Gold bars are not what most people own. Common people own gold jewelry or maybe a few gold coins. However, as the interest in owning gold spreads, some collectors may be attracted to the small one ounce bars but out by countries like Switzerland or the one ounce coins of countries such as Canada, Australia, South Africa and such.
Gold has had a large run-up in price in the past decade. Historically, high price and demand for a product draws predators and con-men like cow poop draws flies. It appears that counterfeiters are at work in the gold bullion market. First, there were reports of tungsten bars in the large bars like those stored in Fort Knox. Fraud in 100 ounce gold bars usually affects only the ultra-wealthy, central banks and national governments. Now there is a report of counterfeit PAMP bars that have been sold to precious metals dealers in Manhattan in New York. The bars in question are small and apt to be sold to common folks.
Kitco.com’s gold forum reported the following:
The NY Post reports:
The Post has learned as many as 10 fake gold bars — made up mostly of relatively worthless tungsten — were sold recently to unsuspecting dealers in Manhattan’s Midtown Diamond District.
One outcome of the fakes surfacing could be an exodus of investors in precious metals who fear getting caught with worthless assets. If the news triggers a dumping of gold by small investors, the panic could drive prices much lower.