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The Credit Suisse Gold Bar is one of the most popular gold bars in the world. Minted by the prestigious Credit Suisse Group, renowned for its lustrous and fine bullion products. These bars carry the backing of one of the most recognizable international brands as well as Switzerland’s reputation for high-quality bullion and coinage. The Credit Suisse Group is a Swiss financial holdings company that dates back to 1856. The company has become an international banking powerhouse, but is a large producer of precious metals as well. Credit Suisse Group is currently headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland. Each Credits Suisse Gold Bar carries a unique serial number and is backed by the Bank of Switzerland.
Development, History and Introduction
Credit Suisse was initially established to aid in the construction of Switzerland’s railway system as a public works project. Through the first several decades of its existence, the “Swiss Credit Institution” (as it was then called) evolved and became an integral part of Switzerland’s development. The company is credited with aiding in the creation of the Swiss currency (the Swiss Franc), funding Swiss entrepreneurs, and helping develop the reputation of Swiss banking. The first Credit Suisse Gold Bars were made available to world markets in 1979. They have been produced non-stop ever since, and have come in an increasingly wide variety of sizes. These bars quickly gained a reputation as one of the most secure, affordable ways to own physical gold. Credit Suisse Gold Bars are produced at the Valcambi refinery in Switzerland. Since 2003, Valcambi SA has been the sole manufacturing partner for authentic Credit Suisse bars.
In recent years, and particularly in late 2022, the Zurich-based Credit Suisse bank has come under scrutiny for its dodgy financial record. S&P, in fact, relegated Credit Suisse's credit rating to near-junk status due to its ongoing liquidity issues. In response, Credit Suisse has launched large-scale overhauls to protect the integrity of its holdings and to stabilize the company and abate investors' concerns. No matter the outcome of the financial crisis impacting Credit Suisse, the value of its bars is not connected to the status of its namesake. If Credit Suisse does go under, Credit Suisse gold bar prices won't be negatively impacted as a result.
Credit Suisse Gold Bars Physical Characteristics
Gold Bar Design
The design of the Credit Suisse Gold Bar is very distinct and instantly recognizable. The bars are a thin rectangle, with smoothed edges and very little “flash.” The front of each bar is stamped with all of its important information. The gold content, gold fineness and the bar’s unique identifying serial number are all prominently featured. On the 1 – gram gold bar, the text will read 1 g., FINE GOLD, 999.9.
The simple Credit Suisse logo is featured above the information, consisting of only the words CREDIT SUISSE inside of a rectangular box. Underneath the information, in a smaller rectangular box, the French words “ESSAYEUR FONDEUR” will appear, which loosely translates to “Melting Tester”. These represent the official stamp of the refinery that manufactured the bars. The words are in French because the language was, for a long time, the historic language of commerce in this region of Europe. The back side of a Credit Suisse Gold Bar will feature diagonally repeating copies of the Credit Suisse logo that appears on the front of the bar. Ultimately, the best way to accurately test whether your gold bullion is authentic is to consult a professional precious metals vendor or specialist who utilizes spectrometer testing equipment.
Credit Suisse Gold Bars of any weight denomination are guaranteed to have .9999 gold fineness (99.99% fine gold), qualifying as 24-karat. Credit Suisse is a European bank, so their bars are normally made in common metric weight denominations, though some have been made in troy ounces. Credit Suisse Gold Bars come in a very wide variety of sizes: 1000 grams, 500 grams, 250 grams, 100 grams, 50 grams, 20 grams, 10 grams, 5 grams, 2.5 grams, 1 gram along with 10 troy oz, 1 troy oz, 0.5 troy oz and even 10 “tolas.” The .9999 fineness of these gold bars increases their value; however, gold is an incredibly malleable substance and, if not packaged and delivered correctly, a pure-gold bar is likely to show signs of handling and wear.
Credit Suisse Gold Bars Pricing
Unlike bullion coins, gold bars are not used as legal tender, and thus carry no transactional value. Despite this, gold bars have certain advantages over coinage for investing in physical gold. The minting cost of gold bars, particularly the simplistic Credit Suisse Gold Bars, can be much lower than the minting cost of gold coins. This means that their market price (value of the bar as determined by the trading value of gold plus shipping and production costs) tends to be very close to the spot price (trading value) of gold. For an up-to-date look at the going spot price for a troy ounce of gold, check out our live gold price chart.
Gold bars are a very cost efficient way to own gold. The market price is the price used to determine value inside of an investment portfolio. Since gold prices fluctuate daily, the value of Credit Suisse Gold Bars will also fluctuate daily. Most major newspapers report the daily price of gold, making the value easy to track. Credit Suisse Gold Bars are considered very “liquid” precious metals commodity. This is because they are the most popular gold bars in the world, carry a unique serial number, and are internationally recognized. As such, they're highly liquid assets, even for precious metals, and are therefore relatively easy to trade on the world market at any time.
Investing in Credit Suisse Gold Bars Through an IRA
The IRS allows Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) that meet specific requirements to carry precious metals bullion as an investment in a portfolio. These are often referred to as “precious metals IRAs.”
Precious metals IRAs are self-directed and may only contain IRS approved bullion. Qualifying precious metals include certain gold, silver, platinum and palladium bars and coins.
Credit Suisse Gold Bars are one of the authorized forms of bullion for IRA investing. By placing real, physical gold inside of an IRA, Credit Suisse Gold offers diversification in your portfolio that is independent of fluctuations in stocks or bonds.
All Credit Suisse Gold Bars meet the minimum purity requirements as set forth in Internal Revenue Code Section 408(b).
For IRA investing, the owner of the account must make an initial purchase of at least $5,000 worth of qualifying bullion to establish a precious metals IRA. All subsequent purchases must be at least $1,000 each. When an investor makes a purchase of Credit Suisse Gold Bars (or any IRA-approved metal), the IRS further requires that all coins and/or bars be held in a qualifying “depository.” The depository is responsible for the security and maintenance of the bullion. Those with an existing IRA have the option of transferring or rolling over funds into a precious metals IRA. While most are bought and sold through different retailers such as APMEX (American Precious Metals Exchange), Credit Suisse Gold Bars can be purchased from Credit Suisse Group, and investors can even verify the authenticity of their individual gold bars by typing the unique serial number into the website. This serves to reassure those concerned about the prospect of counterfeit bars (if you suspect you've purchased a fabricated gold bar, read our guide to detecting counterfeit gold).
Similarly, you can invest in a self-directed 401(k) retirement savings account with Credit Suisse gold or bullion bars. However, since 401(k)s are employer-sponsored accounts, it's imperative that you check in with your employer and account custodian or administrator to verify whether precious metals are eligible for inclusion in your account. Typically, 401(k)s do not allow for physical metals to be included with tax-advantaged status, but indirect investments in Credit Suisse may qualify for inclusion. Speak with your financial advisor or 401(k) administrator to find out more.
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