This just in from CTV News in Canada! The Royal Canadian Mint is reassuring investors that its bullion is pure after a mint-stamped gold bar sold to a customer at a downtown Ottawa RBC branch was found to be counterfeit.
Well, if I just bought some gold bars from that bank, I sure would want to be assured that it was real!
According to CTV News, the bar was purchased at an RBC branch for $1,680 on Oct. 18, by Samuel Tang, a gemologist and jewelry designer at the Joy Creations shop across the street.
Tang’s goldsmith, Dennis Barnard, said he opened the mint-branded packaging and immediately realized something was wrong when he started working with the metal.
"It was way too hard to be gold,” he told CTVNews.ca.
Barnard has worked as a goldsmith for three decades. He said nothing about the blister packaging it came in, or general appearance, suggested the bar was anything besides the genuine article.“Visually, it was spot on. It was a phenomenal piece. Initially, holding it in my hand, I was fooled. The weight was spot on,” he said.
Alex Reeves, a spokesperson for the crown corporation, said the mint “did not manufacture, ship, or sell” the one-ounce bar, even though it appeared to be stamped with an official mint insignia.
“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,” Reeves said, adding that, “a number of errors in the design and packaging of the wafer” confirmed the product’s inauthenticity, as well as the fact that it did not originate at the Mint.
An RBC spokesperson, A.J. Goodman, declined to say where the fake gold came from. Goodman told CTVNews.ca that the “vast majority” of bullion sold to clients is sourced from the Mint, but other suppliers are used in “limited instances.”
Want to be sure your gold is real? You can always just bite on it, and if it shows a slight indentation, it is probably real. Or, you can click here for more specific instructions.