Gold bar with tungsten core found in UK

Image from ABC Bullion

A 1,000 gram gold bar with a tungsten core was bought by a scrap dealer's staff in the United Kingdom, reports ABC Bullion.

Visually, the bar appeared sound; however, the dealer noted that the bar was underweight by two grams. A test with a hand-held XRF found the bar at 99.998% AU, and the bar had original certificate.

Pictures of the bars reveal that some ingenuity would have been required to insert the tungsten since the gold bar is so thin. Tungsten bars can be found on eBay.

According to conspiracy-minded, this discovery is just the tip of the iceberg. SilverDoctors wonders how many gold bars held by governments are actually salted.

Felix Salmon, financial blogger at Reuters, weighs the larger question of whether this discovery is a mark against the very thing that supposedly make gold superior to fiat currency.

"Any store of value has problems, be it fiat currency or sovereign debt or bitcoins," writes Salmon.

"This latest discovery just goes to show that the problems with gold aren’t just the obvious ones surrounding things like the risk that the price of gold might plunge. There are non-obvious ones, too, which have the potential to be even bigger."