World’s Largest Gold Bar

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The world’s largest gold bar stands at 250 kg (551 lb), measuring at the base 45.5 cm × 22.5 cm and 17 cm high with 5 degree draft angle (equal to 15730  cm³, or 17.9 in × 8.9 in × 6.7 in≈1062.04 in³). It was manufactured by the Mitsubishi Materials Corporation, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi. It went on display at the Toi gold mine on July 11, 2005. Its gold content was valued in 2005 at 400 million yen (approximately US$3,684,000 at the time though at current 2013 gold prices its is worth approximately US $13.5 million (value calculated is for gold weight alone @ $1,676/troy ounce, not accounting for the premium associated with being the world’s largest gold bar).

What’s a Kinebar?

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A kinebar is a gold bar which contains a Kinegram to prove its authenticity. Kinegram is a trademark of OVD Kinegram Corp. (Switzerland). A kinegram is a diffractive security device embossed into a substrate (here gold). It is intended both as a security feature and for visual appeal.

Union Bank of Switzerland, through its subsidiary refinery, Argor-Heraeus SA, has applied the kinegram as a security device to the reverse of its minted bars since December 1993. The kinebar, now produced by UBS AG, is a registered trade mark of UBS.



Air passenger held for bid to smuggle gold

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21 Mar, 2013 The Economic Times

KOZHIKODE: A 21-year-old passenger, who arrived from Dubai, has been arrested at the airport here on charge of attempting to smuggle one kg gold biscuits valued at Rs 28.48 lakh, officials said today.

 Shamu Ali, hailing from Thamarassery in the district, was found carrying the gold biscuits hidden in the base of a table lamp…>>(MORE)(TheEconomicTimes)

Falling gold prices take shine off gold loan companies

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A high loan value and delayed auctions owing to regulatory restrictions suggest a crisis in earnings is around the corner

Ravi Krishnan Wed, Mar 20 2013

Lending against gold is not a low-default business. Rather, it reports lower losses when defaults happen simply because the loans are secured by the precious metal. Even when gold prices are falling, risks increase, but only a bit as non-performing assets are auctioned and the money is recovered. But, when the loan value is a high portion of the gold taken as security, auctions are delayed owing to regulatory restrictions or otherwise and gold prices fall, a crisis in earnings is around the corner.

That’s precisely what has happened to Manappuram Finance Ltd. Before the Reserve Bank of India’s clampdown on interest rates and capping of advances at 60% of the value of jewellery, gold loan companies were on a credit spree. Manappuram had lent some Rs.10,500 crore in the quarter ended December 2011, analysts say. A portion of these loans were one-year bullet payment loans but have turned bad.

Here’s how it happens: A Rs.90 loan is taken for a collateral of Rs.100 worth of gold jewellery. At a 25% interest rate, the amount the financier hopes to collect a year later is Rs.112.5. If in the meanwhile the value of the collateral falls to Rs.95, it’s an incentive for borrowers to default. Sure, unless prices fall sharply, there are unlikely to be losses on the principal amount. But companies typically spread interest income over four quarters. Thus, such a situation forces them to reverse interest income…>>MORE>(

Gold: Golden for the Wrong Reason

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By Matthew Zeitlin  March 18, 2013

One of gold’s most prominent bulls, John Paulson, the asset manager who made more than $1 billion betting on the housing downturn, is tarnished.

Bloomberg reported that Paulson’s $900 million gold fund is down 26% through the beginning of March, after falling 25% last year. The fund has been hurt by the price of gold falling to around $1,600 off its all-time high of more than $1,900, which it hit in Sept. 2011. Paulson told clients that “his Gold Fund would beat his other strategies over five years because the metal was the best hedge against inflation and currency debasement as countries pump money into their economies.”

Paulson echoes comments from Ray Dalio, the man behind the $140 billion hedge fund Bridgewater Associates. Dalio told Barron’s in March 2011, “Currency devaluations are good for stocks, good for commodities, and good for gold.”

The price of gold has fallen off those highs and, so best we can tell, another economic crisis isn’t happening soon, meaning investors are less likely to flock toward the most prominent bearish investment. But gold’s effectiveness as just that — protection against the worst economic and financial distress — is also under attack.


Earthquakes make gold veins in an instant

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A Delicate Gold NuggetPressure changes cause precious metal to deposit each time the crust moves.
Richard A. Lovett 17 March 2013

Scientists have long known that veins of gold are formed by mineral deposition from hot fluids flowing through cracks deep in Earth’s crust. But a study published today in Nature Geoscience1 has found that the process can occur almost instantaneously — possibly within a few tenths of a second.

The process takes place along ‘fault jogs’ — sideways zigzag cracks that connect the main fault lines in rock, says first author Dion Weatherley, a seismologist at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.

When an earthquake hits, the sides of the main fault lines slip along the direction of the fault, rubbing against each other. But the fault jogs simply open up. Weatherley and his co-author, geochemist Richard Henley at the Australian National University in Canberra, wondered what happens to fluids circulating through these fault jogs at the time of the earthquake.

What their calculations revealed was stunning: a rapid depressurization that sees the normal high-pressure conditions deep within Earth drop to pressures close to those we experience at the surface…>>MORE>(

A Gold Rush Like No Other: Daring Heist Shocks N.J. Museum Owners

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Up To $1 Million Worth Of Crystallized Nuggets Stolen During Business Hours
OGDENSBURG, N.J. February 22, 2013

 You could call it a gold rush in the Garden State – but for thieves. Gold nuggets worth nearly $1 million were stolen from a mineral museum, CBS 2’s John Slattery reported.

On the site of a zinc mine dating back to the 1700s is the Sterling Hill Mining Museum, where crystallized gold and nuggets, 20 of them, were stolen while the museum was open. They were large specimens, from all over the world.

“The large nugget is from the Dominican Republic: a 16-ounce nugget,” said Richard Hauck, who assembled the collection.

Hauck said he put it all together 40 years ago at a cost of $400,000. He said today it would be valued at $750,000. The gold was displayed inside an antique safe behind sheets of heavy Plexiglas…>>MORE>(CBSNewYork)