What I wish to consider is this. Our government, and our Defense Department, constantly confer within the Pentagon and other think tank locations, to game scenarios that might foresee ramifications of moves and countermoves placed into play in response to various gambits launched by "the other side." In a milieu, where the designation of the origin of nefarious acts that might imperil our United States borders constantly changes, the play remains the same, but the cast is constantly auditioning for new roles. When one antagonist falls ill, another swiftly takes his place. Witness North Korea. Pun intended.
We have enough problems with the likes of South America's capos Hugo Chavez, and Evo Morales, nationalizing oil and threatening mining interests within the borders of Venezuela and Bolivia. Any Arab state, as Libya and Iraq can attest to, that threatens to trade oil for gold, or in fiat currencies that would bypass the dollar, will swiftly find itself under attack and it's leaders replaced. All under the guise of offering stability and an opportunity for democracy.
There remain larger adversaries. Iran comes to mind. Ahmanidinejad appears, at times, a megalomaniac who is equally intent upon advancing Iran's purported nuclear enrichment program, wiping out the Jewish state, or threatening the oil supply by blocking the Straits of Hormuz. Since a large frontal assault might eventuate in the onset of WWIII, perhaps their leadership and command structure lend themselves as targets for covert forces and surgical strikes, like excising a particularly nasty tumor. Anyone know how to reach Mossad and Sayaret 13 to contract some wet work?
Another thorn in our side is Russia's Valeri Putin and his constant recommendations to replace the dollar with a basket of alternative currencies http://azizonomics.com/2012/01/27/the-shape-of-eurasia/ and the threat that poses for replacement of our fiat issue as the reserve currency of the world. Hyperinflationary repercussions would be felt at home as all of the suddenly useless American currency was repatriated. Our standard of living would plummet faster than the libido of a Viagra proponent who waited too long to take advantage of his uplifted spirit.
We are already at war, and have been for years. The opening salvos were launched stealthily, not at our borders, but at our hoarders. Someday this might be referred to as The War of the Precious Metals. China, unbeknownst to most, long ago launched Weapons of Math Destruction at our financial realm, aiming to sabotage our financial world. Coursing towards American borders are not nuclear submarines armed with cruise missiles, but massive subterfuge, whose deck flaunts weaponry intended to hurl deadly projectiles. Counterfeit silver, to be specific.
Who really knows how long China has been exporting fake silver bullion to the world? Did it begin as long ago as the Hunt Brothers induced silver spike of the late Seventy's/early Eighty's?
In any event, such an answer would be academic, but what is not moot is the acknowledgement that such fake bullion has flooded our shores. This cresting wave threatens to undermine the efforts of Americans who strive to take protective measures against dollar depreciation and the subsequent loss of purchasing power by amassing small caches of safe haven metals, silver and gold.
Although it has been discovered that fakes have been produced, again most likely originating in China, of Canadian Silver Maple Leafs, as well as American Silver Eagles, I wish today to address another niche of the silver bullion spectrum. No, not the fraction of cirulating Sunshine Mint rounds that have proven to be counterfeits, but the existence of faux Engelhard Silver Prospector one troy ounce rounds. The extent of this problem may be far more widespread than anyone realizes.
What could a foreign power such as China hope to gain by such a ploy? Well, for one, cheaper silver as these counterfeit bullion rounds and bars directly channel investment demand away from the fast diminishing supply of above ground silver stores, lowering the price as they do so by blunting demand. Meanwhile, they can nationalize the silver mined within the borders of their own country, prohibiting exportation while simultaneously increasing the tonnage of silver imports. The accuracy of the numbers reported by Chinese trade officials is debatable.
To funnel investment monies to such a desired effect would require pervasive, widespread fakery to an almost unimaginable extent. But who can reliably refute that condition doesn't already exist? Videos making a viral impact via youtube explain what to look for in order to verify suspect rounds. If they are correct, the visual clues useful for tentative preliminary identification of fakes may be present on as many as 76% of the listings available for purchase on auction site ebay. I've already discussed Type 2 Engelhard silver rounds in Ebay Prospects Poor For Silver.
If those alleging that the features of the Type 2 round are consistent only with fakes, then it is already too late to address the problem. The challenge then would become identifying which few Engelhard rounds were genuine. And see, that's a point that kind of sticks in my craw. Of all the reading that I've been doing since this issue was brought to my attention, every source quoted that Prospectors are prized as collectibles due to their scarcity. Do they seem scarce to you? My guess is that some Chinese criminal enterprize recognized an opportunity and took advantage of it. And, unfortunately, of us.
If what I've documented is true, the problem of Engelhard fakes is widespread and burgeoning. It is not a disaster which remains fixed in scope, but instead represents a pernicious danger to the financial well-being of anyone attempting to amass silver bullion as a hedge to economic Armageddon. The problem, despite acknowledgement of its existence, is not one that can be vanquished like the bite of a lethal viper with simple application of an anti-venom, but rather more akin to falling prey to a many-headed hydra with the power to petrify.
How many silver savers would continue to do so, should they discover that a significant portion of their accumulation turned out to be worthless? I imagine I could be exaggerating the extent of the problem, for how many Prospector collectors can there be, anyway? But more will develop in time, if the problem persists. Dilution of the pool of authentic Prospectors will only accelerate as more and more fakes inundate the market. http://www.ecrater.com/p/13740578/englehard-american-prospector-silver-clad Guys like this perpetuate the problem!
So what might be a pervasive problem today, if accurately assessed at 76%, will only become exacerbated as more and more fakes cascade into the markets to the point of ubiquity. You can rest assured that such toxic residue is poisoning the purity of our precious metals streams in a torrent, not a trickle.
Even the rounds available on the secondary market, from ostensibly secure online precious metals sites such as APMEX, are subject to the same hazards faced by others. The fakes are getting so good, they're fooling the experts! If I am not deceived by my failing vision, the picture below and the text that follows, from the APMEX site, pictures the "fake" Type 2 Prospector.
"Guaranteed .999-fine, these 1 oz rounds will be Engelhard only. Due to the extreme popularity of these rounds, when we come across an offering, we will set them aside so you can buy exactly this brand. With these rounds no longer being minted, they are difficult to locate in quantity. When we do have them, they typically sell out quickly. Don't wait too long as they may not be here next time you return!" http://www.apmex.com/Product/9712/1_oz_Engelhard_Prospector_Silver_Round_999_Fine.aspx
Provident Metals offers an image of the Type One Prospector, and upon close inspection the diffences are easy to see. http://www.providentmetals.com/1-oz-999-fine-silver-round-engelhard-prospector.html Note greater detail in water left of miner's pan.
When industry giants, whose expert status is nonpareil, can be gulled into listing Type 2 Prospectors that may prove to be counterfeits, can any source be trusted? Must the Engelhard Silver Prospector be relegated to the status of "yeah, it's a nice looking round, but I wouldn't touch one with a ten-foot pole, it's probably fake." I hope not, but the more that I delve into this cesspool, it seems the cistern has already been fatally contaminated. There's a turd in the silver pool, and it appears to be Chinese.
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