Alert Crook Snatches 86 Pounds of Gold and Walks Away

Most gold heists are executed by clever thieves who plan for months or years and then execute their crimes under the cover of darkness. But not all thefts are like that. Back in November of last year, a man in New York walked up to an armored car in broad daylight, grabbed a bucket that contained 86 pounds of gold flakes, and simply strolled away with it. The crime was clearly caught by a surveillance camera and, amazingly, it took until January 19th for the gold thief to be apprehended

In today’s post, let’s look at some lessons that the heist teaches about the gold you already own.

How Much Is that 86 Pounds of Gold Worth?

2. Image of a gold vault door, symbolizing the security dangers of sending large amounts of gold to be recycled and refined.  

We don’t know how pure or impure those gold flakes were, and whether they were mixed with dirt, silver flakes or other materials. But most news reports estimated their value as $1.6 million, which sounds about right. Just goes to show you that even a small amount of gold that one person can carry around (or stick in a pocket) can be worth a lot of money. So, what gold items do you have lying around and what are they worth?

What Percentage of the World’s Gold Did He Steal?

Let’s work the numbers. Per most estimates, the total weight of all the available gold that has already been mined is about 363,763,000 pounds. That means that the crook’s 86 pounds of gold amounts to 0.000024% of all the world’s available gold. That doesn’t sound like much, but it reminds us that there really isn’t that much gold in the world. The gold you have is rare and therefore, valuable.

How Hard Will It Be for Him to Sell the Gold He Stole?

We would like to tell you that crime does not pay and that the crook will have a very hard time selling the gold flakes he lifted. But sorry to say, he will probably not have a very hard time selling his gold, provided he is smart enough to sell it in small batches over time. Using some inexpensive lab equipment, he could even melt his gold into small ingots, for example, or fashion it into small pieces of jewelry. Gold, you see, is not traceable. A gold wedding ring you are wearing, for example, could contain the same gold that was owned by a pharaoh, king or queen, or a wealthy industrialist. That’s part of the mystery of gold, and part of what makes it valuable.

One thing we do know, though, is that if our phone rings and a caller asks us if we can test and recycle his gold, and it happens to consist of 86 pounds of gold flakes in a bucket, we will contact the authorities. We adhere to the highest and most honest standards in the precious metals recycling business. That’s why you can look forward to getting honest service when you call us at 800-426-2344 to discuss your precious metals refining needs.

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