Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Beware of fake gold bullion

With the decade-long surge in gold prices, it's inevitable that gold counterfeits are proliferating. Some conspiracy theorists believe even official central bank gold inventories include tungsten, which has the same density as gold, and therefore harder to detect when embedded inside gold bullion bars.

Since the largest central bank of all--the Federal Reserve Bank, has not had an independent audit since 1953, who knows how much gold resides in Ft. Knox and the official US government mints. Add to the list of suspicious gold inventories at the COMEX and LBMA vaults, as well as the gold ETF's, which are allegedly backed by physical gold.

There is a growing disconnect between the countervailing forces for pricing: paper gold contracts are constantly sold short by the bullion banks in futures exchanges, while demand for physical demand remains high, propping up prices. Something has to give, and it will eventually.

Meanwhile, watch this video on how tungsten-filled gold bullion is detected.


According to jsmineset.com:
BullionAnalysis LLC has developed a technological application that is unique to the precious metals market, for the purpose of determining if your bullion has been counterfeited by including tungsten alloy. This technology is completely safe and non-destructive to the precious metal, and will be effective on everything from fractional ounce coins all the way up to the full size 100, 400 and 1,000 ounce COMEX bars of gold and silver.

Their technological application has been developed in response to the growing threat to the bullion community from tungsten/lead alloy adulteration. Tungsten (19.25 g/cm3 density) has a density nearly identical to gold (19.32 g/cm3 density), and lead (11.35 g/cm3) will have a density very close to pure silver (10.45 g/cm3). Lead can also be alloyed with lighter elements to match even closer the density of silver. The threat arises from unscrupulous individuals and possibly institutions that have been removing precious metal from the center of bullion bars and replacing it with tungsten or lead alloy. Modern computer-aided machine tools are then used to seamlessly re-smooth the surface of the bullion product to hide any trace of the theft that has just happened.

Traditionally, the use of a density calculation (mass divided by volume) has been the solution to verify the assay purity of bullion. Unfortunately the insidious use of tungsten and other alloys that match the densities of gold and silver make this test completely useless for this type of problem.

Their new detection technologies are unique to the bullion market. They can detect tungsten/lead and other impurities and cavities that are hidden at any depth inside the bullion product and it is 100% completely non-destructive and safe.

In addition, they are able to produce tamper-resistant holographic-sealed assay certificates with the analysis results for the bullion item, that bear a digital image of the bullion product and show the serial number and hallmark if present. These tamper-resistant assay certificates could then trade with the bullion product and give both buyers and sellers a sense of real security.

At the present time they are focusing their efforts on delivering this service to depositories and institutions and plan to expand their services to cover retail gold and silver investors in the near future.

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