Don Williams said...Some fakes are not that simple to detect:1) http://www.dailypaul.com/256078/more-fake-gold-bars-found-in-nyc2) http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-09-24/get-your-fake-tungsten-filled-gold-coins-here3) Even if you managed through expensive measures to verify that your gold is all genuine (e.g, ultrasound) , that will not help its sales value in a disaster situation if a lot of fake gold has become commonplace --bad money drives out good.Potential buyers will assume your coins are fake.
I’d say potential buyers will be careful about what they buy and who they deal with, as any experienced dealer does now.
Knowledge is the best defense again in this case.
First, there’s no such thing as “fake” gold, either it is gold (24k, 18k, 14k..) or it is not. If the coin is made of some other material and only gold plated, then it is somewhat easy to detect. Even with the naked eye gold plated jewelry is easy to identify with limited experience in gold.
Something we’ve seen recently happen was original certified gold bars being emptied on the inside or drilled on the back, refilled with some other alloy of similar weight and then coverd with gold and polished. They sell the refilled bar and they also profit on the gold they removed. This isnt gold-plated, because it leaves a thick layer of real gold outside.
A couple points worth mentioning here: 1) This usually happens with bigger gold bars, because its more profitable and they have the mass and size to actually do it. With smaller coins its impossible to drill them and empty them in such a way. What they do with smaller coins is to gold-plate materials such as tungsten but this is fairly easy to detect. Gold-plated looks awful compared to the real deal, and of course the most simple scratch test will reveal what’s underneath. 2)The technique would ruin the engraving on coins such as American eagles. If you know these coins well, (Eagles, Maple leafs, Krugerrands) you wont be easily fooled by an altered coin, or a “fake” coin made of gold plated non-precious metal alloy.
Anonymous PompompomPooom said...... and one drawback : easily detected at airport doors.If a government prohibits possession of gold, it will quickly place metal detectors at various checkpoints and confiscate it.Still, gold is a very good hedge.
I’d say that this is yet another good example as of why smaller coins are better: You can put several of them in a wallet or pouch with some pocket change and it will be impossible to differentiate on xrays. Unless you have large quantities of 1oz coins, chances are you wont be detected.
Blogger TampaMark said...As for fakes there are simple tests and proofs to handle most situations. A rare earth magnet for one, as gold and silver are diamagnetic (repels) while substitutes such as magnesium are para magnetic (attracts weakly) and will attract a rare earth magnet. Coins can be weighed and measured for correctness with a Fisch or Gold Coin Ballance products. Or get a small weight scale and calipers. Also educating oneself on coins with the classic 'Red Book' by Whitman Publishing and others will go a long way to prove and determine fake coins and bars.
As for airports, one never has to carry it with you. Go through reputed international bullion vaults like Brinks and just exchange it for some outside your country. There are several companies besides Brinks which provide such storage. Also keeps it out of local government hands but allows for conversion into currency of choice.
Jose Garcia said...
Fer,What do you recommend as far as exiting the country with wealth. The Cubans that fled the Castro regime were forced to leave with just a small suit case and no material possessions. Is it better to cache some gold in a foreign, stable country?
I think that having too much gold would be a nice problem to have. :)
If you have just a few coins you can carry them on you or on your luggage along with some other common metal “junk” (a few quarters, a metal pen, etc) especially the smaller gold coins such as 1/10 of a ounce, would require visual inspection, and most airport security just dont go around checking pocket change coins. If you have more then you can use one of the exchange firms, or you can sell it and transfer the money to an off-shore account with a broker before leaving. It wont be cheap, but then again if you have that kind of money to worry about you probably can afford the fees.