There are a variety of brands available for both silver and gold, so the question on everyone’s mind is:-
Does brand matters?
There are refinery that cast or mint their own brands, selling it as close to spot prices as possible, there are private mints and are government / public mints, there are financial institutes that forge their own brands on gold / silver that is refined by other 3rd parties. There are European brands, Australia brands, Chinese brands etc etc.
Do they matter?
It actually depends on investors’ preferences. Some brands like RCM (Royal Canadian Mint) is reputed with very pure silver at the lowest premium in the market. Certain other brands, would demand a higher brand premium over the metal value of the bar / coin.
Bar / Coin = Metal Value + Premium
As the metal value depends on the spot prices of the gold and silver, you are essentially paying the premium of the brand. RCM has low premium. Certain brands like Panda series from China Mint has a much higher premium for its coins.
Whether it is worth it, it depends on the investor prospector. For example, CML (Canadian Maple Leaf) and ASE (American Silver Eagle) has very low premium over their coins, while Chinese Panda has a high premiums. This premium may not be fixed.
For example, if you have bought CML or ASE in 2011 or 2013 because it costs a lot less than the Chinese Panda series, the current value of CML and ASE in 2015 is still roughly the same as the metal value and the same low premium. Those collectors with the Panda series would be laughing their ways to the banks as the Panda’s premiums has rocketed. Of course this is not a sure thing, so collectors may have to judge their risk-reward ratios.
Another factor is the recognition of the brand. For example PAMP Suisse is highly recognised, especially by the elder generation. Hence PAMP Suisse is seen as a more luxurious brand.
Lastly, in Singapore, for investment silver and gold that investors can enjoy stacking up without paying the extra 7% GST, they have to patronise only certain brands that are considered IPM (Investment Precious Metals). These brands has to be under LBMA’s (London Bullion Market Association) Good Delivery lists. As such, it is important for stackers to buy silver or gold from these lists as you would be buying them a lot cheaper than if you were to buy a jewellery-branded gold bar that attracts 7% GST.
Except for numismatic bars and coins set, all the silver and gold in Gold Silver City are all classified under IPM, and hence has NO addition GST on them. It would be much more financial prudent to start investment without paying this extra 7% tax.