450 grams of fine silver, this bar has an unusual weight, which is
based on the historical definition of the value of 1 franc in the
Latin Monetary Union. At that time, 1 franc was equivalent to 4.5
grams of silver, so this 450 gram bar is equivalent to 100 francs. It
was produced almost exclusively by the stamping process.
Who produces silver bars
smelters produce silver bars, in Switzerland the following LBMA
certified refineries are the most important:
bars with bank logos are also produced by the refineries mentioned
above. Argor-Heraeus produces the bars of the Zürcher Kantonalbank.
How silver bars are produced
production processes are common, stamping and casting. In the first
step, silver is refined to the desired fineness in both processes.
Then the ingot is produced.
casting process, the exact amount of silver granulate required is
melted and then cooled in a mould. Whether the silver is poured from
a crucible into a mould in a heated state or the mould itself is
heated with the granulate is irrelevant. The resulting surface
texture on the ingot is typical of this process.
stamping process, an ingot or strand is first formed into a long
silver strip, which is already close to the dimensions of the future
ingot in terms of both width and thickness. Then correspondingly
heavy silver plates are punched out of this silver strip, which are
subsequently embossed with the product and manufacturer logos.
the stamping process is usually used for bars of 100 g and smaller,
while the casting process is used for larger bars.
The fineness of silver ingots
fineness of 999 is the predominant grade for silver bars in
Switzerland. However, the higher fineness of 999.9 is also common.
is the lowest fineness, which just meets the Good Delivery Standard
defined by the LBMA (London Bullion Market Association).
What are the security features?
bars are traded with a certificate from the manufacturer. When buying
precious metals, the customer should make sure that the certificates
are still available.
The price of silver bars
price of silver is determined by the stock exchange and consequently
also the price of silver bars. The spread, i.e. the difference
between the purchase and the buying price, always depends on the
production costs and their relative value to the silver bar. So the
bigger the bar, the smaller the share of production costs in the
The importance of LBMA certification
for silver bars
London Bullion Market Association, or LBMA for short, sets the
standards internationally for the production of silver bars. Due to
its influence, its standards are also adopted in the legal texts of
the various countries. The LBMA is not only concerned with the
production itself, but also with sustainability, traceability and the
conflict-free origin of the silver.
Silver and VAT
is legally considered a raw material and is therefore subject to VAT
like all other products. Read our article Taxes
on Silver. Investors who want to buy silver without paying VAT
can do so by having the silver delivered directly to a duty-free
warehouse. You therefore have to use the specialised services of a
storage company, but you save the VAT.