Skip to comments.Counterfeit Aussie gold sold in China
Posted on 10/24/2012 8:37:27 AM PDT by DeaconBenjamin
An Australian mint has called in the Federal Police after being shown evidence by Seven News that its gold bars are being counterfeited.
The investigation uncovered Chinese 'forgery factories' that will churn out fake bullion and even Australian coins, for a fraction of their face value.
Just one of the bars should be worth more than $1700.
"There are some poor people out there who have gone and bought these products thinking they've got a bargain and have actually been ripped off," Ron Currie from the Perth Mint said.
At Wenzhou, in China's south east, a suspicious discovery is made after taking a tour of one factory that makes medals and badges - there are thousands of samples.
On the front is stamped "Perth Mint Australia", on the back are kangaroos - a close copy of the actual design used by the mint.
The worker doesnt hold back when quizzed about the procedure.
"First we did the silver plating, then the gold plating," he said.
What should be valued at $510,000, is actually counterfeited gold bars that Seven News paid $300 for (300 pieces at $1 each).
Mr Currie says while the number reaching Australia is relatively small, the damage can be significant - but there are tell-tale signs.
"If it looks like a deal that's too good to refuse - you should refuse it. Secondly the quality - the quality is nowhere near as good as the real product," he said.
"We'll of course follow it through and take it up with the Australian Federal Police.
"The Australian Federal police are very helpful and are very interested in stopping counterfeits or copies coming into Australia."
The fake gold Seven News purchased was destroyed after the exclusive investigation was completed.
(Excerpt) Read more at au.news.yahoo.com ...
These are presumably like the novelty fakes yo can buy on eBay. Made from brass, and gold plated, and easily detectable as being underweight or oversize (or both).
If someone were able to produce a credible tungsten coin, then I’d take notice.
If someone were able to produce a credible tungsten coin, then Id take notice
Yeah. It’s been on my radar for years. It’s why I ONLY do junk silver.
The best bet is the Canadian method of making ultra pure gold coins, so pure that they can have a holographic pattern etched on them. A gold content of .9999 millesimal fineness (24 carats), with some special issues .99999 fine.
Then something I would highly recommend is for each bar to be sealed in an encrypted security container that could only be opened with an authentication code provided by the mint, in a certified location. If it was otherwise opened, the gold would no longer be certified until assayed.
I note that there has NEVER been a credible fake gold coin (including these coined small bars) of proper size and weight. A $10 scale and $20 calipers can guarantee you safe from gold coin fakes.
The tungsten fakes are large bars, not coins with highly detailed sculptural patterns.
“Although not extremely common, there have been counterfeit gold bullion coins that were detected after these fakes had been purchased and sold, sometimes a number of times. Even experienced precious metal dealers may be fooled by high quality fake gold coins, if these are an expert forgery.”
Perhaps the precious metal producers should create a new market:
gold covered tungsten bars.
This company’s material is virtually impossible to distinguish from real gold without drilling.
Send them a coin and they will duplicate it, as a “commemorative” or VIP gift, or to use as a trade-show exhibit.
And as they say in their website:
“Notice: Chinatungsten Online (Xiamen) Manu.&Sales Corp. is a very professional and serious company, specializing in manufacturing and selling gold-plated tungsten alloy coin for more than two decades. Our gold-plated tungsten alloy coin is only for souvenir and decoration purpose. Here we declare: Please do not use our gold-plated tungsten alloy coin for any illegal purpose.”
Don’t Do It!!!
Just because a few websites say they can make tungsten coins, doesn’t mean it has ever happened, or is possible.
And the “how to detect” site doesn’t tell how to detect the mythical tungsten coins, anyway.
Maybe someone can tell me how to imprint a detailed eagle image on a disc of tungsten. (You can’t, it’s hard and brittle, and would shatter or destory the tool).
My guess would be that the tungsten interior is just a slug. Just Google “gold plated tungsten”, and there are lots of ads for high quality plating.
Fake Gold Coins Flood the Markets
With precious metals prices poised to be the biggest price explosion in centuries, fake gold and silver products are becoming a booming industry say Global Piracy & Counterfeiting Consultants (GP&CC).
How Chinese Counterfeit Coins are Traded
My guess would be that the tungsten interior is just a slug. Just Google gold plated tungsten, and there are lots of ads for high quality plating.
Basically, there is no evidence that it has EVER been done, aside from a few sites claiming they can maybe do the impossible, or that one should watch for it.
I don’t see any technical problem in doing so, and the video noted not just how such coins are being passed, but how they are being traded in the US right now.
And I’ve made no mention of brass at all. Where did that come from?
Let me be clear: There is no technical way to form tungsten into detailed sculptural shapes. It is machined into geometric shapes.
If you weight a brass (or silver) coin with a tungsten slug, you might use that malleable brass to for the image, but that is a challenge, and would be detectably underweight or oversized.
Just because there are unverified internet claims doesn’t make the (currently) impossible possible.
For non-destructive testing, you can use ultrasonic transducers with a sufficiently high frequency and fast gate time. The speed of sound is 3240M/sec for gold and 4620M/sec for tungsten. IF it is only a coin you are testing though, and thus thin, you will have to be very precise to use this method. For gold bars - even small ones - this would do the trick.
If you aren’t worried about mechanical issues, tungsten is VERY stiff and hard. It is used for high-precision boring bars in turning work for this reason., Gold is neither stiff nor hard, as we all know. Thus drilling, tapping with a hammer, loading in cantilever with a press to check for deformation/bending, could all do the trick.
Of course this does mean you would end up with a dented or bent coin or bar.
Finally, as far as getting a precise imprint on a tungsten blank, it is true that you cannot “coin” tungsten. But it also all depends on what length you are willing to go to. You can EDM tunsgten with VERY high precision and then polish it, then gold clad and strike/press the final impression.
Also, you can infiltrate tungsten powder with molten gold. This can be cast in a precision graphite mold, then clad with pure gold and coined.
Not easy - not a garage-shop operation - but actually no big deal at all if you have the necessary manufacturing technology.
I happen to have worked with tungsten powders and infiltration since 1979, and with solid tungsten metal for its stiffness properties. I have also worked with both wire and plunge EDM, diamond polishing (including polishing diamond itself), ultrasonics and other NDT methods. I have set up three test labs in the last 11 years, and set up two manufacturing plants in my career.
Making “stuff” out of gold and tungsten can be done as long as you won’t be worried about getting in trouble with the authorities.
And in China, the authorities will likely also be shareholders and investors. So no problemo...
I have never suggested that machining tungsten was the method used, and one of the links posted said something to the effect of an 80% tungsten slug covered with 20% real gold. The only impression made, pretty obviously I think, would be in the 1/5th of the coin, its gold surface, that would be its easy to manipulate. The underlying tungsten would be unchanged.