Tungsten-Filled 1 Kilo Gold Bar Found In The UK

Tyler Durden's picture

The last time a story of Tungsten-filled gold appeared on the scene was just two years ago, and involved a 500  gram bar of gold full of tungsten, at the W.C. Heraeus foundry, the world's largest metal refiner and fabricator. It also became known that said "gold" bar originated from an unnamed bank. It is now time to rekindle the Tungsten Spirits with a report from ABC Bullion of Australia, which provides photographic evidence of a new gold bar that has been drilled out and filled with tungsten rods, this time not in Germany but in an unnamed city in the UK, where it was intercepted by a scrap metals dealer, and was supplied with its original certificate. The reason the bar attracted attention is that it was 2 grams underweight. Upon cropping it was uncovered that about 30-40% of the bar weight was tungsten. So two documented incidents in two years: isolated? Or indication of the same phenomonenon of precious metal debasement that marked the declining phase of the Roman empire. Only then it was relatively public for anyone who cared to find out on their own. Now, with the bulk of popular physical gold held in top secret, private warehouses around the world, where it allegedly backs the balance sheets of the world's central banks, yet nobody can confirm its existence, nor audit the actual gold content, it is understandable why increasingly more are wondering: just how much gold is there? And alongside that - while gold, (or is it GLD?), can be rehypothecated, can one do the same with tungsten?

From ABC Bullion:

ABC Bullion received the following email from one of our trusted suppliers this week.



  • It was not ABC Bullion that purchased this bar, the email and photos were sent to us as a general warning.
  • I xxxx'ed out the city's name to avoid any second guessing as to the name of the dealer.




Attached are photographs of a legitimate Metalor 1000gm Au bar that has been drilled out and filled with Tungsten (W).


This bar was purchased by staff of a scrap dealer in xxxxx, UK yesterday. The bar appeared to be perfect other than the fact that it was 2gms underweight. It was checked by hand-held xrf and showed 99.98% Au. Being Tungsten, it would not be ferro-magnetic. The bar was supplied with the original certificate.


The owner of the business that purchased the bar only became suspicious when he realized the weight discrepancy and had the bar cropped. He estimates between 30-40% of the weight of the bar to be Tungsten.


This is very worrying and reinforces the lengths that people are willing to go to profit from the current high metal prices. Please be careful.

Photos of the cropped bars: 1000g Gold bar cut showing inserted tungsten rods

Two halves of the cropped bar:

Finally, some observations from Paul Mylchreest on debasement:

Let’s consider the run-up to Rome’s hyperinflation. I think this comment from jaysromanhistory.com “Good Money, Bad Money, and Runaway Inflation” resonates with what’s happening in the US today:


“Severus Alexander (AD 222-235) tried to reform by going back to the denarius but, once started, this path of runaway inflation and financial irresponsibility on the part of the imperial government proved impossible to control.”


It also seems that the hyperinflation was preceded by some kind of banking crisis, which is an interesting parallel. From “Demise and Fall of the Augustan Monetary System” by Koenraad Verboven:


“Papyri show it was common for private individuals to deposit money at a bank and to make and accept payments through bankers.Bankers in the west disappear from view around the middle of the 3rd c… A famous papyrus from Oxyrhynchus from 260 CE shows exchange bankers closing in order to avoid having to change the ‘imperial money’. The strategos ordered the exchange bankers to reopen and accept all genuine coins and warned businessmen to do the same. In 266 CE we find for the first time transactions being expressed in ‘ptolemaeic’ or ‘old silver’ as opposed to ‘new silver’.”


The chart shows how inflation remained relatively subdued until a tipping point was reached in the late- 260s A.D Monetary systems can absorb substantial abuse before there is a dramatic impact on the price level. For example, the debasement of the coinage was already accelerating in the early part of the third century A.D., before plunging in the latter part. Indeed, the chart below (apologies for the quality) only shows the trend up to 253 AD. By around 290 AD, the coins were only dipped in silver to give them a coating (<0.5%):

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Ahmeexnal's picture

no surprise at all.
has Cha-Cha-Chavez drilled into his recently repatriated gold bars?

Pinto Currency's picture

A quick conductivity check or eddy current testing can confirm whether a bar of gold is polluted with tungsten.

Freddie's picture

Can the same thing be done with silver?   I would think silver is cheap enough so they would not get this elaborate.

