Want Some Rusty Gold Coins? Call the Russian Central Bank
Chief Slop-Stirrer Zero Hedge has a puzzle for you: how do coins from the Central Russian Bank end up with rust spots?
Why not ask whomever thought it was genius to stuff tungsten into gold bars? *cough*
Here's a head scratcher: as everyone knows from elementary chemistry courses, gold is the most inert metal in the world - it does not rust, nor corrode. Yet this is precisely what Russian commercial precious metal trading company, International Reserve Payment System, discovered on thousands of (allegedly) 999 gold coins "St George" (pictured insert) issued by the Central Russian Bank. The serendipitous discovery occurred after various clients of the company had requested that their gold be stored not in a safe, but in a far more secure place: "buried under an oak tree." As the website of IRPS president German Sterligoff notes: once buried, "the coins began to oxidize under the influence of moisture." And hence the headscratcher: nowhere in history (that we know of) does 999, and even 925 gold, oxidize, rust, stain, spot or form patinas, under any conditions.
Not to play Devil's advocate but all sorts of funky stuff can happen to .999 coins depending on what's going on around them (contamination) but since there's a central bank involved, we're going to err on the side of conspiracy with this one.
Mostly because "oxidation" is a really suspicious (and incorrect) excuse.