Infographic: How to Test for Fake Gold and Silver

Many precious metals investors like the idea of physical bullion because, unlike paper money, it is difficult to counterfeit. That said, when there is a will, there is a way. In recent years, there have been extremely concerning cases of gold counterfeit, and investors that are not fully prepared can get duped. That’s why we worked with our friends at Silver.com to put together this handy infographic list of ways to test for fake gold or silver.

Test for Fake Gold and Silver

 

Many precious metals investors like the idea of physical bullion because, unlike paper money, it is difficult to counterfeit. That said, when there is a will, there is a way. In recent years, there have been extremely concerning cases of gold counterfeit, and investors that are not fully prepared can get duped.

That’s why we worked with our friends at Silver.com to put together this handy infographic list of ways to test for fake gold or silver.

Some pointers that we think are particularly important:

  • Always buy from a reputable merchant. If you buy directly from something like Craigslist or Ebay, there are no guarantees that your product is authentic.
  • Mints are starting to fight back as well – some newer products have additional security features to prevent counterfeiting.
  • Know and understand how the different tests for fake bullion work, and use them to verify that your gold or silver is real.

Here’s also a video version:

H/T Visual Capitalist 

 

 

Of Course the Gold Price is Manipulated, That’s the Point!

Julian Phillips of the Gold Forecaster takes a look at the intertwined history of gold and government.

Throughout history, there have been a constant flow of schemes to try to manipulate the gold price and gold itself in terms of paper money. These have come from governments, institutions as well as from individuals. The aim has always been to either establish the value of currencies or enhance that value in terms of gold. The first key to this is to ensure that the gold price is made in the paper currency and not the price of the paper currency in gold.

At school you probably read the book called the Alchemist, where villains tried to invent formulae where they could transform lead to gold. While what they managed to do was a good confidence trick, they could not replicate gold. Today the process continues, but now the boldness of government has gone as far as to say that paper money is better than gold in terms of its value. But gold is gold and for the prudent and those wanting to preserve their wealth over the long term, nothing can replace it.

Experiments using fiat currencies have been carried out since the days of distant Chinese dynasties in attempts to emulate or replace the real money of gold. The reason is simple and explained in a quote I borrow from Mr. Popescu, “Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great, was mentioning fiat money 2,400 years ago when he said, “In effect, there is nothing inherently wrong with fiat money, provided we get perfect authority and godlike intelligence for kings.” But we can’t, which is why in history, there has never been a ‘money’ that can retain its value or replace gold as real money, in all seasons weathered by economies.

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MUST READ: 3 “Snowflakes” that Could Trigger Financial Collapse

(Day of Reckoning) As you probably recall, Mr. Rickards anticipates a financial crisis worse than 2008. The possible catalysts are many, but the outcome is certain. The analogy he makes in his book The Death of Money is to an avalanche: “The climbers and skiers at risk can never know when an avalanche will start or which snowflake will cause it.”

 Still, it’s hard to resist wondering which snowflake will be the trigger. Below, Jim looks at three of the most likely possibilities, in his own words…]

Perhaps you read the papers every day, and wonder, “What should I look out for?

I’ll give you three. All of which are likely, in my view. These are not farfetched…

People don’t throw gold to the bottom of the sea… They hoard it.

Credit Crisis in China: China, believe it or not, is in more of a credit bubble than the United States. The United States has got lots and lots of problems. But China is actually worse — probably because they haven’t been through this as many times as we have.

I think they’re a little naïve about how bad this can get. They’re over relying on the ability of Communist Party officials to keep a lid on it. I was out in the countryside south of Nanjing not too long ago, visiting some of these ghost cities. I was with some Communist Party officials and provincial officials who were behind it all. Everything I saw, construction as far as the eye can see, magnificent stuff, all empty. The stuff you’ve seen on TV, I’ve actually been out there and seen it firsthand.

I turned to these guys and I said, “This is all debt finance. This is all empty, so you have no revenue to pay the debt. So how are you gonna pay the debt?” And the guy said, “Oh, we can’t.” But Beijing’s gonna bail us out.” That’s what he said. So it wasn’t even like this is something that might happen. That was, well, that’s definitely gonna happen.

But Beijing has their own problems, so whether it’s wealth management products, shadow banking, real estate finance, crony capitalism of the worst kind, flight capital, oligarchs taking all they can like pigs at the trough and then funneling it out to Vancouver and Australia and Park Avenue, etc… and all of this going on on a massive, massive scale… this is going to collapse. And they’re not really ready for it, and they don’t really know how to deal with it.

Failure to deliver gold: I think this is almost definitely coming. So much of the gold market is “paper gold.” So much of it is manipulation, and we no longer have to speculate about the manipulation. It’s very well documented. But it all rests on some physical gold. I describe the market as an inverted period with a little bit of gold at the bottom and a big inverted pyramid of paper gold resting on that little physical gold.

