Where to buy gold or silver cheaply in Singapore / World?

Many people like to buy silver and gold bullion bars and coins as an investment for the future, where can they buy in the world?

Metalor gold bar 1 kg
Metalor gold bar 1 kg

Where do buy gold and silver?

Singapore happens to be the cheapest and best place in the world to buy gold and silver. We all know that gold is a solid investment, and ethnic Chinese and ethnic Indians love physical gold as an investment for old age or to pass to their children. Silver, as an useful industrial precious metal, is also very popular to buy and hold.

Why is it cheapest to buy gold and silver in Singapore and where?

Singapore, with high GST (Goods and Service Taxes aka VAT) has NO tax on pure bullion gold and pure bullion silver. You are able to buy gold at 0% tax. Many countries in the world impose GST, luxury tax or various way of taxation on gold and silver, and only Singapore and Hong Kong has no tax on gold and silver.

Silver bar 500g Singapore
Silver bar 500g Singapore

Where can we buy gold and silver in Singapore?

1) Jewellery shops

Many jewellery shops that sell gold and silver jewellery at a high premium (craftsmanship and branding for jewelries are expensive) have also pure gold and silver bars in their shop.

Advantages:

Convenient. They are everywhere in shopping malls.
Trustworthy as most jewellery are big corporations

Disadvantages

Costly Premium – They have a high premium on gold and silver bar even when there is no craftsmanship involved.

2) Pawnshop

Many pawnshops do list gold and silver bars and coins from people who have pawned and sold their precious metals.

Advantages:

Convenient. You can find pawnshops in major shopping malls or town centers.
Premium is lesser than jewellery shops.

Disadvantages:

There is still quite some premium attached as the pawnshops need to earn profitably.
Stigma of “old gold” as the gold or silver is sold by someone who needs money.

3) Bullion shops that specialise in gold, silver bullion bars and coins.

We have seen the rise of bullion shops that specialise in selling beautiful coins collection, silver and gold bullion bars and coins. They do not charge a premium as they are non-jewellery shop and does not focus on the branding and craftsmanship.

Advantages:

The lowest premium you can find on gold and silver

Disadvantage:

Not as convenient as there are only 4-5 bullion shops in Singapore. You need to google search for their shops.

Gold Silver City is an ecommerce shop for gold and silver operating in Singapore for almost 10 years. We do insured courier delivery for numismatic coins, and for large value of bullion silver and gold – we are able to visit you at your selected location and deliver personally.
Buy your gold and silver here in Singapore!

Royal Canadian Mint - Gold Maple Leaf
Royal Canadian Mint – Gold Maple Leaf

How to test for Fake Silver?

How do we test for real or Fake Silver?

When we buy precious metals, we want to make sure we get the real, authentic metal. There are many good ways to test for real silver.

Magnet Test

One of the easiest way is to use magnet. Silver and gold are diamagnetic (metals that are not attracted to magnets) and a magnet will not stick to it. Any metal that sticks to magnet is definitely fake.

And real silver has an interesting reaction to magnet. When you move a magnet over the surface of a silver bar, you will feel a small resistance, as real silver is paramagnetic and create electromagnetic waves that resists the movement.

Ice Cube Test

Among all the metal, silver is the best conductor of thermal energy. It conduct heats extremely well. If you place an ice on top of a real silver coin, it will melt immediately, as if it is on a hot surface.

Sound Test

Strike your silver bar with another metallic object. If it is a real silver, you would hear a ringing sound that holds for 1-2 seconds. If the sound is non-ringing or a strange dull sound, please be cautious.

Density Test

Get an accurate scale and note the weight of your silver bar.

Get a glass of water, place it on the scale, and set the scale to ZERO.

Tie the silver bar, dip it COMPLETELY into the water, but without touching the base of the glass. The silver bar should be in the middle of the water, note this new weight number on the scale.

Divide the first weight of the bar, by the 2nd weight number (in the water), this number should be 10.49 for an accurate measurement of Silver density. (Silver Density = 10.49 g/cm3)

Ultrasound Test.

Using special instrument, you can use an ultrasonic device to test for consistency in a bullion bar. Sound waves travel at different speed through different metal. If your silver bar is merely silver plated, the numbers would differ from a pure silver bar of 99.9 purity. The sound velocity for pure silver should be 3600 meters / second (or  0.140 Inch/µSecond)

 

Caliper Test

Many established brand mint has known dimension and tight tolerance levels. For example, a silver Panda coin of 1 oz would have a diameter of 40.0mm and a thickness of 2.98mm. An American Silver Eagle 1 oz has a diameter of 40.6mm and a thickness of 2.98mm Calipers can reveal any inconsistencies in dimensions, and you should refrain from buying such items.

Acid Test

Warning: This test is destructive and will spoil a tiny portion of your silver. Please do not use unless absolutely necessary.

