Zero Hedge ZJ6752

An interesting article at Zero Hedge today, which has a story about Bob Pisani’s visit to the GLD vault. The thrust of the story is that the Rand Refineries bar with serial number ZJ6752, does not appear in the GLD bar list. Our database has records from 20th June and I can confirm that the bar does not appear in the last 45 published documents. Eagle eyed Zero Hedge reader ‘The Grifter’, located an old copy of the GLD bar list from November 2009 on way back web with a bar from a similar number range, but not the bar itself (thanks Grifter, we’ve added this file to our data library).

We’re happy to announce that we found the bar, but just not in the GLD data. The bar currently belongs to ETF Securities. For those wanting to relieve their angst about the mystery identity of the bar, can check the following (zipped) spreadsheet, specifically work-sheet “MSL Gold”, row #10590 (Website bar list 2011-08-31.xls).

Note that the fineness for this bar is 0.9989, which we get a glimpse of that just briefly in the video (click for large version / close up).

As far as we have dug, this bar first appeared in the ETF Securities list on 21st July 2011, which at least gives a window for the timing of Pisani’s mini-documentary – however in all likelihood the bar had been in the vault since it was cast in 2009. The HSBC vault holds gold for other funds, so basically what happened is that the bar which was picked up, just happened to belong to ETF Securities (and not GLD) and no one on the TV crew bothered to check.

This find was a bit of an anti-climax for me, since it dispels the main conspiracy thrust so sought after by most of the commenters at Zero Hedge. The article is not completely without merit, since the gold bar shown did not belong to GLD – so in terms of ‘proving’ the GLD holdings, that’s really sloppy work by Pisani and HSBC. Maybe they showed him the wrong vault? But - the article was great because I would not have seen that video clip otherwise – it reveals a lot about the way HSBC work with that massive repository (for example, it looks like there is not too much physical segregation going on). On a frame-by-frame sequence with the video there are actually a bunch of other serial numbers seen and if I get the time I might match these up as well, but overall we get the picture – namely that HSBC hold a whole stack of gold bars and they don’t all belong to the same fund.

Watching the video sequence a few times, I do think he flips that bar around a bit too quickly though ... 400 ounces is actually really heavy. That thing looks really light :)

P.S. For anyone interested in the Rand Refinery numbering system, according to my book the two-digit and four-number system was first introduced in 1921, and the two letters are chosen at random and get changed once the full 9,999 bars are manufactured for that sequence.

P.P.S. This article was followed up a year later with more detail. (link)


Louis Cypher said...

Nicely done Warren. It will be interesting to look through the others to see if there is anything else of interest. How do you pick the wrong gold vault though? I would imagine those vaults are locked up tighter than max security prisoners. Paperwork to be filed. Keys requested. Keys counted on a nighty basis. Is their security so sloppy they have people just wandering around aimlessly in the vaults?
How could they possibly just pick the wrong vault if they were intent on showing the world they have the Gold?
Something smells a little off here.


great work.

GM Jenkins said...

I couldn't watch past the first few minutes yesterday, as I'm not a fan of propaganda, but if they explicitly said ZJ6752 was in GLD and we now know for a fact that it is not, then this is a really big deal, they owe viewers an apology, and we all should relentlessly demand one.

OC15 said...

Haven't you guys heard, GLD doesn't really have any gold. ;)

OC15 said...

More WB:

"The following reply to the question of what to do with the miners come from a few traders within our group. It is not the advice from The Leader or the group in general.

These traders believe that that best way to play the miners is to 'go for the kill'. For example, the SVM Dec11 strike 12 is going for 80 cents. The 52 week high on SVM is 16.32. If SVM returns to its 52 week high than these contracts should be worth at least $4.50. Similar option plays can be had for Paas currently $32+ with a 52 week high of 43, and similarly with CDE and other mining stocks. You should wait until the HUI index breaks 610 on strong volume and put on these trades.

The difficulty lies in the fact that even if silver breaks $50, these miners may not be at their 52 week highs. But worry not, once silver breaks $50, The Leader has something special to demonstrate to Blythe and the Morgue. Of that you can be sure. So the advice is to buy OTM options for December or later with a price target of at least 52 week highs on the miners. "

Getting very specific now with statements. We will find out shortly if they are for real. btw, JPM stock got hammered today. September 11th will be the 60th consecutive day silver would be above 36 if my counting is correct.

Kid Dynamite said...

What a colossal screwup by Bob Pisani - assuming of course that GLD didn't own that bar in question at the time he filmed this (And all evidence suggests that it was NOT a GLD bar)... amazing.

well done Warren.

Anonymous said...

C'mon people... how stupid do they think we are??? They drove Pisani around with no cell phone or GPS to some 'unknown' location??? Ha, they took him to the LBMA vault. Look at the video... that's more that 1200 tons of gold in that 'room' on all those pallets. Then he picks up ans shows us a non-GLD bar??? With all the leasing and hypothecation going on at LBMA, they probably ran out of production time trying to find a bar that could also be found on the GLD bar list! And, folks... isn't that the real problem we've all had with GLD for ages? Who's gold is who's in that room?

Warren James said...

Hunting around the cnbc site for a contact for Bob Pisani, I noticed the text for the video clip states:

"Gold Rush: The Mother Lode 31 Aug 2011 CNBC's Bob Pisani recently got an exclusive inside look at the HSBC gold vaults in London, where the gold for the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) is stored. One section of the vault contains gold allocated specifically to the GLD, but there are other clients that store their gold in other parts of the vault as well."

I don't know whether that was updated recently, but it looks like it was added. There certainly is a lot of gold in that room; and is enough video footage to do a basic estimate and possibly a 3D model.

