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My interest in this subject started when I acquired on Ebay a 50 gram Credit Suisse gold bar. To my disappointment, after hours and hours of researching on the Web, I could not find anything close to this document that I am writing telling me how to spot a fake 50 g bar.
Even if you don’t have a 50g bar, it should help you by giving you tips of what to look to find out if an item is fake.
If you want to find more information about credit Suisse bars, you need to know that they are made by Valcambi, goldbarsworldwide. Search google and you can get the specification of the bars (with sizes), if you notice those bars say Valcambi not Credit Suisse, Valcambi manufactures the Credit Suisse bars.
Reasons why I found out I had a fake 50 g Credit Suisse gold bar:
1- The real bar should say Essayeur Fondeur “CHI”. The Essayeur Fondeur is who is certifying the bar. The bar I got said Essayeur Fondeur “CEI”. You can google images or pages with the words “credit Suisse” and you will see that they have the Essayeur Fondeur “CHI”. Google “Essayeur Fondeur CEI” and you won’t find any hits (if you put them in “”).
2- In the specifications it said 50g, and here is where we get in trouble with this bar. Because gold is so unique it tends to have a heavier density compared with other materials, therefore if you want to make a fake bar look like a real one you have to compromise either in the size or in the weight. this bar
has the problems with the weight, the size match the original 50 g, but the weight is only 32.4g, measured with a jewelry scale.
3- The font on the fake bar that are used for the writing, where they say 50g, are a different font from the original. compare them to the many pictures of credit Suisse bars in websites or dealers.
4- I found a document (that because of ebay policies I can not post here!) from the customs office in Switzerland, they have a warning that say that there are some forfeit 50 g bars around. The document is in French but when it is translated with google it says:
"Warning: unscrupulous sellers may offer false ingots - usually 50 g - which, despite what may suggest their marking, are not in fine gold, copper or brass gold. Last update: 19.07.2005"
5- Other evidence is that this item had some imperfections. specially around the middle on the front face to the left and on the back face in the near the bottom where the color has a few “shades”, real gold shouldn’t give you “Shades”,
6- Finally a chemical test (it doesn’t damage the item since it is done in only 1 second) revealed that it was not real gold.
7- There is the test of sound in which you drop the bar to a hard floor, I thought it was to risky to do it. But if you are unsure you can try it.
I was glad that I was able to open a dispute in Paypal and won the dispute and got my 100% refund. I hope you find this article useful.