Imitation gold flooding market, causing headaches to consumers

Published: 20/05/2011 05:00



VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnamese people
startled at the information that imitation gold has appeared on the market. The
serious problem is that the imitation gold cannot be discovered with modern

A representative
from the Vietnam Gold Business Association has confirmed that the association’s
members have reported the appearance of imitation gold in Vietnam.
Goldsmith shop owners say that they have received offers to sell bullion gold
from some dealers from Hong Kong.

When they
put the sample products into gold tester, the tester confirmed that these were
9999 gold. However, when they cut the gold bars, they found out that the gold
was friable, while it was not pliable like normal 9999 gold. After rendering
the gold bars, they found out that the bars only contained 60-75 percent of
gold, and had some sediment like fine sand particles which they thought

to the Saigon Fine Arts Jewelry Association, the technical division of DC
Technology Company has received a complaint from a client about the flooding of
imitation gold on the west of the southern region and in HCM City.

testing the gold samples brought by the client, DC Company came to the
conclusion that the gold products contain some additional metals belonging to
Platinium group which includes some elements Pt (Platin), Pd (Paladi), Ir
(Iridi), Os (Osmi), Ru (Ruthenium), Rh (Rodi).

DC has
confirmed that normal spectrometers cannot measure the purity of these gold
products which contain such substances. Dau tu has quoted DC representative as
saying that DC has succeeded in developing the database that allows recognizing
and measuring the relative concentrations of elements for theXRF5000 machine.
Also according to the representative, other existing spectrometers cannot do

According to Tran Trong Quoc Khanh, Director of the Asia Commercial Bank’s Gold Center,
the imitation gold can appear in two kinds: either the volfram bar is put in
the middle of the gold bullion, or vofram powder was put into molten gold which
was then made into gold bars. These products can easily “go through” XRF, the
gold purity measuring machine which is using advanced technology.

The problem
is that this kind of machine can only allow measuring the gold purity on the
surface of the products; therefore, it is difficult to discover frauds.
Meanwhile, most of gold trading shops are not capable enough to equip with the
machines which allow measuring gold purity with fire assay technology.

Nguyen Thi
Cuc, Deputy General Director of the Phu Nhuan Jewelry Company PNJ, said that
one month ago, PNJ also discovered imitation gold from the sample products
provided by some dealers from Hong Kong. “As we have modern machines, we could
discover the imitation. The gold with volfram mixture will not be able to
produce jewelry products,” Cuc said.

She went on
to say that consumers should be cautious when purchasing and should only
purchase the products with well-known brands.

local newspapers have quoted some analysts as saying that the imitation gold
products might have been imported from China
or Hong Kong.

In the
latest news, Tien phong on May 19, quoted Vu Duc Loi from the Vietnam Institute
of Chemistry under the Institute
of Science and Technology
of Vietnam as saying, “that the compound which was used to make imitation gold
was not volfram. He has affirmed that the main elements of the heavy powder are
Ruthenni, Iridi and Osmi.”

C. V

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