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# What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?

Whiskey Brother
User ID: 732577
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07/28/2009 03:53 AM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
Find it's volume through displacement of water - weigh it calculate density!

Correct answer. Basic physics.

im not sure that's easy..and besides, it weighs the right amount, ie 900 grams 32 odd ounces

Obviously the weight is going to be correct.

But what is it's volume.

You are incredibly naive and stupid if you don't do this. or take it to an expert.
Quoting: Anonymous Coward 736434

You are stupid if you don't understand that each element displaces a certain amount of water. I am not going to research it for you, you do that. I will tell you that pure gold should displace a certain amount of water in a simple dunking test. Find out how much water a pound of gold should displace.

Just google it if you did not finish High School, or if they have gotten rid of the real science in order to teach AlGores version of things
Chunk  (OP)

User ID: 736414
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07/28/2009 03:53 AM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
mm i may be indeed. There is enough without water displacement to cast grave doubts. But i can't to a gravity test i cant measure what should be displaced..ive never done the exercise before, does that make me an utter fool. Seems so!
Chunk  (OP)

User ID: 736414
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07/28/2009 03:55 AM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
Find it's volume through displacement of water - weigh it calculate density!

Correct answer. Basic physics.

im not sure that's easy..and besides, it weighs the right amount, ie 900 grams 32 odd ounces

Obviously the weight is going to be correct.

But what is it's volume.

You are incredibly naive and stupid if you don't do this. or take it to an expert.

You are stupid if you don't understand that each element displaces a certain amount of water. I am not going to research it for you, you do that. I will tell you that pure gold should displace a certain amount of water in a simple dunking test. Find out how much water a pound of gold should displace.

Just google it if you did not finish High School, or if they have gotten rid of the real science in order to teach AlGores version of things
Quoting: Whiskey Brother 732577

fair enough.
Anonymous Coward
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Canada
07/28/2009 03:57 AM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Some peeps gave you great advice but the best way to know for sure its to send it to me and ill have a look at it for you.

No scam, promess.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 736477
United States
07/28/2009 03:58 AM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
grill down the middle and have the lil pieces analyzed at a pawn shop

if it is real gold,
remove the felt,
have it melted,
make some "memorial medals" made up with the proper AG markings on 'em

make some 1/4 troy oz, 1/2 and 1 troy oz medals made
Hillcrest

User ID: 392015
United States
07/28/2009 04:02 AM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
rub it on your wife's face. if it leaves a black line then it is real.
Quoting: nobody 733056

that's not nice
Water always wins. :sun:
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 736477
United States
07/28/2009 04:05 AM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
grill down the middle and have the lil pieces analyzed at a
Quoting: Anonymous Coward 736477

I meant drill down the middle of the bar

BTW plenty of chinese silver & gold coins are fake, plated with copper middle

.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 729910
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07/28/2009 04:07 AM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
try burning that chit...
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 736484
Australia
07/28/2009 04:09 AM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
mm i may be indeed. There is enough without water displacement to cast grave doubts. But i can't to a gravity test i cant measure what should be displaced..ive never done the exercise before, does that make me an utter fool. Seems so!
Quoting: Chunk

Get a measuring jug with marks on it. Fill it up with water to the brim. Put the bar in so water overflows. Take the bar out. Read the marks and work out how much water overflowed.
Reality420
User ID: 725815
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07/28/2009 04:13 AM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
Without chemicals or an accurate scale you have problems.
Gold is incredibly dense. Its density if far greater than most people are familiar with. It is almost twice as dense as lead.

Reality check by density - 900gms of pure gold is only a cube about 1.42" x 1.42" x 1.42". Multiply the length x width x height in inches. The result for 900gms should be about 2.85. If you use centimeters the result should be about 46.6.

Check for gold plated lead - heat an edge with a propane torch for a while. Gold will be untouched while lead (and maybe zinc) will melt or slump. Of course any paint or plating may burn or flake off revealing the scam.

Check for gold plated zinc/copper/brass - file some filings from the bar. Put the filings into a glass or dish. Add some muriatic acid (hydrochloric acid - available at swimming pool supplies, some hardware stores, paint stores, etc.). If it's gold there should be *absolutely* no reaction... no bubbling, no color change, no leaching, nothing.

If it passes these tests then you should take it to a lab and have it assayed. It probably won't pass their quick nitric test and they'll tell you it isn't gold. You may get that much info from them for free.

However, think about this...
I always glue felt to the bottom of my gold bars so I can display my \$25000 bar of gold on my desktop without worrying about scratching the finish.
Does this sound logical?

Scammers count on your avarice and ignorance trumping your common sense.

Be careful.

R.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 423287
Spain
07/28/2009 04:14 AM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
Slam a cocked and locked .45 into the ear of the asshole trying to sell it to ya and ask him again.
Quoting: Omega

He will say yes even if the bar is not gold
Chunk  (OP)

User ID: 736414
Australia
07/28/2009 04:41 AM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
Reality check by density - 900gms of pure gold is only a cube about 1.42" x 1.42" x 1.42". Multiply the length x width x height in inches. The result for 900gms should be about 2.85. If you use centimeters the result should be about 46.6.

