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Fakes, scams & frauds - bullion!!!!! (pics)

Here are some photos of some of the more interesting or common fakes that have come into the refinery lately..... enjoy and beware; and remember, as my mentor says, when it comes to buying: pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered!!:

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this was a supposed "Certificate of Authenticity" from Johnson Matthey printed on brass that accompanied a block of fake platinum, notice it says "platinium" --- is that a new element???

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This was the cover of the box that the "Platinium" block came in, notice it says "Jhonson Matthey"

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Here is the block of "Platinium" that would have cost someone about $50k had they fallen for the scam, it is actually stainless steel.

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the last 2 photos are the front and back of a kilo bar that at least says "facsimile" on it, so it is not exactly fraud, had the buyer seen that stamp. Also, it weighed about 700g, not a kilo.

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A customer paid a $10,000 advance on this supposed Platinum stamped five nines-five Johnson Matthey. The customer thought that it would be worth $40,000 if it was Platinum. It was actually Tungsten which has very similar characteristics to platinum, it melts at higher temperatures than gold or silver and it is heavy like platinum. You can see that it was singed by a torch which was our first clue that it isn't Platinum, platinum would not have changed colors or singed like this from a torch.

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There are about 80 of these in circulation as far as we know... It is made of Antimony but had a thick 14kt gold overlay - so thick it had to be peeled off, it had fooled the buyer who used traditional scratch and acid tests as well as an electronic tester because the gold coating was as thick as it was. You can see on the upper right side of the piece where a shred of the gold coating still remains. Antimony is non-magnetic and non-reactive to acid. It is also weighted like gold so it fooled an experienced pawnbroker. The piece weighed 120g with the gold coating, 90g when the gold coating was removed. So the buyer paid for 120g of gold and got 30g. The piece is about 3" high x 1.5" wide x 1/4" thick

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There is a lot of this floating around passing itself off as 18kt white gold, beware - most white gold is 14kt, little 18kt white gold is made. This chain is actually stainless steel and very heavy. The story behind these pieces are as follows: There is a legitimate company producing high-end stainless steel jewelry. Some enterprising thieves are coating it in 18kt white gold, stamping it 18k and passing it off as 18kt white gold jewelry. When it is tested with 18kt acid it will pass, and when we tested it with the GXL 24 Pro it reads 18kt. Only the X-ray showed that it was 75% stainless steel. For those of you testing in your store who do not have an x-ray machine, you can catch these frauds by testing with 22k acid, the 22k acid should obviously take the chain's mark off of the testing stone if it is 18k, and in this case, because of the presence of steel and other non-gold elements, the mark on the testing block remains even when 22k acid is applied.


Please post your own pics/experiences with frauds and let's keep everyone ahead of the game!
www.RMCtwo.com
786-270-2483

Comments

  • MeltdownMeltdown Posts: 8,605 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Wow. Awesome information, thanks for the post.
  • WeissWeiss Posts: 9,922 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Interesting. I think capthenway posted that they'd been approached with some of the 18k "white gold" chains recently.
    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
  • 1jester1jester Posts: 8,638 ✭✭✭
    Indeed, excellent post and information. Thanks!!

    imageimageimage
    .....GOD
    image

    "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." -Luke 11:9

    "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." -Deut. 6:4-5

    "For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; He will save us." -Isaiah 33:22
  • Thousand Thanks and PLEASE do keep us informed!!!! image
    Silver Baron
    ********************
    Silver is the mortar that binds the bricks of loyalty.
  • Awesome post!! image
  • jimq112jimq112 Posts: 3,511 ✭✭✭
    I remember that platinium bar from ebay this past fall. Somebody posted it here and I couldn't believe somebody actually bought it. They spelled ounces wrong too.

    Thanks for the great view from the inside!
    image
  • bestmrbestmr Posts: 1,761 ✭✭✭
    You would think, given the amount of money you could make scamming someone, that things would be at LEAST spelt right.
    Positive dealing with oilstates2003, rkfish, Scrapman1077, Weather11am, Guitarwes, Twosides2acoin, Hendrixkat, Sevensteps, CarlWohlforth, DLBack, zug, wildjag, tetradrachm, tydye, NotSure, AgBlox, Seemyauction, Stopmotion, Zubie, Fivecents, Musky1011, Bstat1020, Gsa1fan several times, and Mkman123 LOTS of times
  • OPAOPA Posts: 17,103 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thanks ... on that "JM" bar...I keep reading "Assayers & Repiners"
    "Bongo drive 1984 Lincoln that looks like old coin dug from ground."
  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,436 ✭✭✭✭✭
    "Pining for the fjords!"
    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
  • tggrtggr Posts: 748
    Great post. Keep them comming.image
  • DoubleEagle59DoubleEagle59 Posts: 8,140 ✭✭✭✭✭
    back in my gemologist days, I used to buy a lot of gold and platinum.

    Many times I would have a piece of metal or jewelry stamped "platinium' or one I especially liked 'platinarum'.

    It was their way of trying to cheat someone yet legally they could not be charged because the item is not stamped 'platinum'.
    "Gold is money, and nothing else" (JP Morgan, 1912)

    "“Those who sacrifice liberty for security/safety deserve neither.“(Benjamin Franklin)

    "I only golf on days that end in 'Y'" (DE59)
  • Kd5ddoKd5ddo Posts: 208
    Great information!

