmewn's picture

That's it!!!

We have a winner!

The coin in question has just released it's pent up will feel and look better in a minute ;-)

ratava's picture

this sounds like some sort of scam to make citizens turn in their gold at under market price

ISEEIT's picture

Me think this sound like no brainer. The question that can't be answered is "how much". I would like to think not a lot. But I would also like to think that the world has not been lost to the lowest common denominator, which of course calls into question my thought processes.

Even I see it.

Misean's picture

Well, at least Russian dating sites are real...

EscapeKey's picture

Yes, but what you pick up from there isn't exactly gold.

/Not speaking of experience, though I have dated Eastern European women.

tom a taxpayer's picture

Mel Gibson has some tips on dating Russians.

FEDbuster's picture

Rumor is he is writing a book "Idiots Guide to Dating Russian Models".

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Huh...interesting.. And to think I was just spending time with this weeks '64s and thinking about how I liked their condition :)

bugs_'s picture

I wonder how much these certified rusting gold coins would go for on ebay?!

Spitzer's picture

There could have been steel filings in the air that stuck to the gold and rusted.

I had a set of polished aluminum wheels stored at a friends garage. I was there once so I just had a look at them, they had a thin coat of rust on them. I figured out that the guy was using a wire wheel grinder in the garage and the particles from that stuck lightly to the wheels and caused the rusted look. It polished off in 2 seconds. My bet is that  there was work being done on the vault.

PS. Jonny Bravo is a day trading douche bag and has no business commenting on golds LONG TERM bull market.