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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blunderdog's picture

    if Tungsten is used (less dense then gold) then some portion of a more dense material has to be added (lead is one choice).

Don't talk shit.  You're on the fuckin' Internet, ya lazy bastard.

The most powerful information resource EVER and can't be fuckin' bothered to learn ANYTHING.  Still, gotta make sure everyone has the chance to hear your dumbass self.  Pat yourself on the back for talking shit about the sheeple-types watchin' Jersey Shore.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

Tungsten, about 1.7 times more dense than lead, is about 0.3% less dense than gold.

Measured at room temperature, the densities are:

Tungsten - 19.25 grams per CC

Gold - 19.30 grams per CC

Parrotile's picture

Using an accurate balance & measuring cylinder isn't going to cut it either - even Grade A cylinders have some degree of inaccuracy, as does a balance - and with a difference in densities of 0.3% (3 parts in 1000) it's not easy with off the shelf volumetric / gravimetric equipment.

Best (and for Mr Average the ONLY) bet is to go for ultrasonic thickness testing and a micrometer - speed of sound in cast Tungsten is about 2 times greater than in gold (from memory, 5000m/s vs 1700m/s??), so the fake bar would appear thinner than it really is - hence the micrometer!

Human nature - if they can con you in any shape of form they WILL try!

FeralSerf's picture

Lead is not more dense than either gold or tungsten.   You're full of shit.

Real Estate Geek's picture




The internet is your friend! (http://www.ptable.com/)

tmosley's picture

I'm pretty sure you are retarded, but you may just be randomly posting atomic numbers for no reason, rather than the DENSITY of the metals, which has little or no correlation to atomic number.

Urban Roman's picture

But atoms of Pb take up a lot more space.

sullymandias's picture

The guy may well have done a density test first, and only drilled the hole when that turned out badly. That part might have been cut from the story. Just sayin'

Harbanger's picture

On a coin you can always use the traditional bite test but you may break a tooth on the tungsten.

Cult_of_Reason's picture

The remaining metal is not 999,9 gold neither.

The only way they could have done it is by re-melting and making a fake copy (not drilling the original bar).

e_goldstein's picture

That video's explanation made me laugh. 

I still can't for the life of me figure out how they did it. "Float" a bar of tungsten in melted gold in a steel ingot that is an exact replica of the PAMP mold, then melt and pour in more gold is my best guess. Polish and stamp.

Cult_of_Reason's picture

If they can make fake US military aircraft parts, they can make fake gold bars. There are probably thousands, if not millions, of such fake bars in the circulation.

A year-long probe found 1,800 cases of fake parts in US military aircraft, the Senate Armed Services Committee said. More than 70% of an estimated one million suspect parts were traced back to China.

"Rather than acknowledging the problem and moving aggressively to shut down counterfeiters, the Chinese government has tried to avoid scrutiny"


Harbanger's picture

I dont think they melted or stamped anything.  They probably sliced it in 1/2 then machined out the core of both halves of the original bar. The sides dont look ribbed so it's probably not hard to weld them back together..

e_goldstein's picture

There would be a visible weld left on the side of the bar. I don't see any evidence of a weld in any of the pictures.

Cult_of_Reason's picture


They melt gold, pour a little into a mold, drop a tungsten plate, pour more gold on top to cover the plate, make a bar, stamp it, polish it, and sell it to a sucker.


Tedster's picture

I agree. The bar looks.. cheesy. There's no way to hollow out a genuine bar? Somebody needs to find an example of an authentic bar and see how they compare.

Coins are nearly self-authenticating, it would be extraordinarily difficult to make a convincing fake that would pass all the standard (trivial) tests. It would have to be visually perfect, to include the reeding on edge. Tungsten is brittle, and is not able to be stamped like a coin?

If it were possible to make a perfect-looking coin, with a tungsten core, it would be the correct weight, and size - but - it would not, I suspect, have the characteristic ringing noise when flipped on a wooden bar.

Still, for peace of mind, I can recommend the Fisch fake coin detector

Not cheap, but foolproof and simple, well made, and if it detects a fake it will have paid for itself. May be handy not only when buying - when selling too - just the ticket if the prospective buyer is abit skittish. They even make one for Silver Dollars. No connection with the firm, just a satisfied customer.

Overfed's picture

Tungsten melts at nearly 6200 degrees, about three times the melting temperature of gold. No way your going to hollow out a gold bar and cast tungsten into it.

Herkimer Jerkimer's picture

This scares the batsnot out of me. Should I go and grab my Scotia Macotta wrapped in hard plastic bars and crack one open?


Who would do it? And what a scam to have pulled off, by the banks no less! We know their printing certificates like it's paper, SLV and GLD, don't we?


I'd like to see how this is done, make a fake like this. It looks pretty good.



