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Counterfeit Gold Infiltrates Hong Kong Retail Market, FT Reports

At least 200 ounces of fake gold have been sold to Hong Kong jewelers and pawnshops, the Financial Times reported, citing a group of goldsmiths in the city.

Haywood Cheung, president of the Chinese Gold & Silver Exchange Society said 10 times that amount may have infiltrated the retail gold market, the Financial Times reported. At current prices, 200 ounces of gold would be worth about $280,000.

Paul Law, financial controller of Luk Fook Holdings International Ltd., said today by telephone the company purchased fake gold in August and suffered a loss of HK$40,000 ($5,148).

Counterfeiters used a pure gold coating that masked a complex alloy with similar properties to real gold that was discovered by industry executives, the Financial Times reported. Bullion surged 27 percent this year and is set for a 10th annual gain as the dollar dropped and investors sought a store of value.

“This type of product was so high-tech,” Law said. “It should be very unusual. I don’t think there will be more cases.”

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