GERMANY LATEST VICTIM OF PHONY GOLD BAR SCAM
By Pat Shannan
Amid international accusations that U.S. officials in the Clinton administration replaced gold in Fort Knox with phony, mostly tungsten bars that were later shipped to China and other places yet unknown, a German refinery has now discovered that it has received a bogus “gold” bar as well.
The video proof was shown on the German television station ProSieben that ran the news story covering W.C. Heraeus in Hanau, Germany, the world’s largest privately owned refinery.
In the story, Wilfried Horner, head of the gold foundry, shows a 500-gram bar (16.0755 troy ounces) received from an unidentified bank. The bar had the right physical dimensions to be an authentic gold bar, but one of the Heraeus employees suspected something.
After the bar was cut in half, the TV audience could plainly see that the dark insides were tungsten, with only a coating of gold on the outside.
While the story never aired on American TV, it is available on the Internet.
Last fall, Rob Kirby of Kirby Analytics in Toronto reported that China’s central bank had discovered nearly 6,000 400-ounce gold-plated tungsten bars among those it had recently received from bonded warehouses.
It was later learned that at least four counterfeit bars at other locations were found and that all had come from sources within the United States, including Fort Knox, according to the Chinese investigators.
As suspicions grow about counterfeit bars among those held in bonded warehouses for delivery against either COMEX or London Bullion Market Association contracts or shares of exchange-traded funds, investors could panic. It is believed this could be the reason for the blackout on news coverage in the United States on this story except for AFP.
Several metals have similar densities to gold. However, using these metals to produce fake gold is unprofitable due to their high cost. There are two metals that are suitable, from both a density and economic perspective, for manufacturing fake gold—uranium and tungsten.
These metals aren’t without their negatives. Uranium can be radioactive. Tungsten is extremely brittle—the exact opposite of
gold. Additionally, tungsten has the highest known melting point of any non-alloyed metal at 3,422 degrees Celsius (6,192 F),making it difficult to work with. However, it appears that at least one high-temperature furnace is producing gilded tungsten products.
Gilded steel is a unconvincing form of fake gold. A steel bar identical in size to the standard 400-troy ounce gold bars commonly used in bank-to-bank trades would weigh only 162.5 troy ounces (about 60 percent lighter) and would be easily identifiable as counterfeit.
Gold’s unmistakable density, along with its scarcity, durability, and other qualities, made it attractive to be used as money for our nation’s founders, and its theft through Federal Reserve fakery over the past century has provoked these current problems of “banker control” via paper notes and credit over what was designed to be the actual money.
Thus far, the commodity exchanges have disclaimed any responsibility for the purity of the gold bars they are delivering against contracts. However, as stories of gold-plated tungsten bars in bonded warehouses continue to appear, brokers say we can expect the commodity exchanges to be forced—not legally, but to meet competition—to modify their business practices to provide a guaranty of purity for any bars they deliver.
To maximize safety, it is advisable to trade now only for only smaller size coins and ingots, such as one ounce of gold content or less. One-tenth and quarter-ounce pieces will be desirable and usable during a hyperinflation or a depression. Individuals should deal only with companies that have a lengthy track record and in-house staff expertise. Trustworthy dealers have told us that if you have purchased coins and ingots from unknown sources, you may want have them checked out by an experienced independent third party, because even these can be counterfeited, but not nearly as likely.
The respected dealers with decades of integrity in their past tell us that these problems have been created by “big-time” international swindlers, not to mention governments, counterfeiting multi-ounce bars and should have no effect on the confidence of the individual investor who is exchanging his Federal Reserve note paper for gold coins.
For all of the reasons above, it would be advisable to take physical possession of the smaller sizes of gold coins and bars now, and know that what you own is genuine, solid gold.
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(Issue # 13, March 29, 2010)