Fake (Bullion) News

The internet was awash last week with news of a fake Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) bar discovered in Canada.  The implication at the time was that it must have come directly from RCM as it was sealed in the usual packaging with all the right stamps etc.  Subsequently RCM released the following (excerpt only) statement:

  • “The Mint did not manufacture, ship or sell the above-mentioned product.
  • RBC has confirmed that the bar it sold to its customer did not come from the Royal Canadian Mint and it continues to investigate the matter with our support.
  • Counterfeiting of Royal Canadian Mint bullion products is extremely rare and this is an isolated case.
  • We take any suspicion of counterfeit seriously and work with law enforcement to support their investigations.
  • Without exception, we test all of the product leaving the Mint to ensure that all gold bullion products (coins, wafers and bars) we produce and sell are at least 99.99% pure.”

This news has prompted a few clients to ask should they be concerned?  Our answer centres around the following 4 points:

  1. Ainslie test all products not received directly from our refiners.  We have 3 different types of testing equipment including ultrasonic and electromagnetic that cannot be fooled by gold plating or similar; they ‘look’ through the entire item.  The tungsten filled bar in question would most certainly have been detected.
  2. Despite our refiners’ own quality assurance programs, Ainslie randomly check bullion sourced directly from refiners for weight and purity.
  3. Customers should avoid buying any bullion from the likes of Ebay or dealers with no, or questionable reputation and history in the business.  The old adage ‘if it seems too good to be true, it probably is’ is never more relevant than with bullion pricing.  This is a very low margin business on an internationally, constantly discoverable spot priced commodity.
  4. Ainslie Bullion guarantees all that it sells and has a 43 year track record behind that guarantee.

Let us reiterate too what others are saying, and that is, this is a rare occurrence.  That said, of the fakes that we have uncovered, they can be of a very high quality and likeness in terms of packaging and weight.

The key lesson is buy from a reputable, long established bullion dealer and don’t get fooled by saving a few dollars in the context of a large and important investment.  

Have a punt on the Melbourne Cup today if you like, but not on one of the most important investments you’ll make….