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Thread: Anyone have/had a lead-filled 100 ounce silver bar?

  1. #21

    Default A few points of physics.

    First of all lead (11.3) does not have the same density as silver (10.5) so the lead would have to alloyed with something to get the density correct. If they actually hollowed out a bar then the density of the alloy would have to be spot on so that the weight stated on the bar exactly matched the actual weight. I can only guess that this phenomenon of counterfeiting bars, coins, silver, gold, must be extremely uncommon because it would be quite easy to develope a fairly cheap device to find these fakes. Silver is the best conductor of heat and electricity so one could surely design an electric or thermal conductivity meter that would indicate something is wrong with the bar or coin. Thermal conductivity meters are already used by jewlers for checking the authenticity of diamonds (real diamonds have the highest thermal conductivity of anything) vs. zircons and some other fakes. By the way there is no practical way of determining if an actual synthesized diamond was not naturally occuring because their chemical make up is identical to a natural one.

    Some people claim to be able to tell if a gold or silver coin is real by the sound it makes when struck. I don't know if anyone can actually reliably do this but the fact is that it would be difficult to make an alloy to fill your silver or gold coin that would have the same speed of sound and damping characteristics as real silver or gold. Speed of sound measuring devices could be developed that would be able to deterimine if there was anything with a different modulus/density than silver inside the bar. I see no reason why such a device could not be developed into a relatively cheap meter that a dealer or serious collector could afford to own.

    But the real question is why has the market not precieved a need for such devices. I can only assume that there is little precieved need for such a device or someone with a decent knowledge of physics and sensors would have already done so. If I knew there was a market for perhaps 10,000 of these meters I could develope one that would cost a few hundred dollars. Thermal conductivity with scales for various types of coins and bars (gold, some common 22k gold coins, silver, even copper and nickel could be programmed into it. I think the speed of sound measuring device would be a bit more expensive because the transducer would likely be more expensive to make, but of course you never know until it's done.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by HCD123 View Post
    Crush, all true, with one exception. And that is if when you do sell if the purchaser believes you are intentionally trying to deceive you would be open to prosecution. In the case I described earlier the only thing that saved the seller is the fact the purchaser and the prosecutor did not believe the seller was trying to knowingly pass phony silver. Now I know this is not your point but I wanted to get that out there. Thanks for a realistic and factual reply.
    How would I be intentionally trying to deceive? You misunderstood my post. My point was if I ever did end up getting one I would never know it and either would the person I sold it too. It would just continue on in the market place like it was a 100% real silver bar. As I stated in my post I don't check my silver bars and never will so if I do get one and pass it along it will be 100% without knowledge. If I did happen to pass one on and the person I sold it too tried prosecuting me for knowingly selling him a fake bar, I would laugh him, or the federal or state government, all the way to court. I keep all of my records for all of my PM's transactions and I have absolutely no concern whatsoever for something like this ever taking place and even if it did, I would still win in court.
    Last edited by OrangeCrush; 03-12-2010 at 02:24 PM.

  3. #23

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    Silver Ring Test at the JH MINT

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sl9xWtphiK8

    A local bullion dealer was convinced that a poured Johnson Matthey bar was a fake, hollowed out and filled with some substance like lead. The bar was slightly warped, and definitely doesn't pass the ring test. We decided to cut the bar and half and see what was inside...

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by captbilly View Post
    But the real question is why has the market not precieved a need for such devices.
    Because there is no need, at least not on the level that your talking about where every coin and PM dealer would have one. It just isn't a big enough problem to make such devices needed. The only places that I could see ever considering such a device would be LARGE dealers like APMEX that see huge amount of silver pass through their hands on a weekly basis.

    Most people involved with PM"s simply dont concern themselves with hollowed out 100 ounce bars. If you wind up making such devices in large quantities your only going to lose money.
    Last edited by OrangeCrush; 03-12-2010 at 02:42 PM.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC_Gold_Guy View Post
    Silver Ring Test at the JH MINT

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sl9xWtphiK8

    A local bullion dealer was convinced that a poured Johnson Matthey bar was a fake, hollowed out and filled with some substance like lead. The bar was slightly warped, and definitely doesn't pass the ring test. We decided to cut the bar and half and see what was inside...
    I believe it was here someone said they torched their silver eagle til it glowed red and then dipped it in water and after that the ring was gone. Basically they tempered it. I guess silver needs to be annealed to ring. ??????
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. Thorin Oakenshield

  6. #26

    Default Exactly my point, thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeCrush View Post
    Because there is no need, at least not on the level that your talking about where every coin and PM dealer would have one. It just isn't a big enough problem to make such devices needed. The only places that I could see ever considering such a device would be LARGE dealers like APMEX that see huge amount of silver pass through their hands on a weekly basis.

    Most people involved with PM"s simply dont concern themselves with hollowed out 100 ounce bars. If you wind up making such devices in large quantities your only going to lose money.
    I never intended making such I device. My point was that there must be a reason that nobody is making one since it would be so simple to do so. I personally have very little silver and don't intend on getting much, I much prefer platinum and to a lesser extent gold, so I have no personal interest in owning a silver tester. But it is telling that few if any dealers seem worried about testing their silver either.

    Of course in the end it is reality that will determine if we should or should not have been concerned about fake silver, or gold. If it is eventually determined that a large amount of your's or my silver or gold is fake we will probably wish we had tested it. Kind of like the seatbelt argument: I wear my seatbelt every time I get in a car but I have never had an accident, but I know the odds of being saved by wearing seatbelts are high. The question about silver and gold is what are the actual odds of being stuck with a fake, if it's very very low then why spend the money for a tester and the time to test?

  7. #27

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    Well there are certainly a number of acid test and such kits out there so a non destructive electrical based machine would sell. Look at the Fisch device, one for each type of coin would get expensive. If you can make one device that detects gold and silver fakes in all shapes and sizes, I'd suspect it would sell like hotcakes under $500. I'm betting the reason it hasn't been done is that it's not as easy as you suspect.

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