Need opinions on this Johnson Matthey gold bar

Discussion in 'Bullion Investing' started by TGRussell, Sep 12, 2023.

  1. TGRussell

    TGRussell New Member

    First of all, first time poster here. Thank you to the administrators for allowing me to be here.

    I am looking at this 10 oz. Johnson Matthey bar, and am wondering if this is normal or within the boundaries of what is acceptable. I am seeking the opinions of those intimately familiar with cast gold bars in general, and especially those from Johnson Matthey.

    The bar on several scales shows a weight just a hair under 10 ounces, 9.997 ounces as close as I can determine. In the real world, do some bars weigh just under by this small amount?

    One edge on each end is finely filed, and I understand that is done on some cast bars to bring a heavy bar to weight. Are 10 ounce Johnson Matthey bars often, typically, or sometimes weight-adjusted in this way? Is this a concern?

    If you had a bar as described in hand, would you return it if it were an option? Or, is this normal and acceptable by real world standards?

    Thank you.

    PXL_20230909_035310170.jpg PXL_20230909_035126415.jpg PXL_20230909_061307242.jpg PXL_20230909_061239960.jpg
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  3. Spark1951

    Spark1951 Accomplishment, not Activity

    There’s a probable disparity between your scales and theirs.

    The current ask for gold is $1924.35, and that equates to a difference of $5.77 per ounce, meaning $57.70 (or so) for 10 ounces.
    (.003 x ask price x 10).

    The company probably shaved the bar to bring it as close to 10 oz as they could, and I would think they have some very accurate scales, calibrated frequently.

    The bottom line is how much you paid for it.

    I think 10 oz bars are not very liquid compared to 1 oz bars or fractional weights.

    If you have a return option, calculate the disparity with your own private numbers.

    I know nothing about this company and have zero affiliation…Spark
    SensibleSal66 likes this.
  4. Collecting Nut

    Collecting Nut Borderline Hoarder

    Welcome to CT. JM is a good company as far as I know. The bar may have been shaved by them to get it to weight. If it’s an older bar and it’s been bought and sold before, it could be that anyone shaved it. They hoped to get the full weight and value of the bar plus a little extra from what they shaved.
    A bar that size is not very liquid so it would be harder to sell.
  5. desertgem

    desertgem Senior Errer Collecktor

    I would personally have it XRF-ed to see if it is Pure gold at this size and cost. Yes JM has been around for a long time, but early days had no testing as good as XRF. The dealer might charge for it, but the peace of mind would be best for me. Doesn't look like a normal poured surface to me. IMO, Jim
  6. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    I can't imagine that XRF would do any good on a fake 10oz bar, which most likely would have a good millimeter or more thickness of gold poured around a tungsten core. Unless your LCS has a fairly large synchrotron in the back, they aren't going to be able to get any X-rays into the core and back out... are they?
  7. rte

    rte Well-Known Member

    I was going to suggest asking over on
    I looked but didn't see AU just AG.
    To me it looks like someone massaged that bar a bit and skimmed a little.
    The weight is still really close, maybe try someone else's scale?
    Your call if you're going to keep it.
  8. desertgem

    desertgem Senior Errer Collecktor

    The end with the filing shows a raw edge it appears. That would be the place to use an XRF if any. A sound wave velocity device would be another way. But its up to the buyer in the end. Jim
    -jeffB likes this.
  9. TGRussell

    TGRussell New Member

    Thank you for the replies. To be clear, JM is for the smelter Johnson Matthey, not JM Bullion.

    This bar is 6.8mm at its thickest. The bullion wand of the Metalytics requires a minimum thickness of 4.8mm. So, testing the entire area from both sides shows the bar to be good for metal purity. The bar was also sourced from a reputable distributor, though my communications with them regarding this issue have been a bit strained. They have said that they analyze all items taken into inventory for purity and weight. They were unable to give me an exact weight for this bar when taken into inventory, so apparently their records are not that detailed other than if it passes, it goes into inventory. They would/could not tell me the sensitivity of their scale.

