Tungsten Filled Kilobar Surfaces in the UK

Tungsten Filled Kilobar Surfaces in the UK

News about a gold bar with tungsten inserts reached internet chat forums after a Metalor 1 kilo gold bar of 99.98% purity with an original certificate was sold to a dealer in the UK.  Metalor are a leading buyer of unrefined gold and silver from miners and a supplier of refined investment products with headquarters in Zurich.

The gold kilobar was reported to have passed handheld XRF examination but found to be 2 grams underweight, which raised suspicions leading to destruction of the bar and the discovery of 5 tungsten rods inside. Had the counterfeiter been more particular to get the exact weight then the bar would now be in the vault of an innocent investor. However, verification with an ultrasonic meter could have detected the tungsten filled bar before the purchase was made.

After the fake was discovered in the UK, ABC Bullion dealer in Australia was notified by a British refiner to be aware of fakes.  ABC Bullion posted the following notice online leading to commentary by concerned investors regarding fake gold bars.

“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.

This is very worrying and reinforces the lengths that people are willing to go to profit from the current high metal prices. Please be careful.”

The online blogs were responded to by ABC Bullion:

“Hi all, thanks for your discussion on my recent post. The warning email and pics were sent to ABC Bullion from MKS (PAMP refinery www.mks.ch). Not sure if the email was sent to other Australian dealers as ABC Bullion is the sole licensed importer of PAMP for Au, NZ.

As per the comments above 2g is a huge difference. As a demonstration to myself I weight two 1kg ABC Bullion brand gold bars that had just arrived from the refinery last Friday and 1 weighed 1000.01g the other 1000.02g.

Whilst we all would like to draw links (myself included) to grand schemes of high finance I suspect the bar in question was the product of a criminal gang.”