At Least One Central Bank Held Fake Gold

Rob Kirby seems like a fairly respectable fellow. But I am thoroughly agnostic about Kirby’s claim that a large portion of the world’s gold has been cut with tungsten. Big claims require big evidence, and I haven’t seen it yet.

True, as Mike Hewitt points out, a Chinese company boasts about making gold-plated tungsten:

A coin with a tungsten center and gold all around it could not be detected as counterfeit by density measurement alone … We are well accustomed to exploit more innovative applications of tungsten products. Gold-plated tungsten is one of our main products.

But there is no evidence that gold-plated tungsten has been used as a counterfeit.

However, we do know that at least some gold held by central banks is fake. For example, as the BBC noted last year, some 90kg of gold held by Ethiopia’s central bank was really gold-plated steel.

Obviously, this is not a first world country or banking center we’re talking about. Ethiopia is one of the world’s poorest countries.

But the fact that any central bank has fallen for fake gold means – in a rational world – that a full audit of the gold holdings of central banks worldwide should be conducted.

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  • Gold plating tungsten is not at all an easy process. The story of millions of bars being gold plated means a very large high-tech plating facility was involved. The other oddity is the part of the story claiming the tungsten bars were cast in the US. Presumably the castings were stamped as gold, because you cannot stamp after plating. That means the US refiner was complicit.

  • Kirby might be the victim of an elaborate disinfo campaign.There is an excellent chance IMHO that gold is 'slipping' from central bank price control, and if that supposition is true, I would not put any type of 'covert action' for the purposes of price control in the realm of impossibility.Not suggesting any of the above is true, merely suggesting the possibility.