Metric Tonnes of Gold
Most weeks we get at least one person trying to sell us or buy a metric ton, or many metric tons of gold. these contacts are invariably scams (attempted frauds).
At current gold prices at the time we wrote this page, a tonne of gold was worth very close to £10,000,000 (ten million pounds sterling), or nearly $20,000,000 (twenty million U.S. dollars). Most private investors and ordinary people do not own this amount of gold. You would be surprised how many people contact us to tell us they have 10 or 20 tonnes or gold to sell! Sometimes they wish to buy this quantity instead. Not content with such large amounts, some of these people wish to transact deals for these amounts monthly on 5 year or similar contracts!
Sometimes these individuals try to conduct their business via a solicitor, businessman, or other stooge. We heard of one case where a solicitor was trying to transact business on behalf of a client, for an amount of gold which exceeded the total amount ever mined. Obviously he had not even bothered to work out the value of the deal, and had failed miserably to know his client!
High Net Worth Individuals?
Let's do a few simple calculations and comparisons, to see how ridiculous these amounts are. A holding of one metric tonne is more than is owned by many countries or their central banks. If you owned one tonne, it would place you in equal 94th place with Suriname. Ten tonnes would put you in 63rd place between Columbia and Ghana, twenty tonnes would elevate you into 23rd position between Nigeria and Ukraine. Ten tonnes per month for 5 years would put you second only to the USA, and you would have more than double the next placed owner, Germany.
Anonymous or Just Faceless?
Most of the people who contact us about metric tonnes do so in a ridiculously anonymous manner, perhaps by e-mail in the first place, in which cases their e-mail address is usually something totally laughable such as internationalgoldbullion (@) hotmail.com! Does it never occur to these idiots that their attempts to appear grandiose simply makes them look pathetically stupid?
Sometimes the initial contact comes by telephone, at other times by fax or letter.
Greed or Stupidity?
Some of the people who contact us seem reasonably intelligent and articulate, in which case, we are never sure whether they are allowing themselves to be conned with the help of their own greed and stupidity, whether they think we are stupid, or what. The most likely answer seems to be an equal mixture of all these.
Many of the idiots or crooks who attempt to convince us they are big time dealers use very impressive sounding acronyms and other jargon, including FCO (F.C.O.), MT (M.T.), Swiss procedure. It's often all we can do to stop ourselves falling about laughing.
In 2005, the world mining production of gold was 2,518 tonnes, and the largest producer country was South Africa at 300 tonnes, or approximately 30 tonnes per month.
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