R.
Quoting: Reality420 725815

Thanks very much, the bar's dimension in Centimeters is 10.5 x 3.5 x 2.6 = 95.55

fake right?
Reality420
User ID: 725815
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07/28/2009 05:00 AM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
fake right?
Quoting: Chunk

Right. Now you're catching on.

Have fun.

R.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 669235
Netherlands
07/28/2009 05:05 AM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
mm i may be indeed. There is enough without water displacement to cast grave doubts. But i can't to a gravity test i cant measure what should be displaced..ive never done the exercise before, does that make me an utter fool. Seems so!
Quoting: Chunk

It's about volume, if you don't want to use water to calculate it's volume just take measurements.

Gold is supposed to weigh 19.2 kilo's per DM3 (or per liter).
II-Neutron

User ID: 698407
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07/28/2009 05:05 AM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
What other metal is heavy besides lead..? Or how could something be made heavy to feel like gold?

Tungsten.

[link to www.popsci.com]
Quoting: Anonymous Coward 660262

No way, tungsten is very light, and STRONG. It was made to be that way. Trust me I know.
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By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Hebrews: 11
Reality
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07/28/2009 05:15 AM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
What other metal is heavy besides lead..? Or how could something be made heavy to feel like gold?

Tungsten.

[link to www.popsci.com]

No way, tungsten is very light, and STRONG. It was made to be that way. Trust me I know.
Quoting: II-Neutron

You are thinking of titanium. The poster is correct, tungsten is *very* dense... like gold.

Have fun.

R.
II-Neutron

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Canada
07/28/2009 06:28 AM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
What other metal is heavy besides lead..? Or how could something be made heavy to feel like gold?

Tungsten.

[link to www.popsci.com]

No way, tungsten is very light, and STRONG. It was made to be that way. Trust me I know.

You are thinking of titanium. The poster is correct, tungsten is *very* dense... like gold.

Have fun.

R.
Quoting: Reality 725815

Sorry I leapt before I looked. Tungsten carbide is what I was talking about. Very light.
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By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Hebrews: 11
Anonymous Coward
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United Kingdom
07/28/2009 01:27 PM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
Thanks very much, the bar's dimension in Centimeters is 10.5 x 3.5 x 2.6 = 95.55

fake right?
Quoting: Chunk

Yeah. 95.55 cubic centimetres if it's a perfect oblong shape, but if it's in the classic trapezoid sort of shape like you see in the movies then it's going to be rather smaller than that. Which makes its mass of 900g consistent with it being made mainly of lead.
HannibalTheCannibal

User ID: 724495
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07/28/2009 01:29 PM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
Weigh it, then find its volume via water displacement, then find its specific gravity.

Ill find out what gold is from one of my books 1 sec.
There is NO PROFIT IN PEACE, There is NO PROPHET IN PEACE.

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HannibalTheCannibal

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07/28/2009 01:32 PM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
Ok gold has a hardness of about 2 and a half - 3, on the Moh Scale.

Its Specific Gravity is 19.3

It should be insoluable in all single acids, such as Suphuric and Hydrochloric.
There is NO PROFIT IN PEACE, There is NO PROPHET IN PEACE.

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HannibalTheCannibal

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07/28/2009 01:36 PM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
Do you have a white porcelain tile handy Op?

You can do a streak test, to see if its anything other than gold too.

The Specific Gravity is one of the better indicators though, do you have any measuring equipment handy for water?

Digital Scales anything like that?

You need to find the weight of the bar in comparrison to an equal volume of water.

If the bar is 19.3ish times the weight of water for equal volume, its probably gold, not sure of the atomic weight of lead though, ill look on my density table, it might not be lead but still be a type of pyrite.

Last Edited by HannibalTheCannibal on 07/28/2009 02:18 PM
There is NO PROFIT IN PEACE, There is NO PROPHET IN PEACE.

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HannibalTheCannibal

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07/28/2009 01:41 PM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
Pointless me replying untill the OP comes back, I echo what other people have said though, SG test, Acid test and streak test should pretty much confirm it.

If you want more information about how to do these tests come back to the thread and im sure myself and others will help you do that.
There is NO PROFIT IN PEACE, There is NO PROPHET IN PEACE.

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DutchCourage

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07/28/2009 01:49 PM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
Hmmm, not so sure about water replacement. Core can be made of lead and after that cast into gold. Goodluck finding that out. Relative mass of Lead equals gold. Think you need to scan. Mercurary will work but beats the purpose in this case, lol.
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Reality420
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07/28/2009 01:58 PM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
Thanks very much, the bar's dimension in Centimeters is 10.5 x 3.5 x 2.6 = 95.55

fake right?
-------------------------------------------------------

Yeah. 95.55 cubic centimetres if it's a perfect oblong shape, but if it's in the classic trapezoid sort of shape like you see in the movies then it's going to be rather smaller than that. Which makes its mass of 900g consistent with it being made mainly of lead.
Quoting: Anonymous Coward 660262

My thoughts exactly but I didn't want to muddy the issue by introducing information overload. Factor in measuring errors and he's looking at a sg ~ 11 which is suspiciously similar to lead as you pointed out. Probably plated solder bar?