The Gold Market - Futures, Options, Swaps and ETFs vs. Real Gold

The [available amount of] physical gold is getting smaller. You would say, “Gee, there’s 2,000 tons of mining output per year, and the gold that exists doesn’t go anywhere, so why isn’t that little brick getting bigger instead of smaller?” And the answer is you have to distinguish between the total supply and the “floating supply.” The total supply gets bigger every year by about 2,000 tons. People don’t throw gold to the bottom of the sea. They don’t blow it up with explosives. They hoard it. And so all that gold’s still around, and new gold keeps coming into the system.

So the total supply grows every year, and when you move gold bars from the GLD warehouse in London to the Chinese warehouse in Shanghai, the impact on the total supply is zero. But the floating supply shrinks. Now, what do I mean by the floating supply? The floating supply is the physical gold that is available [to back] paper transactions.

When you take gold from the GLD warehouse and put it in Shanghai, there’s no impact on the total supply, but you have shrunk the floating supply. I’ve seen this firsthand. I was in Switzerland not long ago, and I met with Via Mat, which is one of the big four “secure logistics” firms in the world. These are the guys that handle physical metal.

They’re building vaults as fast as they can. They’re negotiating with the Swiss Army. Over the years, the army’s hollowed out some of these mountains in the Alps and built these extensive warehouses and storage facilities and tunnels that will withstand nuclear attack. But they’re getting to the point where they don’t think they need as many. So vault guys are in negotiation to lease the mountains – these nuclear bomb-proof mountains – from the army. He said, “We’re building vault space as fast as we can. But we’re running out of capacity.”

So then you say, “Well, how bad can get it get?” Well, stay tuned. It can get worse.

I said, “Where’s the gold coming from?”

He said, “Well, UBS and Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse, and customers are taking it out of the banks and giving it to us. ” Now there’s another example where the total supply is unchanged, but I’ve now reduced the floating supply because Via Mat is not doing anything with it.

They watch it for you. They keep it. UBS, on the other hand, is taking my gold and selling it 10 times over as unallocated gold on a [London Bullion Market Association] forward contract.

So how does this end? Someday, probably sooner than later, somebody is going to show up and say, “I want my gold, please,” and the custodian won’t be able to give it to them. What if a major institution like John Paulson’s hedge fund [prompted] a failure to deliver by a major dealer like HSBC or JPMorgan? That would be a shock wave. It would set off panic buying in gold, and inflation expectations would get out of control.

A geopolitical shock: People yawn and say, “Gee, haven’t we had enough of those lately?” But it could be something like an assassination or something much more momentous than what we’ve seen so far. Or one of these things could spin out of control. When Russia invades Crimea, that’s a snowflake. When the Islamic State declares a caliphate, that’s a snowflake. When Libya completely falls apart and they stop pumping oil, that’s a snowflake.

I make the point that a snowflake can cause an avalanche. But not every snowflake does. So a lot of snowflakes fall harmlessly, except that they make the ultimate avalanche worse because they’re building up the snowpack. But one of them hits the wrong way and starts something and it spins out of control. And so sometimes people just have this idea that all these things are little things and we’re waiting for the big thing. And that’s actually not good science.

The way to think about it is the big thing might not look that different from the little things. It’s just that it hit the system the wrong way. Got you on a bad day. The straw that breaks the camel’s back is no different from all the other straws. It’s just that he was at the tipping point, and one piece of straw broke the camel. One snowflake started the avalanche.

So the thing that causes it might not be that different than the stuff we’ve seen, except that the system is getting more and more unstable, and it might not take that much. So with that said, an outright Russian invasion of Ukraine, I mean, that’s kind of been discounted. I think people would be surprised if Putin doesn’t invade eastern Ukraine at this point. And people would be surprised if the Islamic State doesn’t kick the Kurds all the way back to [the regional capital of] Erbil.

So then you say, “Well, how bad can get it get?” Well, stay tuned. It can get worse. So I would give you those three: Chinese credit collapse, failure to deliver gold, and the geopolitical shock. And any one of them could start this cascade that I’ve described.

H/T Daily Reckoning

The Great U.S. Retirement Asset Bubble vs Physical Gold Investment

One of the rules by which the elite aristocrats abide is they consider it rude to not issue a warning before they do something bad to us. They’re like criminals with manners. In other words, it’s gauche to flush the toilet while the serfs are in the shower without giving us a “heads up.” - John Titus, engineer and attorney

What worries me the most in the midst of all of this geopolitical chaos going on right now is the message in this article written by Henry Kissinger and published by the Wall Street Journal:   Henry Kissinger On The Assembly Of The New World Order.

The title alone in conjunction with the man writing it should be enough to frighten everyone into moving as much as they can OUT of the system and into precious metals.   Kissinger must be seriously insane with the quest for complete global power to be consolidated into the hands of a few U.S. corporate and military complex elitists.

