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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Itgoestoeleven's picture

Crap! I have bought a lot of metal from them over the past 6 years. The hampster wheel is spinning hard right now.

Mae Kadoodie's picture

I just drilled my Eagles and there's a chocolate-y filled center...mmmm.....

casaananda's picture

Thankk God I bought all my gold several years ago when it was much cheaper. Used Apmex. They seem reputable. 

Caged Monkey's picture

Is that a scripted line from one of their infomercials?

lakecity55's picture

yeah, how many guys on ZH have ever visited their factory?

saints51's picture

hahahaha so fucking true!!!!!!!!!

DosZap's picture

Used Apmex. They seem reputable.


YES!, JPM is their Bank................................no shit.

I esp like their low prems...........not.

maddog7667's picture

oops, I guess I made an error the other day when I said 10oz bars do not have tungsten just the bigger 100+ oz bars you should worry about. I take it back.

razorthin's picture

This explains why incandescent bulbs were banned.  They were driving up the price of producing this "gold".

Pejorative Requiem's picture

Complicated process is an understatement for this forgery. The cabal that wants to devalue gold could just as easily devalue the USD the same way. Actually, one of the teories out there is that the collapse is happening at a snails pace due to the different interests of each cabal..... ie one wants gold devalued, another wants the USD devalued, etc. Either way, fakes aren't new...... Pawn shops regularly drill bars, and grocery stores magic marker your 20's for a reason.

thomasincincy's picture

yep. everywhere i believe. have personally seen 10's and 20's

Gringo Viejo's picture

Get used to it. More on the way...............................

Invested in GLD, SLV? Chump!

fuu's picture

Real Gold Bitchez!

GoodMorningMr.VanRumpoy...'s picture

Psy-op time?

It is a legit concern. Better figure out where it originated.

But if I remember correctly, with the right instruments there is a way to test for tungsten without having to drill a freaking hole in all your bullion.

DosZap's picture

But if I remember correctly, with the right instruments there is a way to test for tungsten without having to drill a freaking hole in all your bullion.

Using reputable dealers is the key, and coins of the realm.

Also, now that this appears to be likely a pandemic waiting to be found out, ALL DEALERS should invest in, and check all their inventories, before sales, and before purchased.

What is a TESTER worth to a multi billlion  a year $$$ dealer ?. Sub Chicken manure.


rodocostarica's picture

Buy only krugs, maples etc and simply check the dimensions and weights. Do your homework and evaluate the sellers. Those will be good. Not a bad idea maybe to pay a bit more for 1/10 or sovereigns at what .24 ounce accepted everywhere. Trading will be more easy with smaller sizes.. Here in CR we can do Plata too.

Of course if you have millions of fiat buy bars ,WTF

The shit has been thrown and who the hell knows how long it takes to arrive at the fan blades.

I am so glad I am out of USSR and encourage everyone who can (and I know many can not and understand that ) get the fuck out ASAP:

Those that cant buy more lead and Maybe I can come up to help (if you dont hang me up on a the lampost) and we take back the republic.

Long Live The good doctor Ron Paul,

Cheers from ZHr en Costa Rica




buzzsaw99's picture

bought a tungsten shmelter on ebay bitchez.

ForWhomTheTollBuilds's picture

Here is how this plays out for gold owners (only partial sarcasm intended):


Owners of physical gold suffer 10% loss in value since physical gold is often not real.

Owners of paper gold products receicve full spot price since paper is a claim on real gold.


You gotta admit in the world as we know it, things might be seen this way.

FeralSerf's picture

Are those "paper gold products" anything like a warehouse receipt?

farragut's picture

For what it's worth, in addition to weight, diameter & thickness, I have been checking the sound frequencies in my gold AE's--as an added fraud detection step. I got an app for my android phone called Speedy Spectrum Analyzer ($5) which measures the various frequencies of the coins. Simply turn on the app, twirl your gold AE on a hard surface (eg, marble countertop, concrete floor, etc), and look for the correct frequencies to display on your phone's screen. I've measured 24 gold AEs this way (ranging in dates from 1990 - 2008) and the frequencies are remarkably similar. There are 5-6 peaks around these frequencies: 4.7Hz, 8.3Hz, 10.6Hz, 17.6Hz, and 18.15Hz (all frequencies given here have plus/minus .1 or so). It's just another tool to use to verify accuracy.


ChanceIs's picture

I am undone.  That is remarkable - and useful technology.  I hope the developer makes more money on that than Angry Birds.  This could literally be the difference between life and death within the next two years.

Don't think my gold is real, just check it out on my Droid.  Better yet - check it out on your Droid.

This is like - liquidity - you know - somebody really doing God's work.  People will pay for liquidity.  Otherwise we have to get on your knees and b*&w the Bernank to buy your questionable coins like so many MBS.

Hi Ho Silver's picture

I use The Fisch.  Interesting concept with the soundwaves though.

seek's picture

Fisch actually wouldn't detect a "perfect" tungsten fake, since it works on pretty much the same principle as Archemedes.