In any event, it is most definitely *not* gold or any common karat alloy. Even 10K has a sg ~ 13.0 IIRC.

Have fun.

R.
Reality
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07/28/2009 02:03 PM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
Hmmm, not so sure about water replacement. Core can be made of lead and after that cast into gold. Goodluck finding that out. Relative mass of Lead equals gold. Think you need to scan. Mercurary will work but beats the purpose in this case, lol.
Quoting: DutchCourage

While someone could cast a thin hollow shell of gold and then fill it with lead, the density would reveal that it was mainly lead.

The OP's measurements and mass, even accounting for sloppy measuring, produce a density that is so far away from gold or even its common low-alloys it is pretty obvious that it is not gold.

It is probably just a paperweight. They aren't that uncommon... were popular in the late '70s - early '80s.

Have fun.

R.
Anonymous Coward
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07/28/2009 02:06 PM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
Slam a cocked and locked .45 into the ear of the asshole trying to sell it to ya and ask him again.
Quoting: Omega

I think that's probably the best way!

Welcome back, Omega!

HannibalTheCannibal

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07/28/2009 02:06 PM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
Thanks very much, the bar's dimension in Centimeters is 10.5 x 3.5 x 2.6 = 95.55

fake right?
-------------------------------------------------------

Yeah. 95.55 cubic centimetres if it's a perfect oblong shape, but if it's in the classic trapezoid sort of shape like you see in the movies then it's going to be rather smaller than that. Which makes its mass of 900g consistent with it being made mainly of lead.

My thoughts exactly but I didn't want to muddy the issue by introducing information overload. Factor in measuring errors and he's looking at a sg ~ 11 which is suspiciously similar to lead as you pointed out. Probably plated solder bar?

In any event, it is most definitely *not* gold or any common karat alloy. Even 10K has a sg ~ 13.0 IIRC.

Have fun.

R.
Quoting: Reality420 725815

Oh shit didnt see that in the thread, if the maths is right OP got burned, Ouch.
There is NO PROFIT IN PEACE, There is NO PROPHET IN PEACE.

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Anonymous Coward
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07/28/2009 02:16 PM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
When you buy or sell gold that has been out of certified storage for any period of time, it must go through an assay process where it is chemically tested, weighed, and even microscopic holes are punched in randomly selected bars out of the batch and those tiny holes and the fragments they yield are then tested for purity and to ascertain the metal content is 100 or 80 or 75 or 60 percent gold as it is labeled. Once the assay is done the batch of bars is tagged and is then "certified" as genuine and they stay in certified storage until sold to another buyer. Often time the sale only takes place as a ledger entry - where the ownership of say 100 1000 oz bars is transferred from the account of owner A to Owner B but within the same facility and same levels of service on the account(s).

If the metal is removed from the certified storage to private hands, the bars must be re-assayed and retested before being sold.

It is easy to shave bars, taking off microns thin layers of all six sides, or the other thing that has been done is to take a high density metal with the same molecular weight as gold, cast that into bars, and then plate it with the gold and you get a bar that looks like gold, weighs like gold, and which will pass a scratch test = but will not pass a test for it's internal structure. Those bars may cost 20 to produce and if they're 1000 oz bars they're selling for \$100,000 dollars each (approximately). Nice rate of return on your little fraud, eh?
Reality
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07/28/2009 02:18 PM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
Oh shit didnt see that in the thread, if the maths is right OP got burned, Ouch.
Quoting: HannibalTheCannibal

I don't think he bought it. It was being offered to him and he was checking.

Should be a lesson to people. If someone has a "special for you only today" deal where they'll sell you something worth \$25000 for \$5000 , or whatever, alarm bells should be loudly ringing...

Unless you're the type who believes that Mbeke Ngolo, that great Nigerian banker/ex-government head/investor has \$47 Million and will give you 1/2 if you only send him \$1500.

In that case you're on your own.

Have fun.

R.
HannibalTheCannibal

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07/28/2009 02:25 PM
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Re: What is the easiest way to check if a gold bar is actualy gold?
Oh shit didnt see that in the thread, if the maths is right OP got burned, Ouch.

I don't think he bought it. It was being offered to him and he was checking.

Should be a lesson to people. If someone has a "special for you only today" deal where they'll sell you something worth \$25000 for \$5000 , or whatever, alarm bells should be loudly ringing...

Unless you're the type who believes that Mbeke Ngolo, that great Nigerian banker/ex-government head/investor has \$47 Million and will give you 1/2 if you only send him \$1500.

In that case you're on your own.

Have fun.

R.
Quoting: Reality 725815

LOL.

The link posted in this thread about tungsten was fascinating.

Wonder how many GLP'ers and survivalists buy gold on ebay all the time and get scammed?
There is NO PROFIT IN PEACE, There is NO PROPHET IN PEACE.

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Carl Sagan "A celibate clergy is an especially good idea, because it tends to suppress any hereditary propensity toward fanaticism."

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