Canadian certified gold bar exposed as fake: how many more are out there?
The Royal Canadian Mint has launched an investigation into the sale of a gold wafer that turned to be a fake. The one-ounce piece of gold was sealed and marked with proper mint stamps.
On October 18, Ottawa jeweler Samuel Tang purchased a wafer, which was supposed to be 99.99 percent pure gold from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) branch located across the street from his shop.
Tests carried out by the jeweler apparently revealed the small bar contained no gold. The wafer was hard to roll, snapped instead of being easily bent and failed an acid test.
“Who is going to make sure those are real? I am worried there are more of those out there, and no one knows,” Tang told Canada's CBC News.
Tang contacted the media after both the mint and RBC refused to take back the fake gold. The news channel took the same wafer to one of the Ottawa buyers of precious metals, who confirmed that it is a fake.
“The bar that came from that package is a piece of junk. That's the million-dollar question, how it ended up in that plastic case,” said Ernest Marbar, the owner of the Gold Lobby that tested the metal.
RBC has reportedly taken the wafer back and returned it to the mint for internal testing. The bank refunded Samuel Tang the $1,680 purchase price.
The Royal Canadian Mint is testing the piece of metal, according to a statement.
“Although the appearance of the wafer and its packaging already suggests that it is not a genuine Royal Canadian Mint product,” it said.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police is reportedly aware of the incident with no formal complaint has been made so far.