Counterfeit American Gold Eagles, South African Krugerrands, Gold Pamp Bars, Gold Perth bars are readily available in the underground gold trade. Some gold bars purchased underground might even appear for sale on popular auction site, eBay.
The American Gold Eagle counterfeits seen by CSP seem to originate in France and ship mostly to Europe. At the time of writing, they were selling for just $21 in bitcoins. They originate on Tor, a hidden part of the internet.
Knockoffs of the original 1 oz national gold coin, the South Africa Krugerrand, are also available.
One seller, who has apparently sold 15 counterfeit gold bars since August on the current account, sells counterfeit Gold Perth Mint Bars and Pamp Bars in bulk: 10 for $268.43 at the time of writing. In the advertisement for some of his bars, the vendor claims the bars are for sale for $1,415. We could not independently verify this.
The bar’s come with hard CertiCard Assay Certificate Packaging just like their real counterparts.
“HE ALREADY SOLD 1,025, MULTIPLY YOUR MONEY AMAZINGLY WITH THIS SYSTEM,” claims the vendor of the eBay seller. “NORMAL PEOPLE BUY GOLD TO HOLD IT, HE NEVER OPEN THE PACKAGE AND SCRATCH IT TO VERIFY…”
According to the vendor, “The improvements made on this bar is that the serial number is now appended with the letter ‘A’ and the blister packaging is now improved.”
The counterfeit gold vendor admits his bars will pass an ‘xray test’ to determine if a bar is gold, but won’t pass the infamous scratch test, in which a precious metal product is lightly scratched with an acid poured on top. The acid reaction will indicate if the bar is gold or not. In the case of the Perth and Pamp bars in question, they turn green upon contact with the jeweler’s acid. The vendor offers free DHS shipping, and has four positive reviews.
By far the most prevalent counterfeit bullion product available in the underground, gold bars made to like those out of Australia and Switzerland are available en masse across multiple marketplaces.
PAMP is a precious metals refining and fabricating company founded in 1977 and mints private and legal tender precious metals products. The Perth Mint, manufacturer of the real gold bar counterfeited in the photo above, is Australia’s official bullion mint.
Underground gold counterfeits will give gold consumers at the retail level one more reason to ensure they use reputable dealers.