Tungsten-Filled 10 Oz Gold Bar Found In The Middle Of Manhattan's Jewelry District

Tyler Durden's picture

It is one thing for tungsten-filled gold bars to appear in the UK, or in Germany: after all out of sight, and across the Atlantic, certainly must mean out of mind, and out of the safe. However, when a 10 ounce 999.9 gold bar bearing the stamp of the reputable Swiss Produits Artistiques Métaux Précieux (PAMP, with owner MTP) and a serial number (serial #038892, likely rehypothecated in at least 10 gold ETFs across the world but that's a different story), mysteriously emerges in the heart of the world's jewerly district located on 47th street in Manhattan, things get real quick. Moments ago, Myfoxny reported that a 10-ounce gold bar costing nearly $18,000 turned out to be a counterfeit. The discovery was made by the dealer Ibrahim Fadl, who bought the PAMP bar in question from a merchant who has sold him real gold before. "But he heard counterfeit gold bars were going around, so he drilled into several of his gold bars worth $100,000 and saw gray tungsten -- not gold. The bar was filled with tungsten, which weighs nearly the same as gold but costs just over a dollar an ounce."

What makes so devious is a real gold bar is purchased with the serial numbers and papers, then it is hollowed out, the gold is sold, the tungsten is put in, then the bar is closed up. That is a sophisticated operation.


MTB, the Swiss manufacturer of the gold bars, said customers should only buy from a reputable merchant. The problem, he admits, is Ibrahim Fadl is a very reputable merchant.


Raymond Nessim, CEO Manfra, Tordell & Brookes, said he has reported the situation to the FBI and Secret Service.


The Secret Service, which deals with counterfeits, said it is investigating.

And cue panic on the realization that virtually any gold bar in the world, not just those in Europe and Australia, which have already had close encounters with Tungsten substitutes, but also New York may be hollowed out and have a real worth of a few dollars max. Which, sadly, is fitting considering our main story from last night was the realization that an unknown amount of Chinese iron ore had either never existed or had simply vaporized, and was no longer serving as the secured collateral to various liabilities circulating in the electronic ether. After all, only the most naive out there could conceive of gold being sacrosanct when every other asset class is being diluted to infinity by a regime that has long since run out of money.

As for gold-based transactions on West 47th street: look for that market to grind to a halt at least for as long as it takes for this scandal to be forgotten too.

The only open question remaining will be how much of the gold located 90 feet below Libert 33 is in the same Tungstenized format. For what it's worth: it is unlikely we will ever find out.

This is what glaring gold counterfeiting looks like.

And for the reading challenged:

New York News | NYC Breaking News

All that said, with false flags rampant these days, we would not be surprised if this is merely yet another attempt to discredit gold, this time physical, as an undilutable medium of warehousing wealth. So buyer beware: in a time when everyone is broke, triple check before exchanging one store of wealth for another.

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Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

No need to run a drill through all your gold.  Just use a good Whites brand metal detector.  The audio tone and digital spectrum readout will expose the presence of the tungsten.  In the unlikely event you get a readout that differs from your known gold piece, THEN bust out the Makita.

dadichris's picture

this is proof-positive that we need to switch to a tungsten standard - they can then make counterfeit bars by filling them with gold

hmmm... i just looked it up and tungsten is actually rarer than gold!

kaantukii's picture

Why would a reputable gold bar manufacturer not stamp the precise weight of the bar on the bar?

Also the bar has a serial number, wouldn't the accompanied paperwork establish the bars precise weight?


passwordis's picture

 Jim Sincliar is not buying it.

"My opinion is this is disinformation. The diamond district in NYC is Hassidic Jewish.

Nobody cons those guys".


 I don't believe 90% of what I read and I don't believe this one. Everything about this story seems fishy. Let a hundred bars like this one show up and I might change my mind.  Even this bar looks like a fake fake.

jaxxr05's picture

Doesn't anyone else find it interesting that this 'discovery' happens just after QE3 is announced and gold prices spike?  Casting a shadow on the quality and thereby safety of a gold position would be a really good way to try to stem the flight of capital out of the paper markets and into gold and other precious metals....