The foundation of his argument is based on the two assertions of “fact” he makes which are probably the biggest lies ever told in the history of organized civilization:

A nation founded explicitly on an idea of free and representative governance, the U.S. identified its own rise with the spread of liberty and democracy and credited these forces with an ability to achieve just and lasting peace

Is he serious? The U.S. “war on terrorism” is the biggest act of terrorism and stimulation of global violence in the history of humanity.

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Not Prepared! 17 Signs That Most Americans Will Be Wiped Out By The Coming Economic Collapse

The vast majority of Americans are going to be absolutely blindsided by what is coming.  They don’t understand how our financial system works, they don’t understand how vulnerable it is, and most of them blindly trust that our leaders know exactly what they are doing and that they will be able to fix our problems.  As a result, most Americans are simply not prepared for the massive storm that is heading our way.

Most American families are living paycheck to paycheck, most of them are not storing up emergency food and supplies, and only a very small percentage of them are buying gold and silver for investment purposes.   They seem to have forgotten what happened back in 2008.  When the financial markets crashed, millions of Americans lost their jobs.  Because most of them were living on the financial edge, millions of them also lost their homes.  Unfortunately, most Americans seem convinced that it will not happen again.  Right now we seem to be living in a “hope bubble” and people have become very complacent.  For a while there, being a “prepper” was very trendy, but now concern about a coming economic crisis seems to have subsided.  What a tragic mistake.

As I pointed out yesterday, our entire financial system is a giant Ponzi scheme, and there are already signs that our financial markets are about to implode once again.  Those that have not made any preparations for what is coming are going to regret it bitterly.  The following are 17 signs that most Americans will be wiped out by the coming economic collapse…

#1 According to a survey that was just released, 76 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.  But most Americans are acting as if their jobs will always be there.  But the truth is that mass layoffs can occur at any time.  In fact, it just happened at one of the largest law firms in New York City.

#2 27 percent of all Americans do not have even a single penny saved up.

#3 46 percent of all Americans have $800 or less saved up.

#4 Less than one out of every four Americans has enough money stored away to cover six months of expenses.

#5 Wages continue to fall even as the cost of living continues to go up.  Today, the average income for the bottom 90 percent of all income earners in America is just $31,244.  An increasing percentage of American families are just trying to find a way to survive from month to month.

#6 62 percent of all middle class Americans say that they have had toreduce household spending over the past year.

#7 Small business is becoming an endangered species in America.  In fact, only about 7 percent of all non-farm workers in the United States are self-employed at this point.  That means that the vast majority of Americans are depending on someone else to provide them with an income.  But what is going to happen as those jobs disappear?

#8 In 1989, the debt to income ratio of the average American family was about 58 percent.  Today it is up to 154 percent.

#9 Today, a higher percentage of Americans are dependent on the government than ever before.  In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau 49 percent of all Americans live in a home that gets direct monetary benefits from the federal government.  So what is going to happen when the government handout gravy train comes to an end?

#10 Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps.  Today, about one out of every 6.5 Americans is on food stamps.

#11 It is estimated that less than 10 percent of the U.S. population owns any gold or silver for investment purposes.

#12 It has been estimated that there are approximately 3 million“preppers” in the United States.  But that means that almost everyone else is not prepping.

#13 44 percent of all Americans do not have first-aid kits in their homes.

#14 48 percent of all Americans do not have any emergency supplies stored up.

#15 53 percent of all Americans do not have a 3 day supply of nonperishable food and water in their homes.

#16 One survey asked Americans how long they thought they would survive if the electrical grid went down for an extended period of time.  Incredibly, 21 percent said that they would survive for less than a week, an additional 28 percent said that they would survive for less than two weeks, and nearly 75 percent said that they would be dead before the two month mark.

#17 According to a survey conducted by the A delphi University Center for Health Innovation, 55 percent of Americans believe that the government will come to their rescue when disaster strikes.

Just because you are living a comfortable middle class lifestyle today does not mean that it will always be that way.

If you doubt this, take a look at what is going on in Greece.  Many formerly middle class parents in Greece have become so impoverished that they are actually dumping their children at orphanages so that they won’t starve…

Scores of children have been put in orphanages and care homes for economic reasons; one charity said 80 of the 100 children in its residential centres were there because their families can no longer provide for them.

Ten percent of Greek children are said to be at risk of hunger. Teachers talk of cancelling PE lessons because children are underfed and of seeing pupils pick through bins for food.

If the U.S. economy crashes and you lose your job, how will you and your family survive?

Will you and your family end up homeless and totally dependent on the government for your survival?

Get prepared while there is still time.  If you do not know how to get prepared, my article entitled “25 Things That You Should Do To Get Prepared For The Coming Economic Collapse” has some basic tips, and there are dozens of excellent websites out there that teach people advanced prepping techniques for free.

So there is no excuse.  You can trust that Ben Bernanke and Barack Obama have everything under control, but as for me and my family we are going to prepare for the giant economic storm that is coming.

I hope that you will be getting prepared too.

H/T The Economic Collapse