Gold coins and ingots are a traditional store of value. Since the 19.3 grams per cubic centimeter density of gold is almost identical to the 19.25 g/cm3 of tungsten, tungsten has been used to counterfeit gold coins and ingots. The fake tungsten composed coins and ingots are plated with gold. In some cases, some of the gold has been extracted from genuine coins and ingots, the hole created being replaced with tungsten.
Dr. Eric Thorsgard, chief operating officer of Cutting Edge Opportunities DBA Osmiridium, says he has the answer to this problem. On May 10, Thorsgard announced a hybrid of the elements osmium and iridium that he calls osmiridium, claiming there is no substitute metal that could be used to counterfeit coins comprised of these two metals.
“My goal is to generate interest in osmiridium as a uniquely safe way to buy and sell precious metals for wealth protection and portfolio diversification,” said Thorsgard. “I want to ensure these uncounterfeitable coins exist. If fact, if anyone wants to get in on the production and sale of these extreme density coins, I encourage them to contact me. I am willing to discuss sharing my research and protocols.”
CEO was set to introduce what it calls “15,000 limited edition coins” in June. The issue should more correctly be considered to be medals or rounds.
The osmiridium composition rounds will be marketed as bullion. Their density is 22.5 g/cm3. No other element with a similar or identical density had been identified when preparing this article. This does not suggest such an element or compound could not exist.
A May 10 PR Newswire press release called osmium and iridium “the densest elements in existence.”
The article continues, “The osmiridium coins will be the first-ever precious metal coins that can be traded with absolute confidence between people with no special analytical knowledge. This is history in the making and has never been done before.”
According to Thorsgard, any counterfeiting attempts will result in a round that will be of a different size in order to duplicate the weight.
Thorsgard also speculated on future price values, saying: “The price of rhodium went from $400 per ounce to $10,000 per ounce due to speculation. A company making osmiridium coins ought to stimulate a similar speculation price increase.”
Englehard industrial bullion daily prices include spot prices for both osmium and iridium.
According to CEO promotional information, “These 22 gram per cubic centimeter osmiridium coins are un-counterfeitable by the laws of physics. Osmiridium is 500 times less abundant than gold. Osmiridium is 10 times less abundant than rhodium, which had a speculation price increase from $400 an oz to $10,000 an ounce between 2004 and 2008.”
Rhodium was at about $950 an ounce at the time this article was being prepared. Osmium was at $400, while iridium was priced at $945. It should be pointed out that the $10,000-per-ounce figure used by CEO dates from the peak of the Great Recession, a time when due to economic uncertainty there was a historic rush to buy metals as a speculative financial hedge against the stock market.
Osmium and iridium are both found as trace elements in platinum ores. Each is generally described as being both hard and brittle. Osmium is bluish-white, while iridium is silvery-white in color. Refined iridium should be considered to be flammable.
This article was originally printed in World Coin News. >> Subscribe today.
More Collecting Resources
• Check out the newly-updated Standard Catalog of World Coins, 2001-Date that provides accurate identification, listing and pricing information for the latest coin releases.
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