Fake Tungsten Gold Found
Source: GoldSeek, Trace Mayer (3/2/10)
"There is plenty of profit motive for fraudulent gold bars that are stuffed with tungsten."
Gold has a density of 19.30 grams per cubic centimeter (GPCC) at room temperature and a liquid density at the melting point of 1,947.5°F of 17.31 GPCC. Tungsten has a density of 19.25 GPCC at room temperature and a liquid density of 17.6 GPCC at the melting point of 6,192°F.
But despite being used for jewelry and having similar densities, gold (AU 79) and tungsten (W 74) are not the same element. But a 400oz. bar with 1/16" gold surrounding a tungsten slug would cost about $50,000 to make and would likely pass sound, feeling, chemical and weight tests along with an x-ray fluorescence scan. On the other hand, the higher profit margin $500 bar using small tungsten slugs with lead alloy would still pass a sound and feeling test but would be slightly underweight, and it is likely that neither a chemical test nor a x-ray fluorescence test would be passed because the gold coating would not be thick enough.
How to Detect a Fake Tungsten Gold Bar
Detecting a high-quality fake tungsten gold bar would be extremely difficult. It would likely require significant and material alterations to the bar being tested and this would negatively affect the marketability if its hallmark veracity were vindicated.
This is likely a reason why pg. 11 of the GLD prospectus states "Neither the Trustee nor the Custodian independently confirms the fineness of the gold allocated to the Trust in connection with the creation of a Basket [issuances]."
Nevertheless, the truly determined and experienced can ferret out whether there is tungsten contained in their gold bars. In fact, some already have found tungsten in bars that purport to be gold and this is how.
There is plenty of profit motive for fraudulent gold bars that are stuffed with tungsten. Imagine the pandemonium if the central banks not only had less than half the gold they claim but if, of the gold they have, the majority of it is filled with tungsten. Tungsten-filled gold bars being ferreted out in Germany is disturbing.