top story

Fake gold bars sold to North Port pawn shop

  • 0

The fool's gold came wrapped in plastic, to retain it's supposed value.

"If you do a little searching online you can probably find some of this prepackaged stuff with numbers already on it," said North Port Police's Josh Taylor.

According to The North Port Police Department, the gold was brought to a pawn shop.

The owner felt confident the gold was real and purchased it. After all, it's stamped with serial numbers. But, not long after, the truth came to light.

"In this particular situation the pawn owner knows who sold it to him so as far as we're concerned it's a civil matter," said Taylor.

We spoke to the pawn shop owner by phone, but, he declined to do an on-camera interview. So, we went to Reflections in Gold… a local jeweler to see how easy it is to make a fake.

"Make a mold, then just cast it in brass or any other metals and then just dip it in gold plating," said Tony Maggio.

It turns out while it may be rare, it is easy to make a fake. But, it's also easy to spot a fake.

"I can tell what the metal is while you wait. So, it's 100%. You can't guess if it's gold or not," said Jeweler Armand Trawick.

Trawick has been a jeweler for 30 years. He says it takes only about 5 minutes to perform a gold test, by either scratching it or dropping a chemical on it.

"There used to be tell-tale signs. But, counterfeits are becoming very good," said Trawick.

That is not happy news for Tony Maggio, the Vice President of Reflections in Gold.

"It angers me. I get really upset about it," Maggio said.

Maggio says his industry is built on honesty and making people happy not selling fakes.

"It makes me upset that people in the industry are doing that. Scamming people is not right, it's unethical," said Maggio.