Buy an acid test kit, it is commonly sold on Amazon. Scratch a surface of the silver bullion and add a few drops of the acid on the silver. If it is pure silver, the color would be Bright Red. If it is silver, but not pure, it would be dark red, brown or green. Any other color means it has no silver in it at all.

Some key pointers before you buy that Silver!

  • Buy from a reputable merchant. If you buy directly from something like Ebay or Carousell, there are no guarantees that your product is authentic. (www.goldsilvercity.com.sg is backed by a Singapore firm, Newell Builders Pte Ltd, that has been established for more than 30 years. We are here for long term business. Over time, we have many regular gold and silver clients, check the clients’ reviews at www.facebook.com/goldsilvercitysg)
  • Mints are starting to fight back as well – some newer products have additional security features to prevent counterfeiting.
  • Know and understand how the different tests for fake bullion work, and use them to verify that your gold or silver is real.

 

Buying Gold Silver Guide – Does Brand matter?

GoldSilverCity sells a large variety of brands for both silver and gold, so the question on everyone’s mind is:-

Is brand important for bullion Gold or Silver?

© A2CLICK © A2CLICK

Currently there is a wide variety of differet gold and silver brands.

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 also financial institutes (such as banks like UOB Gold bar) that forge their own brands on gold / silver that is refined by other 3rd parties.

There are European brands, Americans, Australia brands, Chinese brands etc etc.

Do brands 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.

MintedRectangular_pack_50g_A_800_20130110

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.

Pamp Suisse Gold Bar Lady Liberty 1 oz
Pamp Suisse Gold Bar Lady Liberty 1 oz

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.

Bullion gold in Singapore has NO GST no TAXES

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.

m2070007_gml-security-pr-rev-305

 

What is your favourite brand?

We have all major favourite gold and silver brands.

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.

 

Buying Gold Silver Guide – Bars or Coins?

Many new stackers would ask, be it Gold or Silver,…

Do I stack in coins or do I stack in bars?

Coins

Funnel web spider silver coin 1 oz
Funnel web spider silver coin 1 oz

Coins generally are a favourite among collectors. They comes in different size, from 0.10, 0.25. 0.5, 1, 2 ounces for gold coins, and more common of 1, 2, 5 ounce for silver coins (silver has a wider range from 0.5 ounce to also 1kg or 10kg silver coin, but less commonly bought)

Coins are easy to stack, since you can stack a brunch of them in easily available tubes. And as we use coins in our everyday currency, coins gain legitimacy and recognition easily.

As most coins are in the common 1 oz size, it is also fairly standardised and easy to compare in value.

And there are many different designs and branding available on coins, such that certain coins’ design attracts a fatter premium. These wide range of designs available on coins allow collectors to diversify and beautify their collections, crossing their investment portfolio as an interesting hobby as well.

The biggest disadvantage of silver coins is that minted coins are prone to milkspots. These are white spots on silver bars or coins, even when you bought it fresh from the mint. Royal Canadian coins are notorious for milkspots on their coins, and generally, collectors have learnt to live with it. Do note that there are ways to remove milkspots, but most investors would not do that as it may reduce the value of the coin. Silver coins also may get “toning”, getting blackish and brown over the years due to discolouration from the oxidation.

Coins also have a bit more premium than bars. Generally you are paying for the melt-value of the metal (the spot price of the precious metals) and the brand / design of the coin. In this aspect, coins has a bit more premium that you have to pay for compared to bars.

On another note, precious metals in round shaped are only classified as “coins” if they are minted by public / government mints and declared as “legal tender”. If they are minted by private mint, they do not have legal tender, and the more correct name for them is “rounds”.

Bars

 

PAMP Suisse 100g Minted Gold Bar
PAMP Suisse 100g Minted Gold Bar

Gold bars and silver bars are common for investors to buy and stack, as they are easy to stack especially in larger volumes. The bars can come in as small as 5g or 1g for gold, and more commonly in larger sizes for stackers, such as 100g bars or 1 kilo bars for gold, or 100 oz, 1 kilo, 5 kilo etc for silver bars.

Silver bars of any size are an excellent way to invest in pure Silver while avoiding the premiums usually found on legal tender bullion coins. They are easily bought and sold, stored, stacked and counted..

Minted bars may still face milkspots, though cast bars are generally more robust and less likely to have milkspot problems. Cast bars also provide a more industrial and raw feel and appeals to some collectors.

Bars has less designs compared to coins, and heavier bars are harder to liquidate due to the weight and large monetary value.

In summary

Coins- Pros

More similar to day-to-day currencies, more standardised.
Many designs available.

Coins- Cons

More premiums payable
Some coins are more prone to milkspots

Bars- Pros

Less premiums, and more large size available for stacking

Bars- Cons

Less designs. Larger bars slightly more difficult to liquidate.