Herkimer Jerkimer's picture

This scares the batsnot out of me. Should I go and grab my Scotia Macotta wrapped in hard plastic bars and crack one open?


Who would do it? And what a scam to have pulled off, by the banks no less! We know their printing certificates like it's paper, SLV and GLD, don't we?


I'd like to see how this is done, make a fake like this. It looks pretty good.



Bastiat's picture

Excellent point.  My bullshit meter advances to 2/3 on that.

FeralSerf's picture

The Fisch would not be able to detect a tungsten filled coin.  It measures weight and size, and therefor density, only.  Tungsten has almost the same density as gold.

Tedster's picture

true - but, it would be difficult to make a convincing fake (visually) that passes the density tests, AND rings like gold when struck, or flipped on a hard surface?

Does tungsten ring like gold/copper alloy when struck?

Urban Roman's picture

Almost certainly not.

Gold is one of the softest metals and tungsten is one of the hardest. If you were familiar with bars of a certain size/shape, I'd think you would immediately recognize the fake by its ring, or lack thereof.

Urban Redneck's picture

Fisch is a ripoff for the lazy-

 A single quality pocket reloading scale and calipers will work on any coin, unlike the Fisch

cranky-old-geezer's picture



Agreed, no way they can hollow out that bar slip a tungsten slug in and close it up with no trace of tampering.   Looks like maybe 1/16 inch thickness around the slug.  Nope, no way to reshape something that thin around a slug with no trace of tampering.

It was recast with the slug in it, which means it goes way further up the chain ...or down the rabbit hole... whichever view you prefer.

Overfed's picture

Another thing that identifies this as a false-flag story for me is the drill divet in the "tungsten". That shit's pretty hard, you'd need to be crankin' on a drill press pretty good for that.

e_goldstein's picture

Tungsten is really brittle. I think the reason that the slug isn't rectangular is because on their initial attempt at drilling, they cracked it with the drill press. In the 4th picture, you can see where the bit cracked and ran across the slug.

DosZap's picture

The only way they could have done it is by re-melting and making a fake copy (not drilling the original bar).


Heard of CNC Machining??,Easy,breezy.

The Tungsten rods is the easiest.

Drill out, insert T rods, add 999.9 in holes, and smooth out end.



DosZap's picture

The only way they could have done it is by re-melting and making a fake copy (not drilling the original bar).


Heard of CNC Machining??,Easy,breezy.

The Tungsten rods is the easiest.

Drill out, insert T rods, add 999.9 in holes, and smooth out end.



tony wilson's picture




reaction...fake report

solution....everyone feels safer with fake real paper yes.



Squid Vicious's picture

move along, just those nice folks next door again, as Mr. Irving might say

newengland's picture

Triple check. Excellent advice, Fight Club.

I have no sympathy for this whiner, nor his supplier. People who want something for cheap ... do cheat.

The buyer and supplier deserve each other.

Caveat emptor, Tylers.

WTFx10's picture

The BIS is headquartered in Switzerland.

The top of the fiat pyramid.

The headquarters of the World Banking syndicate.

Stealing is their business.

Raymond Reason's picture

...and business is good. 

Cosimo de Medici's picture

Just my luck to be stuck with a pile of tungsten just when the EPA is going to outlaw incandescent bulbs.

I've had it with PMs.  I'm sticking with those North Korean-made Franklin C-notes I get at my bank in Macau.

Bastiat's picture

Nice timing on this.  Bullshit meter at 1/3.

squexx's picture

Notice how the Satanic Tribe is on all sides of this story? "Hey Rabbi, watcha doin?!?"

Doomer's picture

Is it just me, or do the edges of the corners look odd, like they are severely worn?  Seems like there is always a visible tell on a fake, just like those fake bank e-mails with poor English.

lakecity55's picture

you are right....could be the lighting. It would be great if we could all see it for real before it was drilled.

Temporalist's picture

Ok you two lay off the scotch or put down the pipe or wipe the sleaze off your glasses.  The first pictures with the crinkled corner is because the bar is behind plastic, like the plastic clamshell case it came it, that has a dent.

mendolover's picture

It looked like a little steel candy bar!

geewhiz190's picture

stick with iphones-they're the real deal!

Caged Monkey's picture

The merchant didn't counterfeit that; someone else counterfeited that. - BO

BigDuke6's picture


fadl ibrahim bought it off Levi Goldsteinberger.

Very kosher.

Cabreado's picture

Bound to happen, feeds the turmoil, the-greedy-self-absorbed-idiot-humanoid-like creature who has now achieved critical mass -- that is our downfall.

This is All going in a direction of Humility and Interest in Being Human


everything else.

C'mon you Aliens... the time is ripe.

bob_dabolina's picture

Ultrasound your shit, jfc.

Gel your gold bar up like a pregnant woman and make sure it's the real deal.

What's this drilling bullshit?