New World Chaos's picture

The same thing can be done with silver.  Molybdenum or a mix of lead and copper would probably work best.  During the Hunt Brothers panic there were reports of 1000oz COMEX bars stuffed with molybdenum.  There are also fake rare Peace Dollars floating around.  Wouldn't worry about it for Eagles or junk silver.

Ahmeexnal's picture

there's an old Hindu saying: "He who smelt it, dealt it".
or was it "he who supplied it, denied it"?

Ahmeexnal's picture

Ultrasound Bitchez!


"congratulations, your gold bar is pregnant with tungsten!"

GetZeeGold's picture



Crap.....now we're gonna have to put him through college!


gtb's picture

Maybe those idiots are right...free birth control for everyone!

nmewn's picture

As long as they force me to pay in tungsten ;-)

Pinch's picture

This is an extremely rare occurrence and there are various methods to stop it (see come comments above). ZH is not doing PM investors any favors by publicising this unusual happenstance.

Mr. Mandelbrot's picture

As long as acid testing and a rough mass density assessment remain the standard for determining the "realness" of gold, we have no way of knowing just how "rare" an occurence this is . . .

Pinch's picture

The dealer in question has said:

I suspect the bar in question was the product of a criminal gang. They most likely bought a real bar with certificate, clamped it in a drill press, drilled out 5 holes and pushed in tungsten rods. The hardest part would have been convincingly resealing the drilled end with melted gold from the drill holes. Whilst I suspect this was not a once off it would certainly be rare. As most gold bought back by dealers (and all bought by scrap dealers) ends up getting re-refined or sold to manufacturing jewelers, if there was a large number of such bars we would be hearing about it on a regular basis as the bars were melted down.

Greg Hudson
ABC Bullion


And clearly, if this becomes a widespread problem, the ultrasound machines (featured in the link a few comments above) will be used everywhere. So this is simply not going to harm the PM market. Capiche?

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Pinch said:

So this is simply not going to harm the PM market. Capiche?

So then what is your problem with ZH making people aware of this story?


Pinch's picture

Unnecessarily putting fear and trepidation into the hearts of PM investors. Isn't it obvious?


Rush Limbaugh in his own words: I'M A NAZI, OH YES I AM!

deflator's picture

 Rush Limbaugh is neither nationalistic or socialist, he is just a loud mouth who likes to hear himself talk. Nothing he says are anything remotely his own ideas, he merely parrots from D.C. thinktanks like the Hudson Institute.

Harlequin001's picture

The only tampreed bars seem to be the small denomination ie less than 1 kilo bars. The 'good for delivery' system seems to be intact.

You are never going to stop this so buyer beware...

TruthInSunshine's picture

Given recent developments, and upon the advice of The Bernank, the U.S. has announced it has replaced its gold holdings with Moissanites.

AldousHuxley's picture

UK was going to use that for their Olympic gold medals

tmosley's picture

Lack of evidence does not prove the opposite conclusion.

Anyone drilling good delivery bars is going to have a very good incentive to clam up about the results.

We have very nearly ZERO statistics here.  It is impossible to draw any conclusions.  We need a systematic study to be conducted by an impartial third party.

GetZeeGold's picture




Only one little problem with your link ORI.....hardly worth mentioning.....there's no honor amoung thevies.


Yamashita’s gold if it existed is long gone.....much like the gold in Fort Knox.


The gold in Fort Knox has not been audited on decades now.......Ron Paul called for an audit this year.


How far did Ron get ORI?


Oh regional Indian's picture

Precisely nowhere Getzee.

The question is Gone? Where? To whom? Aliens? Underground?

It has to be somewhere. What good is it as a hidden asset?


Western's picture

"Unnecessarily putting fear and trepidation into the hearts of PM investors. Isn't it obvious?"


This forum is full of gold and silverbugs looking for all the latest metals info, and you're worried we might lose faith? Presumably you're a gold bug because you're acting like this is in a metalbug's best interests, but you're not saying the right things.


Something don't smell right. I don't like you, dear fellow.

CH1's picture

Unnecessarily putting fear and trepidation into the hearts of PM investors. Isn't it obvious?

Dude, you're arguing for ignorance... almost for enforced ignorance.

That's a bad position to take.

