The goal remains the same ... "use the database to identify gold bars that we see in the media, for additional narrative". This gives us a larger picture for virtually no extra effort, because the hard work of building the index is already done.
|Bob Pisani and me,|
from the filmed-but-
"Prosimians in the Attic".
- "Gold Rush: The Mother Lode" (4.55) cnbc link
- "The King of Refineries" (4.28) cnbc link
- "Gold Mine" (1.56) cnbc link
- "Gold Rush: The Bullion Trail" (4.11) cnbc link
- High Definition Advert for the Series # 1 (0.31) youtube link
- High Definition Advert for the Series # 2 (0.38) youtube link
Clip #1 is the one referenced by the 2011 Zero Hedge article - the ZJ6752 bar is obviously the one most clearly shown since Bob flips it in front of the camera. The only commentator I know of looking for additional serial numbers was 'Conrad Murray' in the Zero Hedge comments section (link):
|Conrad Murray says: "Frame at 1:31, 12 bars showing numbers.|
2 are on the most recent bar list (didn't check all others)
36431 METALOR TECHNOLOGIES HK
38431 METALOR TECHNOLOGIES HK"
|This image is from a documentary on the Federal reserve. The shape and make|
of the bars are a good match, but unfortunately the number appears to
indicate the 'batch' or something else, but it's not the serial number.
|The gross weight (oz) for one of the bars they are weighing (in video clip #1 @ 3:13).|
|Video clip # 1 @ 3.22 - bar list of JMBRAM bars (Johnson Matthey Limited, Brampton Ontario)|
|from earlier graphic, using Photoshop to rotate the image.|
Limit of reading error is large and many lines are unreadable, however I've got photoshop handy which lets me zoom and resize (plus I've lots of experience with the Google Captcha images). For the numbers which are readable I get TEN EXACT MATCHES from the sheet of paper, for bars held in GLD. Most of these show up in the GLD list on 5th August 2011, so this (presumably) sets an approximate date for when the filming took place.
The spreadsheet below contains the data and references for these 10 bars, including relevant links to our GLD document archive, in case you want to do any matches of your own. The bars identified start with "18####", which you can also see from the piece of paper. It's worth noting that these bars didn't stay registered in GLD for long - NINE disappear from the GLD registry by 25th August 2011, the tenth one is still there - JOHNSON MATTHEY BRAMPTON '187256' weighing 400.300 gross oz, fineness 9957. Verification: GLD.20130111.144338.Barlist.pdf (Page 1832). This doesn't mean these bars are not still in the vault, it simply means we don't know where they are presently.
So when we see them weighing and stacking the bars, these are/were real bars in GLD too. The mathematicians out there may be pondering the probability of a false match (which is always possible inside such a large sample set) ... someone else can work it out ... the ten bars were matched (with no duplicates) on a six-digit weight, 4-digit fineness and barserial (length 6). How many 6-digit JOHNSON MATTHEY BRAMPTON bars are in existence? In total, we have records for over 45,000 in the database (which includes other funds).
|Clip #1 @ 3:26 - stacking the JMBRAM bars which were being weighed.|
Although the full serial number cannot be made out, the first two digits
appears to be "18####', which correlates nicely with our found data.
So, did the other video clips also have some good bar pictures? Yes they did - but the matching had mixed results ... The three bars in the foreground below are clearly marked "ZH9925", "ZH9924" and "ZH9923" (Rand Refinery bars) - all three which appear briefly in the Metal Securities Limited Gold (ETF Securities) data during March 2011 through to May 2011, but they seem to disappear from the records in June 2011 and they haven't shown up anywhere since. You'll note that the 'year produced' is 2009, so in theory they have been in a vault for a while. If we assume that the footage was taken at the time of the CNBC visit, then this suggests the bars were still in the HSBC vault even after they appeared briefly on the ETF Securities list (fancy that) ... this is what we call 'dark bullion' (because it appears to be there but is not showing on any lists).
|Clip #5 (0.02) high res Rand Refinery Serial numbers.|
Made an appearance briefly in ETF Securities (London).
