Police in the central province of Quang Ngai said recently they had arrested a Chinese national for allegedly trying to sell a fake gold ring to a local jeweler.
Nguyen Huu Phuong, 43, owner of the gold shop, said the man, identified later as Li Chuan Liang, 43, came to his shop on March 19, spoke a little Vietnamese, and tried to sell a ring which he claimed weighed three tenths of an ounce.
A ring of that weight costs more than VND10 million (US$478) at current prices.
Since he had once been cheated by a Chinese person, he carefully tested the ring and found it to be genuine gold, he said.
But when he was about to assay it in fire, the man asked to have the ring back.
Now suspicious, Phuong secretly called the police but managed to keep Li back.
After officers arrived, he assayed it in fire and found the ring did not melt despite being heated to above 3,000 degrees Celsisus, merely turning black instead.
Gold's melting point is 1064 degrees.
It is not known what material the ring is made of.
Li said he came to Vietnam earlier this month as a tourist.
The police said at least two gold shops in Quang Ngai have fallen prey to similar fraud also possibly by Chinese nationals.
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