by Bron Suchecki, Perth Mint Bullion:
The ABC Bullion blog was based on an email from MKS/PAMP sent to their distributors about a fake bar that a UK scrap dealer had received. The dealer thought the bar was suspicious due to a weight discrepancy and as a result they cut it in half, revealing five tungsten rods inside.
Typically, Zero Hedge over play the significance of the story with this statement: “So two documented incidents in two years: isolated? Or indication of the same phenomonenon of precious metal debasement that marked the declining phase of the Roman empire.” Other bloggers, such as Felix Salmon of Reuters, have been quick to speculate that such fakes may be common and present a “serious tail risk for anybody in the physical-gold market.”
In the experience of The Perth Mint, such fakes are a rare occurrence. In the 20 years our Refinery Manager has been working at the Mint, he has never seen a fake bar come through our operations. If investors buy coins and bars made by reputable refiners and mints and from a reputable dealer they are highly unlikely to be sold fakes.