Tungsten Salted Gold - Investment scam of the century???

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Cloudfire
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Re: Tungsten Salted Gold - Investment scam of the century???

rapidtrends wrote:

Cloud, actually COMEX settles in 100 ounce bars and LBMA bars are approx 400 troy oz, but your comments re measuring density hold water with me (no pun)

400 oz (approx) good delivery bar

This is a picture of an LBMA "Good Delivery Bar" of approx 400 oz. taken at a bailment my firm just completed earlier this year.

You may notice the dings and dents in the bar that occur from NORMAL HANDLING...they are heavy and kind of slippery so I can imagine they get dropped in handling (I have not dropped one yet knock on wood).

Point being, tungsten has the highest tensile strength of all metals, if it got dropped or dented, wouldnt the layer of gold come off to reveal the tungsten underneath?

Also, wouldnt it become obvious after handling 4800 of these alleged tungsten bars and dropping / denting at least a couple of them what they were?

Not including any assaying required in random samples of such large batches?

Well, RT, I wouldn't know a gold bar from the corner tavern, but this doesn't seem like a very floatable scam, to me . . .

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Re: Hold on a minute . . .

Cloudfire wrote:

Cloudfire wrote:

Now, hold on a minute, there.  If I get this straight, what we're worried about is that the gold bouillon in various vaults that back the paper in the Comex may be filled with Tungsten . . . Have I got that much right?

Well, here's the thing . . . If I were in the store-gold-and-sell-paper business, I'd be very sure that I'm buying gold, right?  I'd probably make it a point to test a few samples of each shipment, right? 

Back in the day when I worked as a lab tech for Baxter, we used to test all of the raw materials that came in for purity.  Wouldn't the gold dealers do so, too?

It would be relatively simple.  The volume of a gold bar can be determined by water displacement.  The weight and volume of the bar will give you the density.   Gold has an approximate atomic weight of 197.  Tungsten has an atomic weight of 184.  The difference between the two will show up in the density of the finished bar. 

This is chemistry 101 . . . Are we to worry that people who do this on a global scale can't figure this out, and wouldn't take these easy precautions?

Is there something I'm missing here?

But, now that I think of it . . . You just keep spreading that rumor, Erik . . . I'll buy the rumor, and sell the news when independent lab testing shows that it's all pure gold, after all.  Money mouth  Wink

Yes, there is something you're missing.  Specific gravity or density is different from atomic weight.  The specific density of tungsten is 19.25 gm/cc while the specific density of gold is 19.30 gm/cc ... very difficult to tell apart with Archimedean methodology.

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Re: Tungsten Salted Gold - Investment scam of the century???

Yes:

Density of gold = 19.32g/cc @ 300K

Density of tungsten = 19.35g/cc @ 300k

The fake gold from China page mentions "tungsten alloy for gold substitution" - though of course they don't state what its specific composition might be - but given that the ratio of the densities is .998 and gold bars are typically .99 pure a direct substitution would pass your test.

Considerable ingenuity is often applied to problems the solution of which might bring high financial return from small investment.

As I mentioned previously, it seems to me that the greatest utility of such fakes would be substitution in a very large holding within which comprehensive testing would be prohibitively expensive and the fakes would be undetectable during an inventory by count or weight.

An insider's ploy to substitute in a dead storage holding situation might be rather attractive. (this is not an evaluation of the current news item under discussion - I judge that to be implausible as reported... but not unimaginable...)

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Re: Tungsten Salted Gold - Investment scam of the century???

I hope I'm remembering this correctly, but atomic weight isn't the only factor that determines the density of a solid comprised of an element.  Think of it in terms of how those atoms are assembled into their solid forms.... different elements may come together in different ways to form as solids.  And in this case the balance of structure and atomic properties in the two elements just happen to come to very similar end results as far as density of the two solids are concerned.  So supposedly the water displacement density test would see negligible difference between a bar of gold-plated tungsten and a bar of gold. 

Of course there's other methods available that would detect the difference, and like you I think it's reasonable to assume most if not all dealers would test the quality of inventory coming in on a regular basis using more in-depth testing.  I can't see such a scheme working on anything but a limited scale and even then not for very long.  Unless perhaps a government just wanted to keep "fake" inventory on hand to exaggerate it's gold holdings or hide back-door sales or transfer of its real gold, but even then I figure there have to be easier ways to conceal such shennanigans.  Doing some "creative accounting" on paper would be much simpler than arranging the production of gold-plated tungsten bars (all the while hoping all parties involved keep their mouths shut!).

