Gold Bars in ASSAY – Be Very Careful

In this video I talk about gold bars in assay. Gold bars that come in an assay card are meant to be left in the assay card, but this poses a problem. Gold bars in assay cards can be very difficult to test. If you have a popular gold bar like a perth mint gold bar, credit suisse gold bar, valcambi gold bar, or a pamp gold bar then this is not a huge problem because bullion dealers are used to dealing with these types of gold bars in assay cards. Gold bars that are in a plastic case are called carded gold bars or gold bars in assay cards. If you have a more rare gold bar in an assay card then this can be somewhat of a problem. When you go to sell your gold bar they may want to remove it from the assay card and this can lower the value of your gold bar. If you are waiting to buy gold bars in assay then I always recommend trying to stick with the popular gold bars. The particular gold bar that I show in the video was very difficult to test and authenticate. Eventually I was able to prove that it was a real gold bar after many tests. If you are buying gold bars then I wish you the best with your gold investing journey!


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48 Comments on “Gold Bars in ASSAY – Be Very Careful”

  1. I see gold bars (Perth Mint, etc) all the time in local sales posts. Almost every time I reply with “I’m interested and would like to know if I can test with a precious metals verifier”, which mostly stops the suspicious sellers immediately. From super chatty to radio silence. Definitely better to avoid when there is any doubt.

    1. @Silver Dragons Would you say online bullion dealers ex. BGASC, Bullion Max, SilverGoldBull are pretty much legit??🤔

    2. @Joe Giz Thanks bro. I don’t buy from those guys though but I’ve heard my guys are pretty much just as legit

    3. I bought a bunch of them on ebay, they all got good rating, if they sell fake bar then somebody would of gave them a negative, most of my gold are in the 100k feedback rating, that is when u know that they are real.

  2. It’s because of how much of a pain in the butt gold bars in the assay are to test that I’ve avoided them. I’d rather pay more for something that’s easier to test and more recognizable. Thanks!

  3. This is an excellent video. Thorough, concise, and well explained. Great job and thank you for the valuable information.👏✌️🦅

  4. Good video. All of the challenges you identify is the primary reason I don’t buy anything in an assay card.

    1. I bought my first gold bar in an assay card, but I don’t like it because I want to hold it in my hand. Later I bought about six 1/4 oz gold coins all in capsules because I want to take them out and hold them. I’m saving up for a 100 gram cast (not mint) gold bar. Again, I don’t want an assay card because I want to feel the weight of the gold against my hand.

  5. This video definitely answered several questions I’ve had regarding why 1 ounce gold bars have very, very low premiums. I was so tempted to buy a few welk-known bars, but now I know why I wouldn’t. Thank-you for the thorough explanation. I’ll stay with Eagles, Buffaloes and Maple Leafs.

    1. Anything and everything can be faked, even coins. You are better off getting a metal analyzer/verifier like he has if you are serious about accumulating precious metals. Yes, it will cost you $1,200 and up but if it saves you from one mistake then you are ahead.

  6. I did a recent video on a 2014 Libertad (silver) and had the same issue with the standard Sigma. It measured on the scale but was out of the brackets by a few ticks. Very curious. I did 5 other tests on it that all passed and I came to the conclusion that it was real. Maybe the mixture was off a bit or they only had .996 or .997. Not really sure why the standard Sigma didn’t work…although I know they are not perfect. They are verifiers, not guaranteers 😀Great video SD.

  7. Great video very informative. I had an issue with silver also even on the sigma (basic one) an older trade unit. Only item I have cut in half and was real. Lol

  8. Great content. I buy Aussie gold coins & bars for the most part, because I intend to settle down in the Philippines in the next 5 or so years, and there are plenty of Aussie tourists and the continent is fairly close by.

    1. You taking it with you? I don’t think countries let you come in with any more than $10k in precious metal. I use kinesis and bitcoin for this reason. I can cash out into physical gold at any global kinesis vault globally.

    2. @Tactical RingWorm I’m considering PAXG (Pax Gold), another gold-backed token by Paxos. That seems to be where the physical gold coming off the Comex & LBMA winds up. And I’ll bring in several ounces each time I travel to visit family there so I’m set when the time comes. Be well!

  9. Great video. Have a look at Sigmascopes Type B which would be the ultimate test to know whether bars in plastic are authentic. They go for abouk 8k USD and will tell you the conductivity of the metal—which ultimately determines whether it is gold, copper or tungsten.

    Also, the XRF tool used is great, yet test should run until data on the right side, the “differential” goes down and becomes stable. In the case presented in the video test was done for 1.5 seconds with a 2+ differential—there is a lot of room for change in data there. Reply if you want a free test.

    All the best.

  10. I sold three ounces of gold during the height of the pandemic. I had a Canadian Gold Maple, An English coin and a Canadian .9999 bar in an assay card. They gave me spot on the two coins and barely looked at them. The bar they broke out of the case and did a number of tests on it and I got Spot – $100 on the bar. Just something to think about if your looking to buy gold.