    Out of curiosity, how often does a person in the industry come across something like this?
    Remember that the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent.

    BSTs with: Coll3ctor, gsa1fan, mkman123, ajbauman, tydye, piecesofme, pursuitofliberty

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  • As a large refinery, we come across at least one fake piece daily, some less notable, these were a bit more interesting, and I will keep the pics coming if you all are interested. Our buyers, buying full time from Jewelers, pawnbrokers, coin dealers, and related others are coming across fake merchandise daily, most does not get by them, but perhaps once weekly there is a piece that is getting by even their experience and testing methods. Our receiving department is led by "The Professor" who has about 40 years of experience buying gold, he started his career at the Metropolitan Rare Coin Gallery in 1973, followed by Worldwide Coin in Atlanta and ultimately owned a smelt and assay shop in downtown Miami. In this department we are examining what our customers and buyers send in before it goes to melt in order to pull out fakes and return them to the sender, for them to learn how to catch these things, and so it won't throw off melt & assay results. Today we had another interesting fake come in:

    [URL=http://img213.imageshack.us/i/ring3a.jpg/]image[/URL]

    [URL=http://img441.imageshack.us/i/ring2.jpg/]image[/URL]

    [URL=http://img682.imageshack.us/i/ring1x.jpg/]image[/URL]

    This ring was purchased as Platinum for $1290. It is a run-of-the-mill base metal class ring (Rotary Club actually) it featured the manufacturers stamp, and above this stamp the perp cleverly stamped it "PLATINUM", so it appears as if it bears the metal AND the manufacturer's mark. Very clever, because buyers often assume that if the manufacturer stamped their name, it must be real. The ring really did not have the lustre that you would expect from Platinum, and actually an acid test would have revealed the truth here.
    www.RMCtwo.com
    786-270-2483
  • WeissWeiss Posts: 9,922 ✭✭✭✭✭
    So refinerchic, that's like a real Josten's ring but someone has forged the word "platinum" on it next to the maker's mark? That's wicked!
    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,198 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>So refinerchic, that's like a real Josten's ring but someone has forged the word "platinum" on it next to the maker's mark? That's wicked! >>



    Jewelry supply companys sell stamps ot punches for "18k", "GOLD", etc. Someone took the ring and just stamped it.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • And actually, platinum is misspelled on this one as well, it is hard to see unless you hold a jeweler's loop up to your computer screen, lol,
    www.RMCtwo.com
    786-270-2483
  • and I will keep the pics coming if you all are interested.

    Please do ....... image
    Silver Baron
    ********************
    Silver is the mortar that binds the bricks of loyalty.
  • RobbRobb Posts: 2,034
    This has been very educational. Thank you for taking the time to post the pictures.

    Couple of questions:

    From a bullion standpoint, how do you value plated material? Rhodium plated 14kt gold band for example.

    Are certain brands of testing kits better than others?
    imageRIP
  • PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,198 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>and I will keep the pics coming if you all are interested.

    Please do ....... image >>



    Agree. Very informative and very interesting. And scary too.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • derrybderryb Posts: 36,017 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Helps explain the premium on American Eagles.

    "Do you hear alarm bells ringing? Neither do I. And that’s a huge problem." - Simon Black

  • johnny9434johnny9434 Posts: 27,320 ✭✭✭✭✭
    excellent post, good info
  • sinin1sinin1 Posts: 7,500
    I guess buying $10K bars at swap meets or on the streets is probably a bad idea
  • OPAOPA Posts: 17,103 ✭✭✭✭✭


    << <i>I guess buying $10K bars at swap meets or on the streets is probably a bad idea >>



    Buying anything for $10k at the above places is a bad ideaimage
    "Bongo drive 1984 Lincoln that looks like old coin dug from ground."
  • From a bullion standpoint, how do you value plated material? Rhodium plated 14kt gold band for example.

    the only truly accurate way to evaluate plated material is to melt and assay it for all elements. If you are not melting you could get a decent guide of what is contained by breaking in half a plated piece and x-raying the inside and outside, or removing the plating. There is really not a non-destructive test to accurately evaluate plated material.

    Are certain brands of testing kits better than others

    We recommend the GXL 24 Pro electronic gel tester. It retails for about $400 and we rely on it for testing gold. We work closely with IGEM instruments, we use their testing equipment. If you purchase equipment from Elena Menchov at IGEM and mention that Republic Metals sent you, you will receive a discount. Her contact number is 732-385-1377 x5.
    www.RMCtwo.com
    786-270-2483
  • RWBRWB Posts: 8,082
    Excellent information!!
  • Keep up the good work Mira!
  • ttt
  • Great posts!!
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  • streeterstreeter Posts: 4,312 ✭✭✭✭✭

    No pictures
    TTT for continuing education believers

    Have a nice day
  • OPAOPA Posts: 17,103 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @streeter said:
    No pictures
    TTT for continuing education believers

    Not with a resurrected, pictures no longer available, 12 year old post . Let it RIP

    "Bongo drive 1984 Lincoln that looks like old coin dug from ground."
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