    As the .003 t.oz. equates to under $7 value, and the cost of return shipping (which is on me, according to them) would be substantially more than that especially should it go missing in transit, I guess I will keep it. They were kind enough to waive the $2000 restocking fee as a "one time 'courtesy'" though. LOL!

    I'm still wondering if Johnson Matthey were known to weight adjust these bars by filing, and if it is not out of the realm of possibility for a bar to leave the factory shy by .003 t.oz.
    Kentucky likes this.
  10. rte

    rte Well-Known Member

    I have not seen a factory JM bar with filed anything.
    Although I don't deal in gold bars.
  11. mpcusa

    mpcusa "Official C.T. TROLL SWEEPER"

    looks a little suspect to me, especially when your dealing with allot of $$$$, PM bars are one
    of the easiest things to fake so you do need
    to be very careful !
  12. -jeffB

    -jeffB Greshams LEO Supporter

    This sort of thing is one of the reasons I'm reluctant to deal with gold and silver bars at all. (The more pressing reason, of course, is that I'm too chicken to place a single 10-ounce bet on the price of gold -- or, if you prefer, that I'm enough of a mindless sheep to trust that value in the hands of a bank or a brokerage or a public company.)
    mpcusa likes this.
  13. desertgem

    desertgem Senior Errer Collecktor

    For under $1500 you can get lab balances that has a 250 gram capacity with 0.0001 gram resolution. Yes , heavy-ham people have to be careful with it, but a Gold dealer??? and a fee to return it of that much? I am lucky to have a coin dealer with an XRF ( doesn't charge regulars) and is a family group.
  14. mpcusa

    mpcusa "Official C.T. TROLL SWEEPER"

    also, does that bar have a COA ? i ask because
    of the premiums involved.
  15. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    I'm thinking 9.997 ounces is 10 oz +/- 0.003 which is pretty close tolerance, and 0.003 oz is $6. Would you return it if it were 10.003 oz?
  16. TGRussell

    TGRussell New Member

    Thank you for the replies. This bar does not have a COA as a COA would be meaningless considering this is not a numbered bar. I do have a receipt from a reputable distributor though.

    Would I return it if it were 10.003 oz.? Of course not. I would expect 10.003 to be acceptable. It is my understanding that a bar is expected to be slightly more than its stated gold content weight, as the purity is not 100%. But, I could be wrong, hence the question.

    I'm not so concerned about its gold content or it being a fake, as I am that the filing is non-factory. I have ordered another, perhaps better scale, though it is still a relatively low end product.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2023
    Kentucky likes this.
  17. rte

    rte Well-Known Member

    Russel did you know the bar was going to have to file marks on it?
    I like a good looking bar and would think whoever did that would have smoothed it out.
    I guess it's a commercial bar so looks don't have to be a priority.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2023
  18. TGRussell

    TGRussell New Member

    That's something I had not considered. If somebody had been chiseling after the fact, you would think they would have been more discreet and try to cover it up.
  19. mpcusa

    mpcusa "Official C.T. TROLL SWEEPER"

    Having some sort a proof that it’s real would
    be a plus, when i bought bars in the past
    they always came with paper work and always bought numbered bars that way everything
    matched up :)
    SensibleSal66 likes this.
  20. TGRussell

    TGRussell New Member

    Hello, all. A quick follow-up on this thread. First of all, thank you for the welcomes.

    After purchasing a more sensitive scale and some Class 1 calibration weights, I am now pretty certain that this bar weighs the stated 10 troy oz, even taking into account stacked tolerances, and that any metal removed by the filing was most likely done at Johnson Matthey to bring it to proper weight before being put on the market. It seems the stated 10 troy ounces is minimum bar weight, not necessarily gold content weight.

    Thank you for the education.
    -jeffB and Spark1951 like this.
  21. Pickin and Grinin

    Pickin and Grinin Well-Known Member

    No, pawn shops don't care nor do Jewlers. they buy to melt and make jewelry. They could care less about damage.
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