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This is not how physical gold works. My understanding is that it's tightly regulated with unique identifiers for all ingots, bars, etc and the ownership of each being recorded so there is an audit trail if a diluted bar or ingot is found later. I assume freshly mined gold has to go through some type of formal lab validation / certification for purity that puts it into this identification scheme. I expect nobody will touch your homebrew gold bars lacking this identification, even at a steep discount, worse still for you, these unofficial gold bars are even easier to track and trace due to lacking official serial numbers and certification.

All of this isn't to say you couldn't "find a way" to get spendable money out of finding this stash, more so a question of staying on the right side of money laundering and taxation laws while doing so.

My understanding is that it's tightly regulated with unique identifiers for all ingots, bars, etc and the ownership of each being recorded so there is an audit trail if a diluted bar or ingot is found later.

Do you have a source for this? My understanding is there is almost no tracking whatsoever of gold. Yes, if you brought in a new poured ingot, someone will want to confirm the purity, but there are no required identification stamps on gold that connect it with an owner (some gold dealer may add them voluntarily). Dealer will be happy to pay cash as long as they know they aren't get scammed.

My father in law buys gold coins all the time. They are all identical and there is no way to determine ownership. You can buy and sell in cash. No questions asked.

Now, if you went to gold dealer and tried to offload $1M worth of unmarked gold ingots, you're risking a call to the police who will ask you where it came from. But beyond that, it's a pretty unregulated market.

It's surprisingly unregulated. I haven't heard of anyone melting stuff down, but thieves commonly sell jewelry to different buyers, who are only concerned about the quality and will take any ID details, fake or not. One guy said he can carry gold across borders in liquid form (I'm assuming aqua regia?) so he can sell it for a higher price.

You absolutely can sell unmarked gold, but at a lower price than, for example, Canadian mint gold coins. You may need to pay for an assay to prove its purity.

Edit: Google "gold scrap refining", it is not an uncommon thing.

It's very easy to test the purity of Gold because it is so dense. Simply place the ingot in water an measure the displacement since 1ml = 1cc. Unless you are dealing with high-end fakes that combine alloys to match the profile of Gold, this is a fairly safe method.

Become a jeweler. Problem solved.

You could melt it down into rudimentary jewelry and then perhaps sell that to gold buyers, who don't have to report <$10K transactions to the IRS

Transactions above $600 are reported to the IRS on form 1099 MISC.

You're thinking of the bank account deposit reporting threshold.

The 10K limit actually applies to buying gold but what you said is flat out wrong

"Gold and silver jewelry, like bullion, is also considered a collectible. So if you sell your bullion jewelry for a profit, it is subject to the same maximum 28% capital gains rate for precious metals and must be reported on your income tax return. Current law does not require that dealers report jewelry sales, even when dealing with 22K or 24K bullion-grade pieces, or in quantities above the 25 ounce limits applied to bars and many coins."

What you said is actually flat out wrong and you're trying to argue with a tax lawyer over something you clearly don't understand.

If you pay a US person at least $600 in the year, you must report that to the IRS on a Form 1099, usually a 1099-MISC. You don't report individual transactions, you simply report all of the income paid to that person over the course of the tax year. (For foreign persons, the form is the 1042-S, and there is no minimum threshold.)

Like the comment I was replying to, you both are conflating the anti-laundering reporting rules with the IRS income tax reporting rules.

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