What is Credit Suisse Gold Bar?
Gold bullion bars, in general, are pretty generic. There’s no unique design to them or historic significance per se. Most are valued for their melt values or gold content, with only a handful selling for a shade higher than the spot price of gold.
However, there are some exceptions, or have a fan-following akin to some gold coins. The Credit Suisse gold bar is one of them. So, what is the Credit Suisse gold bar? And why is it one of the few popular gold bullion bars today? In this article, we’ll answer the questions and discuss a few other pertinent aspects about the bullion bar. We’ll delve into:
- Getting to know the Credit Suisse bar
- Reasonings behind the bar’s popularity
- How to steer clear of fake Credit Suisse gold and more
If you’re out there in the market looking to invest in gold bars, a Credit Suisse bar is one of the many solid options. But before that, read this detailed overview of the gold bullion bar.
Table of Contents
What is a Credit Suisse Gold Bar?
Credit Suisse gold bars are gold bullion made by Valcambi SA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Credit Suisse. The bars have the Credit Suisse logo engraved, with other key details such as bar fineness and weight, individual serial number, and assay mark.
Read more: Is it a Fake Gold Bar?
The first set of Credit Suisse bars was made available in 1979. The bars come in different sizes, starting from a gram (0.032 troy ounce) to up to a kilogram (32.15 t. oz.). Other bar sizes include 2.5, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 250, and 500 grams.
All of them are 0.9999 pure gold and bear the text “Essayeur Fondeur” etched, which roughly means “Melting Tester.” Credit Suisse bars are also made in silver (0.999), platinum (0.9995), and palladium (0.9995).
Credit Suisse gold bars come in a tamper-evident package and certification/assay card. The supporting documentation helps identify the coin and validate its authenticity. Since the gold bar is 99.99% gold, sealed plastic encasing helps prevent cosmetic damages. The rear of the cover also has printed information about the bar.
Credit Suisse gold bars are not legal tenders and don’t bear any face value. Gold bars are usually not used as currency. So Suisse bars not being used as one is standard.
The Popularity of the Credit Suisse Gold Bar
As mentioned earlier, gold bars don’t attract investors like gold bullion coins. But Credit Suisse's gold bar is an exception. But why? After all, there’s nothing truly unique about the bar’s design or shape. Every other bar has its purity and minting details engraved on it.
There’s no objective reasoning as such. But the following could be the factors contributing to the bar’s popularity:
It’s Credit Suisse!
Credit Suisse, one of the largest global financial entities, backs the gold bar. The financial establishment has been a critical player in the development of Switzerland’s economy. It helped the nation create its currency system, fund entrepreneurs so that they could invest in several infrastructure projects, such as the Gotthard railway. It issued loans to develop Switzerland’s electrical grid and much more.
Credit Suisse was among those very few banks that weren’t affected much by the 2007-2008 global financial crisis. The bank was one of the first financial institutions to democratize bullion gold bars or make the bars in smaller denominations so that there’s no significant initial investment needed.
Credit Suisse is not completely clean. No company is. During the several decades of being in the business, the company has been mired in controversies multiple times. But that hasn’t affected the pedigree and standing of Credit Suisse gold bars much.
Made in Switzerland
Switzerland is known for its finance sector. The country’s solid banks, reliable legal system, a stable currency, and the image of being a “safe haven” for all things money are world-renowned. A lot of that credibility also rubs on to the Credit Suisse gold bar, or people have more faith in the Suisse bar than perhaps a gold bar made in some other country.
Not to mention, Valcambi SA makes the gold bar. The mint is among the preeminent precious metal refiners in the world, with a significant presence and standing in the precious metals industry.
Understated, Yet Attractive Design
The design, as mentioned earlier, doesn’t stand out. But if you flip the bar to its reverse face, it gets interesting with the Credit Suisse logo emblazoned repeatedly. The repeating imagery lend the bar an attractive look. The shiny rounded edges give the bar a touch of elegance.
Here’s a video showing the gold bar in the metal if you’ve not seen it before:
Spotting Fake Credit Suisse Gold Bars
Since gold bars with the Credit Suisse logo are pretty popular, it’s natural for there to be fake versions of it. Credit Suisse gold bar features are not difficult to emulate. Even the plastic cover and the accompanying certificates can be easily replicated. Proper packaging is no guarantee the gold bar is genuine. But you could do a few things to ensure the gold bar is the real deal.
Faux gold bar manufacturers are getting better at their dubious craft, making it extremely difficult to detect a fake gold bar with a mere glance. Even experienced gold dealers might have a tough time. However, things become more manageable with a real Credit Suisse gold bar by the side.
Check for discrepancies in the bars’ font size and style, letter spacing, finish (matte or shiny), the logo pattern on the rear, etc. Regardless of how meticulously done, the fake gold bar could have one attribute that’s off or not real.
Checking the bar’s weight, serial number, physical dimensions, doing a magnet test, etc., are other ways to ascertain the genuineness of the bar.
Take the Bar to the Jeweler
If you cannot discern the differences, take the bar to an expert, like a jeweler or precious metals dealer. With their expertise and the testing tools at their disposal, professionals are in a better position to confirm the genuineness of the piece.
Most fake Credit Suisse gold bars do a good job imitating the real thing. But they cannot afford to make the piece in actual gold or replicate the precious metal content of the original bar. Less than 5% of the bar is likely to be fine gold—i.e. the gold plating. Jewelers have machines that accurately test gold density and purity to the decimal. Proper testing will bring the fakie to light.
Read more: How Much Does a Gold Bar Weigh
Credit Suisse, combined with Valcambi SA, makes some of the most popular gold bars and coins—the Credit Suisse bar being one of them. Add a few to your kitty if you’re looking to buy Credit Suisse bars in gold, silver, or another precious metal. However, beware of fakes and always purchase from authorized dealers.
Can you add Credit Suisse gold bars to precious metals IRAs?
Yes, you can since the gold bar is 24-karat gold. A self-directed precious metal IRA admits gold coins and bars that are 0.999 pure and made by a mint that’s IRS-approved. Suisse gold bars conform to the requirements stated in Section 408(b) of the Internal Revenue Code. The only caveat is you cannot add just one Credit Suisse bar to a self-directed IRA arrangement. You may need multiples based on the size or minimum investment requirement.
Do Credit Suisse gold bar prices fluctuate?
Yes, Credit Suisse gold bars fluctuate in price like any other 24-karat gold bar. The price varies based on gold’s spot price. However, based on supply and demand, the retail price could be slightly higher than existing gold prices.
Are Credit Suisse gold bars still in production?
Yes, Valcambi SA has been the lone producer of Credit Suisse gold bars, and it continues to make them in all weights or sizes for worldwide distribution.
Does Valcambi only make Credit Suisse bars?
Although Valcambi SA is the only mint making Credit Suisse bars, the prestigious mint makes many other gold bullion items, too, including its very popular CombiBars. The CombiBar was introduced in 2011. It’s 0.9999 fine gold and is IRA-approved.
How not to buy a fake Credit Suisse gold bullion bar?
The issue of legitimacy with Credit Suisse gold bars usually arises when you procure them from shady dealers or at all-purpose e-commerce sites, such as eBay and Alibaba. If you stick to dealers who only sell bullion bars and coins and are established and trusted, landing with a fake Credit Suisse gold bar is highly unlikely.