Jewelers See Increase in Fake Gold Circulation


"Authorities are seeing a surge in sophisticated counterfeit gold products."

News 10, Suzanna Phan

With the price of gold way up, lots of people are turning in their jewelry for cash.

However, more jewelers and pawn shops are seeing an interesting trend - fake gold.

People have tried to cash in on their gold jewelry; but they've discovered that it's fake.

California Loan and Jewelry said it's happening every day. Sharif Jewelers said it's happening two to three times a day in their store.

According to jewelers, people are buying the gold necklaces and chains after being approached in parking lots or on the street.

"They think they're getting a great deal. . .Because they want to make fast money, they'll fall for the guy on the street trying to sell them the phony stuff," California Loan and Jewelry Larry Analpolsky said.

"People are getting scammed on this because (gold) prices are through the roof," Sharif Jewelers Tony Mora said. "People are coming in to sell, thinking they got a good deal. They come out disappointed that it's not real."

Many gold chains and necklaces have a 14K stamp. They are also heavy. But upon further review, the jewelry turns out to be gold plated or copper.

"A lot of people can stamp anything 14K or 18K and come in and try to pass it off as gold," Mora said.

Jewelers test the gold. Sometimes, they have to test it in different ways.

"The counterfeit pieces that are made are very good," Analpolsky said. "A lot of them have thick plating on it. It takes cutting into the metal."

He said the criminals who make the gold are very sophisticated in what they produce and how they produce it.

"We do know there's product out of Los Angeles," Analpolsky said. "There's also been counterfeit things definitely coming from out of the country."

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