- Nickbert

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Re: Tungsten Salted Gold - Investment scam of the century???

Fantastic pic RT :)  pretty near a half million greenback notes in those hands. As for the dents and handling marks - I'm sure those are not beyond the ability of a clever faker to account for.

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Re: Hold on a minute . . .

ao wrote:

Cloudfire wrote:

Cloudfire wrote:

Now, hold on a minute, there.  If I get this straight, what we're worried about is that the gold bouillon in various vaults that back the paper in the Comex may be filled with Tungsten . . . Have I got that much right?

Well, here's the thing . . . If I were in the store-gold-and-sell-paper business, I'd be very sure that I'm buying gold, right?  I'd probably make it a point to test a few samples of each shipment, right? 

Back in the day when I worked as a lab tech for Baxter, we used to test all of the raw materials that came in for purity.  Wouldn't the gold dealers do so, too?

It would be relatively simple.  The volume of a gold bar can be determined by water displacement.  The weight and volume of the bar will give you the density.   Gold has an approximate atomic weight of 197.  Tungsten has an atomic weight of 184.  The difference between the two will show up in the density of the finished bar. 

This is chemistry 101 . . . Are we to worry that people who do this on a global scale can't figure this out, and wouldn't take these easy precautions?

Is there something I'm missing here?

But, now that I think of it . . . You just keep spreading that rumor, Erik . . . I'll buy the rumor, and sell the news when independent lab testing shows that it's all pure gold, after all.  Money mouth  Wink

Yes, there is something you're missing.  Specific gravity or density is different from atomic weight.  The specific density of tungsten is 19.25 gm/cc while the specific density of gold is 19.30 gm/cc ... very difficult to tell apart with Archimedean methodology.

Thanks, AO . . . I thought it sounded too simple . . . But still, it's hard to believe that they're not able to analyze samples of each shipment adequately.

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Re: Tungsten Salted Gold - Investment scam of the century???

Thanks, guys . . . I guess that's why there were so many question marks in my post . . . It seemed so simple . . . I thought I must be missing something . . .

Still, there's so much money at stake, I'm sure they could hire much smarter folks than myself to figure out a way to test batches . . .

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Re: Tungsten Salted Gold - Investment scam of the century???

I cant speak for a vault taking delivery of a few thousands bars on behalf of a central bank.

What I can say is that ours comes direct from an LBMA certified refinery to the vault and the only people who touch it are LBMA accredited security companies, our auditor, and us, so we are pretty clear on the contents.

I know for a fact that our refinery tests incoming gold by actually drilling it and then chemical analysis.

This is a picture of a sample with the drill holes in it:

Drill Sample

I would be highly surprised to learn that the custodians of incoming metal bars of that kind of quantity from another vault didnt require similar testing.

Again, which leads me back to the question I asked in my article, did these bars come an LBMA certified refinery? And if they did, why havent I heard of this as there is no doubt in my mind that refinery would be stripped of its LBMA credential if it were true.

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Re: Tungsten Salted Gold - Investment scam of the century???

Don't know if this has been posted yet....didn't see it.

Zinc Dimes, Tungsten Gold & Lost Respect....Jim Willie

http://www.24hgold.com/english/news-gold-silver-zinc-dimes-tungsten-gold...

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Re: Tungsten Salted Gold - Investment scam of the century???

LogansRun wrote:

Don't know if this has been posted yet....didn't see it.

Zinc Dimes, Tungsten Gold & Lost Respect....Jim Willie

http://www.24hgold.com/english/news-gold-silver-zinc-dimes-tungsten-gold...

C'mon, LR . . . a bit of a synopsis, please . . .

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Re: Tungsten Salted Gold - Investment scam of the century???

Here's an article that discusses Kirby's clain of tungsten-filled gold bars: "The Rumour About London Good Delivery Gold Bars That Are Allegedly Filled With Tungsten" , at  http://www.prisonplanet.com/the-rumor-about-london-good-delivery-gold-bars-that-are-allegedly-filled-with-tungsten.html .  It includes a letter from Adrian Ash at BullionVault.com who discusses how they test their gold.  There's an interesting discussion about the "Good Bar Delivery Circuit" as well.  I don't know if I'd have to same level of faith in the integrity of all members of the circuit that Ash seems too, though.

