Investment forms for gold, silver, platinum and palladium
Interesting facts about coins, bars and other investment products
Physical precious metal is a suitable product for building wealth. Thanks to its dense value and liquid properties, such material has often performed well as a crisis currency. Furthermore, experts recommend investing a certain percentage of investable capital in precious metals as a general means of minimising risk. Coins or bars are particularly suitable for this purpose. And here we present some of the most important investment products which have gained international acceptance. In addition, we will inform you about the different investment formats which are available in gold, silver, platinum or palladium, and for whom they are most suitable. You will also learn how you can buy silver without VAT, and how physical gold differs from gold as a paper asset.
You can find these and other topics in the following list of articles. Click on a link to learn more about each topic:
Gold is the most sought-after precious metal, which impresses like no other as a high density store of wealth. It is offered as an investment instrument in the form of coins, bars or granules. Unlike gold as a paper asset, investors take ownership of the physical precious metal. Pure gold has high liquidity and is almost indestructible. Therefore, it is always considered a good store of value.
Gold is in greater demand in times of crisis because it is widely considered a safe haven. But what are the advantages of investing in precious metals compared to other assets such as real estate, shares or commodities? How important is diversification? And where can you store gold bars and gold coins to ensure your possessions remain safe and guarantee your property rights will be respected?
Gold coins were used as a means of payment until the beginning of the Second World War. Today, they are produced exclusively for the investment and collectors’ market with a high level of fineness and sometimes bearing elaborate motifs. Supply and demand determines the price. Popular Swiss gold coins such as Vreneli or Helvetia are often given as gifts for special occasions.
Classic gold bars are available in many denominations from one gram to twelve kilograms. They are particularly suitable for long-term capital investments and are considered to be crisis-proof. Their price is closely tied to the price of gold. The LBMA standard and their Good Delivery bars are a guarantee of their quality and authenticity. Gold coin bars (or Kinebars) with a hologram are an alternative option manufactured in Switzerland.
Investors who want to invest in white precious metals such as silver, platinum or palladium have to pay VAT on each purchase. However, open customs warehouses (OCW) or bonded warehouses in Switzerland and Liechtenstein actually allow the purchase of silver without payment of VAT. So, as long as the coins or bars do not leave the transit warehouse, these white metals remain VAT-free, even if they are sold on later.
Silver coins are offered in many designs and attractive denominations and are just as suitable for investors and collectors as they are for novice and experienced investors. This round form of investment product has many advantages compared to bars. VAT can be saved through differential taxation acquisition as well as via purchase and storage in a duty-free warehouse.
Silver bars are a versatile investment product. They are available in many weight units from one gram to 34 kilograms and are therefore an affordable option for every budget. LBMA certification provides investors with a quality guarantee. The price is based on the current silver price. Purchases and stored bars remain VAT-free within duty-free warehouses.
Silver granules are used in the manufacture of industrial products and to create silver jewellery. Silver coins and bars are much more common as a form of investment. Quality assurance, transport and storage of silver granules are not easy to implement, so their tradeability is thus limited. As a result, owners should expect to have to offer discounts to ensure a later re-sale.
Platinum is mainly used as a raw material in the automotive industry. Platinum coins have only ever been used as a method of payment in Russia. Nowadays, they are only issued as investment and collector’s products. Due to their high value density and close alignment with the price of precious metals, they have a high level of liquidity. Platinum coins can be bought and stored VAT-free in Switzerland.
Unlike bars of gold or silver, platinum bars have not been recognised as physical investment products for very long, but interest is growing steadily. This grey-white element is still considered the most elegant of the precious metals. It is often used in the automotive industry or processed into pieces of jewellery. Investors must expect price fluctuations, but can also benefit from increases in value.
Precious metal ETFs are exchange-traded index funds valued at current precious metal prices. A distinction is made between gold ETFs and silver ETFs. Physical gold or silver is deposited, but delivery can often prove difficult. ETCs and ETNs are related debt-only securities which carry a counterparty risk.
Precious metal depository facilities are offered by specialist dealers or manufacturer-distributors. Investors purchase physical gold or silver, which then remains in collective custody with the provider. This eliminates transport routes and costs, and can be used for common bars or coins. Private storage companies such as Swiss Gold Safe offer bank-independent individual custody in Switzerland or Liechtenstein as an alternative option .
The Krugerrand gold coin has been minted since 1967, making it the oldest bullion coin in the world. Krugerrands are made from a gold-copper alloy and available in four variants. There is no denomination stamped on these coins, so their value is based on the gold spot price. A proven crisis gold option, Krugerrands have an international reputation and can be traded worldwide. This South African coin with the springbok motif is also available in silver.
First minted in 1979, the Canadian Maple Leaf gold coin is among the purest investment coins that have ever been produced – with an exceptional purity of 99.99% gold from 1982 onwards. It is available in five different weight units. This investment coin with the maple leaf motif is accepted worldwide and is suitable for beginners, professionals and collectors alike. It is also available in a white metal format as silver, platinum and palladium coinage.
The Austrian mint has been producing the Vienna Philharmonic gold coin in five different denominations and large mintages since 1989. The coin’s motifs depict well-known musical instruments. The Vienna Philharmonic is considered a popular investment product that is known around the world and traded internationally. This reputation makes it one of the best-selling bullion coins. This European precious metal coin is also issued in silver coin and platinum coin formats.