A Nanny Moose's picture

Caveat emptor. What is wrong with reminding people of the need for due diligence, when/if they keep stacking?

deflator's picture

As most gold bought back by dealers (and all bought by scrap dealers) ends up getting re-refined or sold to manufacturing jewelers,

 Are 1 kilo bars usually in the mix of what gets sold to jewelers or what is bought back by dealers?

 I think the thrust of the article is not what the quality of the gold is in "circulation" but what is sitting in vaults and is "financialized" in day to day paper trading.

A Nanny Moose's picture

I suspect the bar in question was the product of a criminal gang.

Yeah, Government

Decolat's picture

With so much gold kept so secret, how can you or anyone know that? 


Of course, how could we know you're wrong, either? Too bad nobody has the flak to challenge countries and big investors to allow private audits to their secret stashes. 


But denying audts implies something's not right.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Right on Decolat.

Three Olympic sized swimming pools, the watery lie that the whole edifice of gold is based on. If that fails, the entire edifice falls apart.

I wonder how many audit's have been done of Indian Royal Houses and Temples. Forget whatever fraudelant figure GATA or some other patsy throws out. How about Indian house-holds? And then Yamashita's gold, Nazi Gold, Vatican Gold.... on and on and on.

At the expense of three-peating myself:



GottaBKiddn's picture


The whole point of the article was that it wasn't all that rare, because it was, after all, simply counterfeiting. Furthermore, it pointed out that not only did people know that the coins were polluted, they were "ordered" to use them. Sounds like a favor to me.

onthesquare's picture

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain

hivekiller's picture

You're full of crap. There were reports of tons of gold plated tungsten that were made and sold on the market during the Clinton administration. How do you think he paid for the million dollar wedding of his ugly daughter? Summers and Rubin were in on it.

Chupacabra-322's picture

@ hivekiller,

Bricks of gold found gutted and filled with tungsten - http://news.goldseek.com/GoldSeek/1258049769.php

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. I know folks who have copies of the original shipping docs with dates and exact weights of “tungsten” bars shipped to Ft. Knox.

The balance of this 1.3 million – 1.5 million 400 oz tungsten cache was also plated and then allegedly “sold” into the international market.

Apparently, the global market is literally “stuffed full of 400 oz salted bars”.

“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 suspect:”


0z's picture


ZH is not doing PM investors any favors by publicising this unusual happenstance.


Shut the fuck up! You're the reason I like buying bullets, facist!

Transformer's picture

This was not done by the bankers.  It happened before, and it was done by robbers. Some slick operator did this.  If you can't trust the LBMA vaults, and Fort Knox, who can you trust?



jeff montanye's picture

at a guess, something that faces honest competition, that is audited by a disinterested party, that doesn't fight transparency tooth and nail.  but you knew that.

Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

Obviously a false flag event put out there by the evil zionista bankster brigade to lessen confidence in PM and even if it isn't if I post that enough it will become true.


peekcrackers's picture

Take your chances on the shiny or take it dry with the banks


The new York Times March 24 2012 The Age of the Shadow Bank Run


jeff montanye's picture

the linked article is not bad, especially for the nyt.  it should mention reorganization of insolvent financial institutions though.  that bullet must be bitten sooner or later, and the later the greater the pain.

Die Weiße Rose's picture

The greatest gold swindle

The true story about one of this state's biggest frauds involving gold mines has been told for the first time in a new book which has just been launched.

The story of the Taranganba Gold mine is that of corruption and fraud at the highest levels. It's a true story that has been uncovered after one hundred and twenty years. Local author John Peach has written the story of what a former Premier of Queensland Robert Philps called 'The Biggest Ever Mining Swindle in the Colonies'.

The main figure in the story is Robert Ross who claimed to have found gold at Taranganba - but what he created was a scam that fooled many high profile figures in Australia. John Peach has spent years going through legal and archival records to put together this complex history. "There were quite a few swindles. There was a million pound company formed to mine gold at Taranganba and it went on for three years. There was never any gold.

There were other companies formed, and another million pound company. There were four other mines all more or less claimed to be finds of Robert Ross. The Ross family were pioneers, they came to this area in 1862 and Robert was one of the sons," says Mr Peach. "Robert Ross found his gold in the same year as Mt Morgan was incorporated into a public company which was 1886 and there were great celebrations all over the world because at that stage Mt Morgan was a million pound company which was the biggest ever launch and people that owned it took all the shares so there were no public shares for sale. So when Robert Ross was looking for investments in gold in the late 1880s, everyone was looking to invest. A lot of money from overseas being invested in Australia so the banks were bulging with money so that was good timing on his part." "They invested in the company which was formed by a group of people from Sydney which included the Premier of NSW and a few other Ministers and very important people and that's where the investments went.