    1. When buying gold I’ve noticed the premiums are also higher on the coins then they are on the bars.

  11. Perth Mint bars are serialised, which is far from a perfect system to protect against fraud but it’s something. If you buy it directly from them, you can use the serial numbers to get them authenticated when it comes time to sell.

    This has a limited appeal, but could potentially add value to the bar in a private sale. Unfortunately this isn’t fool proof and if you’re particularly careful about purchasing gold as most people are it probably doesn’t make a difference.

    I would expect that it’s worthwhile on some of the fractional bars since their small value makes having them tested uneconomical.

    There are also certain serial numbers which are commonly reported as fakes, so if you’re able to see the number in photos it can be a quick way of dismissing a fake before you waste time contacting the seller.

    With larger bars, the ratio of reward to risk is much higher so counterfeiters are more likely to spend time going to extra lengths to make their fakes seem authentic, but with smaller sizes that becomes impractical.

    The main reason I like them is that you can handle the bars and look at them without worrying about damaging them. I don’t expect them to be worth more than spot price to a dealer, but I like knowing they’ll still look brand new a long time from now.

    I don’t know about other bars, but I’m quite sure you can have the Perth mint bars tested accurately without removing them from the casing.

  12. There’s also those x ray machines where you put an item into a box and then it scans it. this will thoroughly go through the entire material and give you accurate information about the composition of the item, and not just on the surface, but about its inner core. those machines are very expensive but i think quite a few precious metal dealers might have them. would be worth checking if you can find someone who owns one of these to get 100% certainty.

    1. @AlexDRockhound yes, but they definitely only scan the surface. X-rays can’t make it through much metal. (If they did, then they wouldn’t be very useful as nothing would be reflected for X-ray photos)

    2. @印場乃亜 You’d be surprised how far they can penetrate. I’m a mining engineer, I use XRF all the time on ore samples. We expect up to 10mm of penetration in our rock samples we test with our XRF. I know metal is more dense, but it will still be able to easily penetrate any plated coating on the metal. I suspect an XRF should be able to penetrate at least 1mm into a gold bar. Maybe 2mm, just based on their difference in specific gravity.

    3. @印場乃亜 The big issue with XRF is the calibration and software one uses. If one isnt extremely familiar with how XRF work and their specific machine, they may get bad results claiming gold as tungsten or tungsten as gold. XRF have a hard time differentiating between the two metals. You need to be running a software package that can distinguish the two.

      A lot of gold mines just never have an XRF on site at all because of issues like this.

    4. @AlexDRockhound The one he mentions and shows is one that only scans the surface, i was talking about one of those boxes where you put it in and it scans the entirety of the sample and not just the surface. but turns out he actually does use one of those to verify this in the second video he uploaded about this bar

  13. Great informative vid, thanks !
    I look very sharp to how the dealer reacts to my questions and listen very well how his answers sound instead of listening what he/she has to say primairily…
    Only one chance to do it right.
    If some seller looses patience or gets irritated, its a no go for sure !

  14. Great video, thank you for the information. If I were in your position, though, I think I’d go ahead and sell it myself rather than passing it onto my kids. Since you know all of the things to prove it is gold now, you have a better chance of getting a fair return on it. If you pass it down, what if they need/or want to sell it, but you’re not able to share that info with them for whatever reason? They may end up getting undercut for it. Better that you sell it to ensure you’re getting the most out of it. It’s a beautiful bar, but I personally wouldn’t trust my kids with it. But anyway that’s just my take on it. Very informative, thanks again.

  15. To test for a copper core, hold bar on an angle, and let your magnet roll down it. If the magnet goes slow, it’s because of copper causing induction.

  16. I’ve been telling people for years to stay away from bars for this reason. Coins are so much easier to test due to being “raw” and having published specs. I even have a Sigma Verifier. Only exception is if you live in Asia where they have a strong bias to bars. And i always preach that you should not buy “what you like”. But instead buy “what your future buyers will likely like”.

    1. Bars are fine if buy from a reputable company and especially if have receipts. I had never sold any bars before until last week. Sold a couple scottsdale bars at a coin shop and was surprised how easy and quick it was. They were happy to buy it and offered 99.6% of the spot price without haggling.

  17. Very good, well informed video. most of my gold is maples then bars but they are from the ones you mentioned and Royal Canadian mint, my local coin dealer gets them from there. I do own some old American coins from U.S constitutional gold such as Eagles, and Indian heads because at heart I am still a coin colecter. I have a 1OZ gold Britania, but what i really want now is a gold buffalo, and a Libertad 1 OZ.

  18. Thank you for the video. It’s very eye-opening. I have some questions. What about cast gold bars? Are they easy to sell?

  19. I have tried to bend a 1oz bar from Argo and Valcambi. To my surprise. It’s not easy to bend it by using fingers. I even put it in between the door frame and door and it took quite a bit of force to bend it. I got it from SD Bullion, so I don’t think they sells fake gold plated tungsten bars. Anyone has any different experience with trying to bend it?

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