In tough times, gold is held up as the shining path toward financial stability. Stash your gold bars in the basement, and watch the banks collapse.
But beware, all that glitters may not be gold: A few fake bars have been discovered in midtown Manhattan's jewelry stores, Fox 5 News reports.
It started when Ibrahim Fadl bought a gold bar for nearly $18,000 from a merchant who had sold him real gold in the past. But he had heard there were fakes going around. So he drilled into some of his 10-ounce bars--valued at $100,000--and found gray tungsten instead.
"I really got sick. It's a big amount of money and I could not believe that somebody was so professional and clever, it's perfect," Fadl said.
Here's why even the reputable merchant got fooled, as explained by Fox:
What makes it so devious is a real gold bar is purchased with the serial numbers and papers, then it is hollowed out, the gold is sold, the tungsten is put in, then the bar is closed up. That is a sophisticated operation.
The sophisticated operation may be global in scope: Gold bars filled with tungsten showed up in England earlier this year. The Secret Service is investigating the counterfeits in New York.
So the next time you go to pick up some gold bars, you may want to bring along your drill.