National Council of Jewellery Valuers (NCJV) Melbourne president Rikki McAndrew, who operates a gold trading business, discovered the ‘fake’ gold pieces when his customers unwittingly tried to sell them to him.McAndrew believes that fake jewelry is being sold on eBay. Word to the wise.
“Most of them were blocks of tungsten and silver coated quite thickly in gold. Just last Friday someone came in with a chain that was stamped 14ct gold but turned out to be copper nickel,” McAndrew said.
“I believe someone is making gold bracelets and watch chains that are in actual fact gold on copper. I’ve came across a lot of them that are stamped 9ct gold but just feel wrong,” he added....
“I would guess China because of the style – the clasp is a very Chinese clasp,” he said.
McAndrew said it would be near impossible for retailers and consumers to ascertain if pieces they bought were fake or real. One of the pieces he had discovered was slightly rough but had the right weight.
“That piece was particularly convincing and probably the best [fake] I have ever seen,” he said.
Fake gold bars in Vietnam- partially filled with tungsten - seem to have come from Hong Kong. Although it isn't confined to the Chinese area, two cases make for a pattern. Caveat emptor.