(Worksheet "MSL Gold", Rows 4931-4933)
From here however, the trail goes dark. The rand refinery clip (Clip #2) has lots of highly-visible serial numbers, but there are no matches. I'm still going to show the image however, because we do have 323 records in the 'XP' series - most of which appear in GLD, but also a few in GoldMoney Zurich.
|NO MATCH for these. Pity.|
|^^^ from the Rand Refinery visit, these bars are on a trolley. (Clip 5 @ 0:23)|
What a shame we found Zero matches for these serials.
|^^^ From BullionVault's image library - a Johnson Matthey Bar: serial 21592, fineness 9976 - has been with BullionVault London at least since May 2011 (my records started, and was still there in August 2012). Having this photo demonstrates my interest in this exercise - from the photo we now know that the bar was produced in "2004" (which probably also applies to some of the bars from that 'batch' as well). VERIFICATION: BGL.20120809.122504.NeilJGeddes.pdf (Page 4, Line 4)|
|^^^ Rand Refinery ZA7798 and ZA7796 (red highlighted) are currently in GLD (and has been since the start of my records in June 2011), the vault is HSBC London. The fineness of both these bars in the database is 9989. Similar to the bar above, now we know that the 'ZA' series was produced in 2009, which is useful since we have records for 1,962 'ZA' bars. The other ZA bars in the picture are unaccounted for, but in theory they are in the same physical vault as the ones we know about. I have no idea where or when the picture was taken, sorry. VERIFICATION: GLD.20130111.144338.Barlist.pdf (Page 1547 - roughly the middle of the page for both)|
|^^^ This is a Russian Bar (OJSC Krastvetmet, Krasnoyarsk) whose current location is with ETF Securities in London. We know from the database that it was listed as early as mid-Dec-2011 as 'A016707' and then February 2012 they adjusted the serial number record to '2011A016707' to reflect the year, so that checks out. The bar is still there. We also have 137 bars on record which match the (7 digit series). The serial number adjustment is in line with the LBMA best-practice requirements and is something we will have to build into the database structure when we are analysing vault movements. The word in the circle is 'Russia' in Russian. picture source: internet (ack. David Levenson). VERIFICATION: ETF.20130112.015448.WebsiteBarList2013.01.11.xls (Worksheet: "MSL Gold", row 11315)|
Finally, a HUGE disappointment was the lack of matches from what otherwise should have been a jackpot of serial bar correlations. I recently purchased a new LBMA publication titled 'The London Good Delivery List - Building a Global Brand 1750-2010' (link), which has the distinguishing feature of a gold-bar photo shoot. It's quite a magnificent shot but unfortunately as far as 'matches with ETF-held bars', there are no correlations. However this is not to say that we haven't gained any information from the picture - we now have some good references for bar markings and also year of production (batch runs). I am considering framing the cover (the contents of the book is also excellent and useful for my research into historically accredited refiners).
|^^^ Image borrowed (from their website) for illustration. The double A4 cover shows|
76 assembled bars and dedicates a page to explaining their origins - most come from
the Bank of England vault. Unfortunately none of these appear to be from an ETF.
Result? A tiny bit closer to the real world that sits behind the abstract lists. Tungsten? These photos we've seen just only represent a tiny proportion of the number of the bars out there, so it's still possible - but the main problem is that as more details emerge through study, the conspiracy theories can only be taken with increasing amounts of salt. For example, these folk (talking about ZJ6752) were deadly serious at the time they did the audio. Real question is; how many more similar stories can also be solved through the knowledge of just a few additional facts?
p.s. I have used my archived documents as links so that the article links stay relevant. The normal links are GLD and ETF Securities, if you want to verify against the originals too. The renaming process I use for my archive is described here (and I do not alter the original source).
p.p.s. No Chinese-refined London Good Delivery bars have yet been found in the extended data set