In turbulent economic times, investors often turn to gold as an item of intrinsic value. Regardless of the state of the U.S. dollar, gold has proven to be a valuable commodity. It is a hedge against inflation, and protection in a worst-case scenario.
Which is why the discovery of tungsten-filled gold bars in Midtown Manhattan has troubled many.
In jewelry stores on 47th Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, the important trust between merchants has been violated. A 10-ounce gold bar costing nearly $18,000 turned out to be a counterfeit.
The bar was filled with tungsten, which weighs nearly the same as gold but costs just over a dollar an ounce.
Ibrahim Fadl bought the bar from a merchant who has sold him real gold before. But he heard counterfeit gold bars were going around, so he drilled into several of his gold bars worth $100,000 and saw gray tungsten -- not gold.
What makes it so devious is a real gold bar is purchased with the serial numbers and papers, then it is hollowed out, the gold is sold, the tungsten is put in, then the bar is closed up. That is a sophisticated operation.
Here is video, with more information:
Back in March, TheBlaze's Becket Adams reported on the discovery of Tungsten-filled gold bars turning up in the United Kingdom.
Contrary to what the news may indicate, it is apparently extremely rare to find Tungsten-filled gold bars being sold from reputable vendors. The recent uptick, MyFoxNY speculates, could indicate the involvement of an international crime ring.
The matter was reported to the FBI and the Secret Service and the latter, which investigates counterfeits, is investigating the matter.
(H/T: Business Insider)