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.

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.


W.C. Varones said...


In soil, tungsten metal oxidizes to the tungstate anion.

Anonymous said...

Tungstates are not normally rust-like so it is unlikely. Tungsten is also MUCH harder than gold. The video on ZH says that the owners of the gold coins buried them "under an oak tree which is safer than any bank", and that only coins buried there were corroded. Coins stored in vaults did not corrode. Either (1) someone in Russia wants people not to trust gold and buy the local toilet paper called roubles, or (2) owners buried it in iron box which corroded and contaminated coins or (3) this is some other metal but I can not think as to what metal it is (I am a chemist). It would be really easy to analyze what that is in a lab, and the video has 2 conflicting accounts - the official lab says that all is fine, but another chemists kind of contradict that.


W.C. Varones said...

Thanks, anon.

I love it when some people in the blogosphere actually know what they're talking about!

Chris Martenson also says it's BS.