I agree that production time would have had something to do with it "...we're almost outta time Bob, just pick up a bar, they're all the same..". But he later states he was in the vault for a total of 6 hours, so that doesn't sound like they were in too much of a rush. It's also possible the wrong bar was used deliberately just to get media attention. Just a thought anyway.

GM Jenkins said...

"There is no escape for The Morgue!!!

There is not enough physical silver.

We want to re-emphasize that the equilibrium price for silver is over $80 given the current demand for physical silver. da, do da............"

Anonymous said...

Warren, the thing to keep in mind is that Pisani, like all the other bubble-talking heads says what he's told to say. His words are edited as are all of them there - Did you note that he say the GLD holders don't actually hold the gold bars, but rather a share in the trust that owns them? A little CYA there, perhaps?

It's interesting to note that Rickards is saying on KWN today that people are fleeing GLD for physical! Thanks Pisani, former GLD'ers will hoist a brew to ya soon enough!

"If ya don't have physical in your direct control, you don't own it!"

Anonymous said...

...And I forgot to mention that now, even CNBC can't deflect the obvious world-wide truth about the massive rising interest in Gold... so, they are doing the best promo money can buy to make sure as much of that demand as possible goes into this globalist-controlled honeytrap. Heaven forbid, people buy physical or shares that the bankers can't hypothecate to their own gains...

socaljoe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
socaljoe said...

The lack of segregation lends credibility to the belief that the same gold bars are used to back multiple financial instruments. Call it fractional reserve gold banking.

stlouiehuey said...

Hey guys - - here is how the gov't works. If you are stone flat broke of gold inventory, take a CNBC crew over to ANY full warehouse and show the public oodles and poodles of gold. Now the public knows there is plenty of gold. AND, don't fret about the numbers on each bar, cuz I got to get back to my New Jersey bubble-head TV show. {Management of perception}. Thanks Jim Sinclair.

Anonymous said...

Heh heh, Well Said, stlouiehuey!

Bron Suchecki said...


Quote below. Interesting that ETF Securities and Ned only found out three weeks later. Maybe they should have been following Screwtape and they'd have found out about it earlier.

"About three weeks after it happened, I happened to have ETFS (EFT Securities), which is another ETF product company come into see me at Cheviot. Quite why they wanted to pitch a gold ETF to me is anyone’s guess because they should have known that it wasn’t exactly going to be a success, but we had an interesting chat, and I brought up some problems with ETF’s, and I mentioned this video to them and I asked them whether they’d seen it. They said no, they hadn’t, but that sounded quite interesting, could I forward it on?

So I forwarded that to them and said ‘I’m very interested to have comment from you on what you think about this’.

I got an email back which stated ‘That was interesting, and what’s even more interesting is IT’S OUR BAR!’"

Warren James said...

:) I er, 'like' the spin that silverdoctors put on the revelation, along with the chest-pounding 'we reveal this amazing scoop'. Not 'like' the way the silverites are expecting, but kind of a 'oh, that's sweet' wry-smile kind of like.

To me it sort of epitomises the current state of the silver-side metals analysis (silverogosphere), in that all the data is just sitting there, and the industry (however complex) is both observable and studyable. The pundits can only interpret what they don't comprehend in terms of their own frame of reference and end up assigning 'conspiracy' and 'fraud' to cover the gaps in their understanding.

A good example of that is your own head-plus-wall-banging attempt at illuminating the understanding of Mr S. Plushau.

I would leave a comment on the silverdoctors article, but to be honest the 93 current responses scare the heck out of me. I'm glad to have educated myself out of that fervent mess.

Warren James said...

As a follow up to my own comment just now, I do recognise my own smug arrogance (sorry about that), I just feel that silverdoctors was using my article as a source but not quoting me (it's not a scoop when we figured it out 9 months earlier).

But it amazes me that these guys don't look deeper into bullion banking and ETF management. I suppose if they did they wouldn't be able to talk their book. Sprott and others should be ashamed of the market speculation they present as fact. I'm embarrased for them.

Kid Dynamite said...

Warren - you just don't get it. do you work for the BANKSTERS or something? THIS IS UNDENIABLE PROOF that GLD's gold is owed to the Bank of England as the honorable Harvery Organ has been telling us repeatedly. By the way - if you're ever in doubt, or need to sell newsletters, please make sure to include the word "rehypothecation" - that really gets the metal-tards fired up...

It seems GUARANTEED that gold will now trade to $3000 in short order, now that SilverDoctors has discovered this news 9 months late...

(/sarcasm, because i know some of the metal-tards need to be told it's sarcasm...)

I worry about the increasing noise of nonsense in the metals lately... makes me think things are ripe to get crushed again...

Warren James said...

Not many gold commentators will be able to provide an update on this item. Recently we completed catching up on processing all the ETF securities documents.

On the 14th November 2011, the ZJ6752 bar was moved from the 'Metal Securities Limited Gold' worksheet, to the 'Gold Bullion Securities Limited' worksheet (all under the ETF Securities banner, same vault). The last record we have for the bar is 5th July 2012 - seems to now be MIA.

FWIW, we have other bars on record which appear to be from the same batch (also mostly from ETF Securities data) - they all have the same fineness of .9989


Unknown said...

Zoom in on this picture from Argo-H December 2013 and see if you can find something

Warren James said...

Hi Koos, unfortunately the quality on those images are not enough to make out the numbers, but even with a bit of fuzzy logic, we don't get a match (but I'll keep trying). I was interested to find out that Anglo-Far-East's primary vault is Switzerland ... they seem to operate on the same model as BullionVault, Goldmoney, etc.

If you're following this, we did a major secondary investigation on Bob Pisani's clip, and other bars imagery here. I've also got the Bob Pisani clip in High Definition now, and I'm trying to figure out how to extract it from the DVR for further study. Happy new year.