Robert Ross got his money for his mines, plus he got shares in the companies. The people that lost money later on were actually investing in the Taranganba Gold Company Ltd which was a Sydney Company." "Robert Ross of course raked it in. He also sold shares, he had a third of a million pounds worth of shares which he also sold to many dignitaries and friends and anyone that came along with a lot of money, including Robert Philp. Robert Philp was the one that is responsible for the expression 'the biggest gold mining swindle in the colonies' because Robert Ross sold him 5,000 shares and Philp was later Premier of Queensland and he certainly knew he had done his money."

So was Robert Ross ever brought to justice? "Not on Earth. The biggest mystery is probably just how Robert Ross managed to get through so much money so quickly. We know he made a tremendous income and he managed to spend a lot of it. He must've been a great gambler I think. The only justice that ever caught up with Robert Ross is that a year later he had a stroke and a year later he was dead. He was buried at Taranganba in 1893."

By Jacquie Mackay 9 September, 2008 11:40AM AEST


FEDbuster's picture

I have a bunch of tungsten filled AP bullets, they are precious metals, too.

Turd Ferguson's picture

First of all, thank you to ZH for publishing this important story. Also, big kudos to the SilverDoctors for bringing it to light in the first place!


Chaffinch's picture

Thanks for the link Pladizow. What if gold money are using ultrasound to test a bar of solid tungsten which has just been given a thin coating of gold (rather than a bar which has been drilled out and filled with tungsten rods)? Would ultrasound still work?

SubjectivObject's picture

In time, rather than surface contact probes (as is likely what is referred to so far), test instruments will be the immersion (in water) type, which makes it easy to scan the entire surface area to the edges or very near so of any shape (flat are easiest in any case).  A competant operator with a correctly configured and calibrated system should be able easily to characterize the presence of hidden W irrespective its morphology.

All which beggs the question about transaction costs and certification of operators and methods going forward.  I would anticipate that bullion house should already have this methodology, unless they have found better.

mjcOH1's picture

There's some supposition in saying it's been drilled and filled with tungsten.  

Maybe the back was shaved and it was machined out, with the filler being rods because.the manufacturer had rod stock to work with.    Maybe the gold was cast around the rods and the certificates were forgeries.

The production time on the method used could give an indication of how widespread the problem is.  

Transformer's picture

I'm a machinist.  This was done by drilling out the bar from one end, and then pressing precisely sized tungsten rods into the holes, then carefully covering up the drilled end with a  torch and some gold.  there is no way the holes could be drilled and then molten tungsten poured in, as tungsten's melting point is very high, it would have melted the bar.   Someone was a bit sloppy in checking the weights.  Perhaps this is part of the batch of bars linked above from the London robbery in 1983, where the robbers took good bars and did this to them.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Something about the numbers doesn't seem right. The way the story reads, this was a supposedly legit bar which had been tampered with. Transformer's explanation of the process makes sense, due to the different melting points of the metals.

This would result in the bar's pre-tampering and post-tampering volume being identical. The near-room-temperature density of gold is 19.30g per cc, and that for tungsten is 19.25g per cc, so the tampered bar would be very slightly lower in mass than the untampered bar.

This is where something doesn't make sense, and I concede that it may be my math. For a 1000g bar to be underweight by two grams, its tungsten content by volume would need to be approximately 75 percent.

The specific figures I came up with, in terms of gold/tungsten ratios, are:

70/30: about 999.2228g, or about .77g light.

60/40: about 998.9637g, or a little over 1g light.

50/50: about 998.7047g, or about 1.3g light.

25/75: about 998.0570g, or about 2g light.

The estimate in the report was 30 to 40 percent tungsten by weight. The density of gold and tungsten are nearly identical, so for practical purposes this should indicate about 30 to 40 percent tungsten by volume as well. However, this would only leave the bar about a gram underweight.

The pictures appear to reveal 30 to 40 percent tungsten by volume, so the bar being two grams underweight doesn't match up with the other information.

(I would appreciate it if anyone so inclined would check my math against their own calculations.)