I don't think it's a high risk, but even Fisch admits they wouldn't detect a tungsten or platinum fake.

Hi Ho Silver's picture

So Speedy Spectrum Analyzer it is!

erkme73's picture

How do you know your Fisch isn't fake?

TheSilverJournal's picture

The counterfiets are counterfeit and the real stuff's counterfeit. Gotta make sure it's not real and counterfeit.

EuroInhabitant's picture

"... but costs just over a dollar an ounce"


seek's picture

Just as a quick one-minute tutorial on scam avoidance, an Ultrasonic Thickness Guage (UTG) is a cheap hand-held sonar that can be used to spot fakes.

The UTG measures how long it takes a sound pulse to be reflected from the back of an object. You can do two things with that -- if you know the speed of sound in the material you're measuring, you can compute the thickness. If you know the thickness, you can compute the speed of sound in the material.

With a known quantity like a US Eagle, you'll know both. You can put the speed of sound of the gold alloy into the UTG, put the UTG sensor on the coin, and measure the thickness, and it should be the exact same thickness of an eagle. Other materials, like tungsten, while weighing almost the same as gold, have radically different speeds for sound transmission, and will throw the reading way out of what.

UTGs are not at all expensive, and the prices have been plunging. On Amazon.com right now you can get a UTG for about $160, or less than 10% the price of a single 1oz Eagle. If you know the specs on a known-good gold coin, it's almost impossible for a fake to get by you, especially for smaller objects like coins.

bob_dabolina's picture


Did this Ibrahim Fadl 'reputable' gold dealer really take a 3/4" drill bit to $100,000 in gold bars?

I wonder if he still uses wooden wheels on his horse and buggy or if he's updated to rubber tires.

tmosley's picture

I would bet that he drilled after he had a bar or bars fail other tests, including this one.

bob_dabolina's picture

He should have tested them with ultrasound before purchasing them.

...if he was reputable

Vendetta's picture

Its QE for the gold market

Dr. Gonzo's picture

Actually it's much easier to counterfeit a $100 or $50 or $20  FRN and pass it successfully. Someone wants to fuck with the gold market cause you can't sell 100k in gold bars to a reputable dealer and not get traced back to the source. Barney friggin Fife could solve this crime. 

Temporalist's picture

That reminds me I was in a bar once and a girl, presumably someone the bartender knew, said to him "can you change this I think it's counterfeit" so he glanced at it for a split second then exchanged it without a thought.

Yen Cross's picture

Looks like one of those gold "chocolate filled" casino chips! Just doesn't melt when you put it in your mouth!

headless blogger's picture

Maybe it's best to buy the gold eagles; doesn't seem like you could drill into them and stuff them because of their size.

Also, could this be a ploy of some sort to get more people to buy paper gold and silver? It's a disturbing story if true.

BudFox2012's picture

Eventually even these tungsten bars will be worth more than the paper that bought them...

spanish inquisition's picture

Is it me or does that thing look factory fresh and unretouched?

FranSix's picture

Isn't that Swiss gold refiner the one that launders gold from illegal South African mining operations?

FeralSerf's picture

No, they're the refiner that was responsible for laundering some of the Yamashita-Black Eagle Trust gold.

Dr. Gonzo's picture

Bernake told his masters he would only do QE 3 if they promised him to debauch the physical gold market as much as he debauched the fiat currency. Side bar: A few years ago I melted down a credit suisse bar and it was clean. I only buy one ounce maples mostly though these days. I trust the Canucks. 

honestann's picture

Unfortunately, that's backward logic - unless you physically and personally receive your maples from the factory that makes them, which I don't believe is possible/offered.

Your logic is backwards because any false-flag corporation or government who makes fake maples is not trust worthy --- and they're the people who made your fake maples, not the canucks.

Tedster's picture

There is a well known (well, to metal heads anyway) photograph of a 100 oz silver bar that was drilled and filled with lead and the end smoothed over. It apprently fooled someone, but it's doubtful the weight was right, and I doubt that it would pass the "ring" test. No way...

One interesting property of silver is its thermal conductivity - place an ice cube on your bar and watch how fast it melts! Another test is take a strong (neodymium) magnet, and, with the bar at an angle, let the magnet slide down the surface. Silver is "diamagnetic" (whatever the hell that is) and the magnet will move down the surface, but in slow motion.

Anyway, that 10 ounce bar looked fake to begin with, to my eyes. Anyone got a genuine bar to compare? Fonts, color, shape, etc.

CCanuck's picture

Box full at the bottom of the lake.

Rented a bad Canoe last trip.


Van Halen's picture

Well, now that the SS, er, Secret Service is on it, I feel better. And I am doubly secure in the knowledge that the DOJ may even get involved. I wonder what White House advisors Beyonce and Jay Z think of this?

ltsgt1's picture

I heard Jay Z advised Obama to get gold teeth for his daughters and Mitchelle.

knukles's picture


FeralSerf's picture

Never let a crisis go to waste!  The midnight oil is burning.

lakecity55's picture

the japs just sold thousands of these fakes to china; the argumrent over the islands is a smokescreen!