The Great Gold Bar Hoax (Hoax?) [Updated]

This story is going viral fast: SilverDoctors: Tungsten Filled 1 kilo Gold Bar Discovered in UK.

Australian Bullion Dealer ABC Bullion has contacted SD to advise that one of its suppliers has provided them photographic evidence of a tungsten filled 1 kilo gold bar discovered this week. The bar passed a hand-held xrf scan which showed 99.98% pure AU. The tungsten was only discovered when the bar was physically cut in half.

After numerous reports of 400oz tungsten filled bars being discovered in Hong Kong, this is the first documented and verified report with photographic evidence that has been made public.

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.

I’ve already seen links to it on blogs I read, and I bet there will be lots more.

It has all the earmarks of the perfect Internet fact(oid): slightly technical information, hard to verify, significant implications if true (how many countries may discover they have much less gold than they thought?), and nothing about it in the mainstream media (yet). Not to mention having the possibility to move markets — although whether in the short term gold prices go up on the theory that supplies are lower than believed, or down due to fear of a Gresham’s Law effect where we don’t know which bars are actually pure gold, is not clear to me.

If it’s true, it’s the Great Gold Bar Hoax. And if it’s not true, or not widespread, it’s the Great Gold Bar Hoax Hoax.

[Updated to reinsert text that inexplicably did not get into original.]

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