The Gold Brick Scam, Curate's Egg

Rich men with a taste for gold.

Three or four, usually miners or people in the mining industry.

The Scam
The con artists, a group of miners, approach a rich man, such as a banker or business person, with a problem. They have been paid with a brick of gold and none of them have any actual cash. They ask the victim to buy the brick from them at a bargain price. The victim takes the gold to be tested and, cutting off a corner, finds it to be pure . He pays the men, who quickly leave.

The gold bricks is only partly gold. The centre of the brick is just a square rock with the corner's removes. This rock is covered in gold to look like the real deal. However, since the miners are in a hurry, they rush the victim into testing only a small corner of the gold.

Another similar mining scam is the salted mine in which the con artists sell a worthless mine by planting small amounts of gold in specific spots.

Goldbricking is also version of the coin collector scam.

Case Studies
The most famous goldbrickers were in the 1850s. A group of miners lead by a man named Peter Lavin, convinced Mr N D Clark, the president of the First National Bank of Ravenna, Ohio, to buy a 50 pound brick of gold. He advanced the miners over $10,000 for a brick worth only a fraction of that amount. By the time me melted down the brick and saw it's true value, they were long gone!

Take: Thousands

Keywords: Historical, long con

Created by Nicholas J. Johnson
Australia's Honest Con Man