Europe’s largest precious metal trader, Degussa Goldhandel Group, has the most diverse range of bars and coins made of gold, silver, platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, rhodium and iridium. Degussa is represented internationally in Germany, London, Madrid and Singapore.
In addition to traditional Degussa bars, numerous international investment gold coins are on offer. Online at degussa-goldhandel.ch a wide range of investment products and gold gifts are also available.
Bars or coins?
Degussa has its two Swiss branches in Zurich and Geneva. At these branches there are numerous options for purchasing precious metals. Investment gold, for example, can be purchased either in the form of bars or coins, whereby one can choose between different weight classes as well as between different product variants.
CEO of Degussa AG Andreas Hablützel explains: “With investment coins in particular, there is a whole series of different coinages to choose from. In addition, the weights are of different sizes. Gold bars are available at Degussa from 1 gram up to 1 kilogram.” Due to the different weight classes and therefore also price classes, it is possible for the investment portfolio to be compiled individually and to be continuously expanded with great flexibility.
The most common investment coins are mostly offered in weights of 1/10 to 1 ounce. International gold coins, such as the South African Krugerrand, the Vienna Philharmonic and the Canadian Maple Leaf, are among the safest and most popular coin products. The same goes for the Swiss Francs Vreneli gold coin and the Swiss Helvetia coin.
The choice between buying bars or coins is ultimately a matter of personal taste. It should be noted, however, that gold bars are cheaper than coins, since the minting of the coins incurs greater cost. The extra charge caused by minting may vary depending on the coin.
“However, coins can obtain an additional collector value beyond their pure precious metal value, for example if they were minted in a particular year,” says gold expert Hablützel.
Quality is the deciding factor
Bar or coin, the quality of the investment product is always very important and should be given top priority. Gold bars should therefore have the highest possible fineness of 999.9 / 1000. The most commonly traded bars have this content imprinted and will come with a quality seal.
On Degussa bars, this seal is the imprinted traditional rhombus of sun and moon, which is awarded only for the highest level of quality. In addition, gold bars should be certified by the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA), the international gold trade association.
Once you are in possession of bars or coins, you will soon have to face the question as to where these valuable pieces are best stored. Under your pillow or in the coffee tin are definitely not the best choices. Safedeposit boxes is one option.
With larger vendors, customers can usually store the purchased items immediately right there on the dealer’s premises. “We hold numerous safedeposit boxes at Degussa in Zurich and Geneva in compliance with the very latest safety standards for secure and discreet storage of precious metals, jewellery or other valuables in a nonbank affiliated facility,” says Hablützel. The size of the safedeposit box can be individually selected and the contents fully insured.
Another option for white metals – i.e. silver, platinum, palladium and rhodium – is to store them in a socalled “dutyfree warehouse”, as offered by some dealers. With this option, the VAT to be paid is incurred only if the metal is actually physically delivered – until then, it can be bought and sold taxfree.
Trust, expertise and fair prices
In addition to safe storage, the trustworthiness and professionalism of the precious metal dealer also plays a decisive role. In this regard, it is usually advisable to rely on a wellknown and reputable company. The dealer should also be an acknowledged gold specialist – which means, among other things, that there should be highly qualified staff to man the counter and advise clients.
Large gold dealers usually also offer the option of buying via their own online shop and having the purchased precious metals insured. As a rule, it is not advisable to buy from private individuals or online stock exchanges via the Internet. The same applies to instore “offline shopping” at dark gold booths near the station, or street traders.
Another important criterion is transparency in pricing. Prices should in no case be negotiable; it should always be adapted to the respective current exchange rate – in the best case scenario, every 5 minutes.
Unlike silver, gold is exempt from VAT. Under the Money Laundering Act, dealers are under obligation to record the buyer’s personal data for sales with a purchase sum of CHF 25,000 and more. Below this limit, buyers remain anonymous.
Good, reputable dealers are also recognisable by their offering a broad range of services. This should include convenient system for ordering, delivery or collecting from a store. If they further more offer the possibility of buying or selling bars and coins online easily and – above all – safely, this is always a good sign.
Precious metals can, of course, not only be bought but also sold. A person who wants to turn unused jewellery or the like into cash or who wants to sell their bars or coins should also pay close attention to their choice of buyer. Here, too, not everyone is equal – and they can often have a strong impact on the seller’s proceeds.
“For reselling, it is first of all the condition of the precious metal that is important,” explains Degussa CEO Hablützel. “If, for example, bars or coins are damaged, this may warrant discounts. The goods should therefore be in a good condition and with bars, the original certificates of authenticity should be enclosed.” Bars of well-known brands that are listed with the LBMA and thus have a guaranteed fineness and quality, can usually be sold without any problems.
Professional dealers use state-of-the-art test equipment and chemical methods to determine the pure precious metal content, which is the basis used for calculating the price. A video recording of the test procedure can also be helpful – and of course, the pieces brought in by the customer must remain in their sight at all times and never as much as disappear into the “back room”.
If these basic rules are observed and the current gold price is favourable, there should be nothing left to keep you from making an investment in this “safe haven”. All that is left now, is to decide between bars and coins. This remains a matter of taste.