Gold Silver City has categorised gold and silver into bars and coins for easier viewing. Check out Gold Bars or Gold Coins and of course, Silver Bars and Silver coins for different sorting. Hope that helps with your viewing pleasure!

Buying Gold Silver Guide – Gold or Silver?

Buying Gold Silver Guide – Gold or Silver?

For all new stackers who wish to start saving their hard earned money in physical metal, the first question usually arise would be:-

Which precious metal?

Well, firstly  precious metal is a rare, naturally occurring metal of high economical value. We have used precious metals previous as currency, such as coins and taels. With the creation of modern fiat currency, precious metals are now widely regarded mainly as investment and industrial commodities.

Gold Silver coins

The best-known precious metals are  gold and silver. There are other precious metals such as ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium and of course, platinum. However, these rare precious metals are rarely traded and less liquid as the 2 most common precious metals known to us – Gold and Silver.

Let us focus on Gold and Silver, which are the popular precious metal in Singapore.

Gold –

Currently as of 16 August 2015, the spot price of gold is SGD $1567.53 per troy ounce (or USD $1114.30)

Valcambi Suisse Minted Gold Bar
Valcambi Suisse Minted Gold Bar

Gold is the most recognised, most liquid precious metal. Not only is it easier to buy, it is easier to liquidate for cash too. Gold is a popular jewellery, but for investment, we would only deal with investment grade gold, in the form of bullion bars or coins. You can buy pure gold coin or bars from bank, such as UOB head branch, or jewellery stores. These are usually a lot more convenient, almost any jewellery stores would have gold bars of different sizes for sales.  Unfortunately, most of these gold bars and coins are sold at a high mark up. The high mark up is mostly because of the high rental costs and branding of the bank or jewellery stores.

You can also visit shops that specialise in bullion gold / silver, the markups are low as they specialise in bullion products and generally has less recognition power compared to UOB or big brand jewellery name like Poh Heng Jewellery. A quick search would reveal many bullion shop such as Gold Silver City in Singapore or Gold Silver Singapore.

Most importantly, the reason why Gold is the top choice of many investors is because it is so recognised in value and easy to liquidate. You can sell gold easily, without too much loss in value. Most banks and jewellery franchise buyback, though they cut a commission for themselves. You can sell to bullion shops,  majority of them buybacks. You can visit any pawnshops in your neighbourhood and you can get cold hard cash easily. If you bother to use forums, eBay, carousells or other avenues, you can even get a slightly better price. It is that easy to convert your investment into cash.

2015-gold-panda-half-oz-bs2

The biggest disadvantage of gold is that it is so costly, and it may be difficult for cost averaging when one small gold coin of 1 ounce costs $1600. Thankfully there are gold bars and coins that are smaller. For investment, gold is a bit more demanding on the pocket.

 

Silver

Currently as of 16 August 2015, the spot price of silver is SGD $21.52 per troy ounce (or USD $15.30)

stacking silver

As you can see, the biggest advantage of stacking silver is that it is light on the pocket. One ounce of silver costs you only a meal at a causal restaurant in Singapore. That is also why Robert Kiyosaki of Best Selling Book  “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” strongly allocates buying silver, even for workers who are struggling to meet the challenges of rising costs of living. One can afford to stash away a few coins or bars monthly to save up for the future, rather than splurging on movies or costly meals.

Another advantage is that many silver investors find silver to be a higher potential in risk-reward ratio than gold. As the price of silver is so low currently, the chances of it doubling or tripling is a lot more likely than gold. ($1600 SGD double to $3200 SGD is a lot harder than doubling from $22 SGD to $44 or $66) Also there is a good chance the gold silver price ratio may move towards more silver. There are increasing industrial demand for usage of silver in our smartphones, solar panels etc.  Hence, there is a lot more speculative return potential on silver.

The biggest drawback of silver is that it is harder to buy or sell. Most jewellery stores do not sell silver, neither do banks. Bullion shops that specialise in precious metals would definitely sell silver coins or bars for investors. In Singapore there are many bullion shop such as Gold Silver City in Singapore or Gold Silver Singapore. It would be difficult to buy silver from convenient locations such as jewellery stores or banks.

39-2015-AusKoala-Silver-4CoinSet-Bullion-OnEdge-LowRes

If you like to sell your silver for cash, it is definitely more challenging than selling gold. Banks, jewellery stores and most pawn shops do not buy silver, so your only choice is via bullion shops that buy back. You may also sell them via forums and ebay. Thankfully silver is starting to get more recognised, and there are some pawnshops that are beginning to buy and sell silver. Silver would definitely get more traction.

In summary here are simplified pros and cons of gold and silver.

Gold- Pros:

More recognised. Easy to buy and sell.

