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A hidden forgery scandal is roiling the gold market

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11 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

That is why assays should be taken by drilling all the way through a gold bar, with a small drill bit, and examining the shavings, and do weight and water volume displacement comparisons.

I guess a person could mix two other metals (Lead Osmium and Tungsten or something like that) to get a very similar weight/displacement, and then coat it with gold.

But that isn't even the problem here. This is pure gold, through and through. No problem with the metal, only the stamp.

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2 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

Only gold displaces an exact amount of volume of water for an exact amount of weight.

I agree, although technically, not exactly. It could be extremely expensive to alloy tungsten with the right amount of say iridium, osmium, platinum or rhenium to fool anyone. (And it doesn't alloy well with platinum.) But osmium is fairly cost effective, and makes a good tungsten alloy.

2 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

Every atom of every different element is a different size and weight.

Also, although this is true, the atomic weight of an atom is different from its density in solid matter. You can have a very heavy atom, but in its "solid" state, certain metals weigh more per cubic cm than their atomic weights would lead you to expect.

Notice from a chart below that Tungsten is already nearly a perfect match to gold in terms of density/displacement. 19.25 vs 19.30, a difference of less than three thousandths of the total. There is about twice as much osmium on earth as there is gold, and you only need enough to mix a small percentage into the tungsten, a much more common and cheaper metal. The osmium will cost you $400 an ounce, the tungsten will cost you about $1.71 a troy ounce, and the gold about $1,500 an ounce. If my math is right, the mix is going to be about 98.50% tungsten and 1.50% osmium to create a total density of about 19.3004 (to equal gold)

So make 98 ounces of the mix for just over $38,600, and add a thick 2 ounces of solid gold plating for $3,000 and my total cost is $41,615 for a gold bar that weighs in at a value of $150,000 for 100 ounces. Smelting, plating and assay equipment is paid for after I pass my first bar.

---------------------------------------references-----------------------------------

Snippets from several sources:

The abundance of gold in the Earth's crust is estimated to be about 0.005 parts per million. (Currently around $1500/troy ounce.)

Osmium is .001 ppm. As of 2018, it sells for $400 per troy ounce (about 31.1 grams), and that price had held steady for more than two decades, according to Engelhard Industrial Bullion prices

The current price of tungsten is approximately US $19.85 per pound. (454 grams)

The abundance of tungsten in the Earth's crust is thought to be about 1.5 parts per million  Tungsten-heavy metal alloys and tungsten alloys with titanium, tantalum or rhenium and dispersion-strengthened tungsten composites.

Rhenium is even cheaper ($250/troy ounce) but might be harder to isolate as a separate metal. Some molybdenum contain from 0.002% to 0.2% rhenium. More than 150,000 troy ounces of rhenium are now being produced yearly in the United States.

Metal

Density (g/cm3)

Iridium

22.65

Osmium

22.61

Platinum

21.09

Rhenium

21.02

Neptunium

20.45

Plutonium

19.82

Gold

19.30

Tungsten

19.25

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2 hours ago, JW Insider said:

So make 98 ounces of the mix for just over $38,600, and add a thick 2 ounces of solid gold plating for $3,000 and my total cost is $41,615 for a gold bar that weighs in at a value of $150,000 for 100 ounces. Smelting, plating and assay equipment is paid for after I pass my first bar.

Sounds good, when do you start?

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18 minutes ago, Anna said:

Sounds good, when do you start?

On a novel, you mean? It's already written in my head. Maybe someone will find this and build a season of "Ozark" for Netflix, or maybe it fits the type of chemistry-teacher character they used for "Breaking Bad." The title can be "AL, CHEMIST" as in "I, ROBOT." Don't know if anyone else ever came up with this idea, but if anyone wants to use it, it's all yours. Don't even need (or want) credit for it. 😎

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1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

it's all yours. Don't even need (or want) credit for it. 😎

Well thank you. Only problem is I would have to come up with $41,615 xD

1 hour ago, JW Insider said:

On a novel, you mean? It's already written in my head.

You should start putting it down on paper now.

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