Buy gold in Switzerland
Summary of buying gold
For savers, well known bullion coins and LBMA certified bars are suitable
The larger the gold pieces, the smaller the premium on the gold price.
Gold can be bought in Switzerland from banks and dealers, but also from other private individuals.
Banking gold is VAT-free in Switzerland
Why buy gold?
There are various reasons to buy gold, whether as a classic gift, for saving for diversification or to have a barter commodity for emergencies that is also widely accepted independently of state currencies.
Which gold suitable for savers?
No matter for what reason one buys gold, it should in any case be known coins or bars.
Gold granules, broken gold or dental gold are not suitable for saving and even less as a gift or medium of exchange.
Coins have the advantage that they are very attractively designed and that different mints produce their coins in very different weights, which offers the buyer a great variety of motifs and weights.
What is important with coins is that they are those that are exempt from VAT in Switzerland, these are all the well-known bullion coins such as the South African Krugerrand, the Canadian Maple Leaf, the Vienna Philharmonic, the American Eagle as well as the Australian Kangaroo or the Australian Koala and some more. Of course, the popular Swiss coins Helvetia and gold Vreneli are also exempt from VAT.
Here you will find a table with the most important bullion coins, with country of origin and manufacturer:
|Name of the gold coin
|United Kingdom GB
|Royal Canadian Mint
In the case of gold bars, you should definitely buy those with a purity of at least 995, as bars from certified smelters and assayers above this fineness are considered banking gold and are exempt from VAT. However, this applies to all gold sold to private customers in Switzerland.Register now and buy gold!
What does gold cost?
The price of physical gold is derived from the price of gold on the stock exchange. The smaller the quantity of gold coins or bars purchased, the higher the premium on the exchange price. This is justified by the production and trading costs. The production of a small coin or bar costs almost the same as the production of larger coins or bars. These production costs have to be included in the selling price and therefore account for a larger proportion the smaller the quantity of gold traded.
What should you look for?
Bars must show the fineness and a stamp abbreviation of a recognised assayer or smelter. While gold originally sold in Switzerland, whether by banks or precious metal dealers, meets this criterion, caution is advised with gold from distant countries. In Asia, there are refineries that are not exempt from Swiss VAT.
The Swiss Federal Customs Administration provides this list: Recognised precious metal smelters/assayers. The link to the LBMA on the last page should be noted, as the LBMA list contains internationally recognised refineries.
The importance of the LBMA when buying gold
If you want to buy gold, you will sooner or later come across the abbreviation LBMA, which stands for London Bullion Market Association, the name of an important over-the-counter precious metals trading association. The price of gold and silver is fixed daily on the London Bullion Market. The LBMA also certifies precious metal refineries. The certification of the manufacturer guarantees buyers minimum standards for the quality of the gold they buy. In addition, no VAT has to be paid in Switzerland on bars that come from an LBMA-certified manufacturer.
Where can you buy gold?
Switzerland is the hub of the international gold trade. Around 60% of the gold mined each year is refined in Switzerland. It is therefore hardly surprising that gold is easy to acquire in Switzerland. Two thirds of the Swiss buy their gold directly from their house bank, and there are also precious metal dealers. For small quantities of gold you have to calculate carefully, the prices that banks and dealers charge for small quantities are often very high. It is also advisable to check the possibility of trading gold directly with other consumers. premesec.ch provides an excellent platform for this purpose.
Is it possible to buy gold anonymously?
Gold can be bought anonymously in Switzerland from gold dealers in spot transactions for up to CHF 15000 and paid for with cash. Since banks only sell precious metals to their own customers, anonymous purchases are not possible. In other EU countries, the limits for the anonymous purchase of gold and other precious metals are for the most part much lower, in Germany 2000€, in Italy even only 1000€.
When trading gold between private persons, there is no upper limit, but we still recommend that precious metals are always traded against receipt only.
What are the advantages of gold over other precious metals?
As described above, banking gold is exempt from VAT, this is of course a significant advantage over other precious metals such as silver, platinum and palladium which are also traded for savings purposes but are always subject to the current VAT rate.
The ratio between gold already mined and the new gold mined each year, also called the stock-to-flow ratio, is very high. At today's rate of mining, it would take over 70 years to mine that much gold again. For silver it is still 22 years, for platinum and palladium it is less than one year.
All precious metals are used or consumed in industry, although the gold consumed in industry is negligible in relation to jewellery and investment gold.
In the case of white precious metals such as silver, platinum and palladium, the low stock-to-flow ratio and high consumption in industry can be a disadvantage, as this means that a change in demand is also strongly reflected in the price.
Frequently asked question about buying gold
Is gold VAT-free in Switzerland?
Yes, gold for savers is exempt from VAT in Switzerland. This includes the well-known coins such as the Krugerrand, Maple Leaf, Eagle, Vienna Philharmonic and gold bars with a purity of at least 995. Former exchange rate coins such as the gold Vreneli or the Napoleon d'Or can also be traded VAT-free.
How to buy gold anonymously?
In Switzerland, gold dealers are only obliged to establish the identity of a customer if the amount exceeds CHF 15,000; below this limit, gold can be bought anonymously. There is no limit when trading between private individuals.
In which denomination should I buy gold?
Since the surcharge is smaller the larger the denomination, one should not choose a denomination that is too small. It should be noted, however, that one should not exclusively buy large bars and coins, as otherwise one would have to sell a large amount of gold if one has a small need for liquidity. There is therefore no universal answer to this question, but it always depends on the individual needs of the saver.
Where can you buy gold?
Besides the platform premesec.ch where you can buy gold directly from other private persons, it is also possible to buy gold at the bank or from a specialised gold dealer.