"Dear Kevin,

Thank you for your email, which Paul’s asked me to answer.

As you may know, we send independent assayers into the vaults every year to check all the gold bars, and they send their report to our auditors who publish it – on their website – with the full financial audit.

To read the Assayer’s Report
http://www.albertgoodman.co.uk/bullionvault/

Last year, the assayers were 100% satisfied with every bar. They are now due to return to the vaults later this month, coinciding with our 2009 financial audit. Meanwhile, we only ever accept bars from accredited vaults and refiners, and anyone who delivered us a gold bar which later turned out to be bad would be liable for the loss.

On top of that, we guarantee every gram of BullionVault gold ourselves:
http://bullionvault.com/help/terms_and_conditions.html#Warranted%20gold%20content

With regards to the alleged tungsten fraud, such fakes could perhaps circulate outside the Good Delivery circuit. But it’s unlikely that any such metal could ever make it into accredited storage.

Accredited custodians only take in bars from other accredited vaults, and metal only enters the system from accredited refiners. Even when they bear the correct bar stamps, large gold bars are not usually accepted from people outside the Good Delivery circuit, which is why taking a Good Delivery bar into private possession seriously dents its value. Any potential buyer, lacking the accredited storage history which ensures integrity, would rather deal accredited metal from an accredited source. It’s this warranty — that delivery is good — which makes the professional wholesale market cost-efficient and liquid.

You can learn more about Good Delivery at the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA)’s website. You’ll note just how exacting the criteria for refining and assaying are:
http://www.lbma.org.uk/delivery

The Physical Committee’s detailed work on weighing scales is also worth reviewing. Because at these tolerances, the difference in density between gold and tungsten would show in a 400-ounce bar. Their very different melting points (1064°C for gold, 3422°C for tungsten) also make the alleged fakes unlikely, as do their physical states when cooled (gold is soft, tungsten brittle). Following back along the chain of integrity – the formal history of who held the bars, when, and in which approved facility – would ultimately lead to the producing refiner, and no amount of “tungsten” fakes would be worth the law suits, let alone the loss of LBMA accreditation...."

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Re: Tungsten Salted Gold - Investment scam of the century???

Sorry C1, was running short on timeEmbarassed

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Re: Tungsten Salted Gold - Investment scam of the century???

Here you go C1Wink:

The initial discovery was something like four gold bars, which the Hong Kong bankers drilled invasively to test the contents. Reminds me of drilling the earth and measuring how many grams of gold per tonne. The HK bankers hoped to have 99% gold yield in their drill program for the resident bars. They found something like 1% instead and 99% tungsten. By the way, tungsten sells for less than $70 per ton, which makes its swaps for gold to be 60x more profitable than silver bar swaps. Another handy usage for the Gold/Silver ratio in calculations. The hunt was on. Now not a single assayer on the planet is available, as all are tied up. They have been commissioned to test the gold bars shipped from the United States of Fraudulent Banker America in their own bullion vaults.

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Re: Tungsten Salted Gold - Investment scam of the century???

The real question is who is spreading these stories and why.  Are they being spread to make people leery of the gold ETFs?  Is is a cover story to be used when the GLD price suppression scheme implodes?  The "tracking error" in GLD's price may actually be a sign of stress in their derivative trading strategy.

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Re: Tungsten Salted Gold - Investment scam of the century???

Glad to see this forum is applying some scepticism to this story, unlike others where it is all "wow" and "this is the end of the world".

These points have been made earlier but are worth repeating : Density is nothing to do with Atomic Weight. Density(Gold) = 19.30 g/cm³, density(Tungsten) = 19.25 g/cm³.  So Tungsten is .9974 the density of gold and can EASILY be detected to be not .9999 by the method of weighing in air and then water.

Density = (weight in air) / ( ( weight in air ) - ( weight in water ) )

A 400 oz bar would be light by more than an ounce, while the weighing scales would be accurate to 0.1 g at least - over 300 times better.

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Re: Tungsten Salted Gold - Investment scam of the century???

Does anyone know if there has been any more developments on this story?

More conspiracy theory or is there something to it?

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Re: Tungsten Salted Gold - Investment scam of the century???

I've been doing searches regularly and haven't heard any new news.

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Re: Tungsten Salted Gold - Investment scam of the century???