Gold- Cons:

Higher dollar investment per ounce

Silver- Pros:

Lower dollar investment per ounce
Higher potential risk-reward ratios

Silver -Cons:

Less liquid- less locations to sell off.

Ultrasonic Device - To test Real or Fake Gold, Silver bars / Coins

Ultrasonic Device – To test Real or Fake Gold, Silver bars / Coins

Ultrasonic Device – For Testing Real or Fake Gold, Silver bars / Coins

All our suppliers use sophisticated spectrum devices to know the precise purity of our precious metals. As such devices can be large and take up some space, Gold Silver City has also bought a small portable device that we can bring to clients to test whether their gold and silver bars coins are real or fake.

Testing for Real gold or real silver in Singapore

This is a simple ultrasonic device that we can use to test for real or fake gold.
Similarly it can be used to test real or fake silver.

Many of my regulars who have bought precious metals from me over time understand that my gold, silver bars comes in their original packaging. Those that are minted with serial numbers and certificates can give a sense of security.
For those bars and coins that have no serial number nor certificate, I have bought this new ultrasonic device to give them another layer of authenticity.

Real Gold / Real Silver Sound Velocity

The sound velocity for pure gold should be 3200 meters / second (or 0.130 Inch/µSecond)
The sound velocity for pure silver should be 3600 meters / second (or 0.140 Inch/µSecond)

Remember, please only buy gold and silver bars / coins from reputable merchants like www.goldsilvercity.com.sg
For more updates and useful articles, please do LIKE http://www.facebook.com/goldsilvercitysg

For any clients who wishes to buy gold or silver, you can request for a testing. I will bring the ultrasonic device when I deliver the gold, silver, bars and coins to your doorstep.
Have fun stacking precious metals!

Sincerely,
www.goldsilvercity.com.sg

How do we test for Fake or Real Gold?

How do we test for fake or real gold?

When we buy precious metals, we want to make sure we get the real, authentic metal. We want the real gold. There are many good ways to test for gold.

Caliper Test

Many established branded gold bars or coins has known dimension and tight tolerance levels.  For example, a 1 oz  Canadian Maple Leaf Gold Coin has a diameter of 30.0mm and a thickness of 2.80mm. A 1 oz Chinese Panda Gold coin has a diameter of 30.05mm and a thickness of 2.70mm. Calipers can reveal any inconsistencies in dimensions, and you should refrain from buying such items.

Gold Coin CML descriptions
Gold Coin CML descriptions

Magnet Test

One of the easiest way is to use magnet. Most metals are attracted to magnet, but silver and gold are diamagnetic (metals that are not attracted to magnets) and a magnet will not stick to it. Use a very strong magnet, such as neodymium, to test the gold. If it stick to the magnet, then it is fake gold.

Do note that this is not a 100% foolproof test to determine real gold. Some counterfeit gold are made from metals that are not magnetic in nature.

Density Test

Get an accurate scale and note the weight of your Gold bar.

Get a glass of water, place it on the scale, and set the scale to ZERO.

Tie the gold bar, dip it COMPLETELY into the water, but without touching the base of the glass. The gold bar should be in the middle of the water, note this new weight number on the scale.

Divide the first weight of the bar, by the 2nd weight number (in the water), this number should be 19.30 for an accurate measurement of Gold density. (Pure Gold Density = 19.30 g/cm3)

 

Ultrasound Test.

Using special instrument, you can use an ultrasonic device to test for consistency in a bullion bar. Sound waves travel at different speed through different metal. If your gold bar is merely gold plated, the numbers would differ from a pure gold bar of 99.9 purity. The sound velocity for pure gold should be 3200 meters / second (or  0.130 Inch/µSecond)

 

Porcelain Test

Rub the piece of gold across a piece of unglazed porcelain tile. It should not make a black streak. If it does then it is pyrite. If the streak is golden yellow then it is gold.

Acid Test

Warning: This test is destructive and will spoil a tiny portion of your gold. Please do not use unless absolutely necessary.

Buy a nitric acid test kit. Scratch a surface of the gold piece and add a few drops of the acid on the gold. If it turns green, the item is either brass metal or gold plated. If it turns milky, it is gold plated sterling silver. If there is no reaction, then it is real gold.

Some key pointers before you buy that gold!

  • Buy from a reputable merchant. If you buy directly from something like Ebay or Carousell, there are no guarantees that your product is authentic. (www.goldsilvercity.com.sg is backed by a Singapore firm, Newell Builders Pte Ltd, that has been established for more than 30 years. We are here for long term business. Over time, we have many regular gold and silver clients, check the clients’ reviews at www.facebook.com/goldsilvercitysg)
  • Mints are starting to fight back as well – some newer products have additional security features to prevent counterfeiting.
  • Know and understand how the different tests for fake bullion work, and use them to verify that your gold or silver is real.