I saw an article in Financial Sense - I think Rob Kirby (?)- that talked more about it a week or two ago.  No real new news though.  But he thought coins were safe (too much trouble for not enough payoff).  I'll see if I can find it again and if so will post the link here.

-pinecarr

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Re: Tungsten Salted Gold - Investment scam of the century???

Pinecarr

that was exactly my concern.  Most of this on the website are probably not wealthy enough to own bars, but what about the bullion coins?  your comment is reassuring.

Brian

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Re: Tungsten Salted Gold - Investment scam of the century???

Hi Bluestone-

  I found the article I was referring too.  It wasn't Rob Kirby as I'd thought.  It was a guest article submitted by Casey Research on Zerohedge about a week ago, at  http://www.zerohedge.com/article/guest-post-counterfeit-gold .   Here's an excerpt:

Quote:

Predictably enough, counterfeiting concerns eventually hit the Internet. About a year ago, the blogosphere bloomed with doomsday warnings after the publication of a series of articles in Coin World, dealing with the subject of coin counterfeiting in China, where it’s quasi-legal. The Web was abuzz with the worries of coin holders and eBay shoppers, as well as the pontifications of pundits about the coming flood of knockoffs from the far East.

Now that didn’t seem right to us. We’ve been at this a goodly while, and we’ve never heard of anyone being slipped a fake Eagle or Maple Leaf. Just to be on the safe side, though, we checked with a dealer of 30 years’ experience and got the same answer. Nope. Only seen a couple over the past three decades.

The thing is, it’s really impractical. Any counterfeit bullion coin would have to be gold in order to pass. If it were pure, then what would be the point? And if the counterfeiter skimped on the gold content, the coin’s weight would be a dead giveaway. The only alternative would be to gold-plate a coin made out of some other metal. But again, getting the weight right while preserving the correct size would be a challenge. In the end, there’s just not enough of a profit margin to make it worthwhile.

The exception is rare coins. These can be made with the proper gold content, then artificially aged so that only an experienced numismatist could pick them out. Because of the premium they command, faux rare coins made with real gold could be highly profitable where a bullion coin would not.

This is one of the reasons (impartial grading is the other) why many collectors will only trade coins graded and slabbed by third-party specialists like Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) or Numismatic Guaranty Corp. (NGC). 

Ominously, though, some counterfeit coins are turning up inside phony slabs, and the graders are taking the threat seriously. Both the major services have warned about this, with NGC providing guidelines about how to spot fakes of their slabs here http://www.ngccoin.com/news/viewarticle.aspx?IDArticle=954 . The counterfeits all seem to be originating in China, so one prudent response would be not to trust rare coins offered for sale from that country, especially on eBay. 

Gold bars are a separate category. Fakes do show up in the market from time to time, and they’re hard to identify. Generally speaking, counterfeiters don’t bother with the smaller ones, which are stamped, numbered, and sealed. They concentrate on 1-kilogram or larger sizes. These are poured, rather than stamped, and can be easily adulterated or even hollowed out and filled with some other, cheaper metal.

Yeah, that bit about coinds being hard to counterfeit put my mind more at ease as well!

-pinecarr

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back in the news again

Apparently, a one-kilo bar of gold was again found "salted" with tungsten.

Now, with the bulk of popular physical gold held in top secret, private warehouses around the world, where it allegedly backs the balance sheets of the world's central banks, yet nobody can confirm its existence, nor audit the actual gold content, it is understandable why increasingly more are wondering: just how much gold is there? And alongside that - while gold, (or is it GLD?), can be rehypothecated, can one do the same with tungsten?

Not that I own any gold: I put my money into more sustainable things like a garden, since you cannot eat gold. I am aassuming that you cannot eat tungsten, either. And why do they use the euphemism "salted? " Peanut are salted,  Pretzels are salted. As well to say these are gold Twinkies, with a creamy tungsten filling.

At least you can eat Twinkies.

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Twinkie Gold

Dibs on the descriptive phrase "Twinkie Gold."  Remember, folks, you saw it here first.

Oh, and do you know why the tungsten filling is so creamy? It's churned.

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What if it's not a scam?

What if it's not a scam.

What do you know about Tungsten?

Really only mined in South Korea, a country difficult to access
Highest melting point
Extremely dense
Used as armor piercing bullets

Tungsten is more valuable to the United States government, then Gold

Maybe its not a scam

Maybe it's the dirty little secret no one wants you to know

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