The gold’s looking good in Geneva
Given that Roger Federer has just knocked our very own Wimbledon champion, Andy Murray, out of the Australian Tennis Open I wasn’t feeling particularly warm towards the Swiss when I landed here this morning. But really, Switzerland, the land of chocolate, cuckoo clocks and, of course, our Geneva vault. What more can you ask from a country?
Unfortunately I wasn’t here to eat Lindt or congratulate Roger but instead I had arrived here on a mission; to head straight to the Freezone and check in on some gold bars.
We’ve been storing our gold in Switzerland since November 2011. It is predominantly our British and European clients who store here. Very few US clients choose our Geneva location for their gold storage, instead opting for Singapore or perhaps London (read why here).
We are often asked about how the gold offered on our platform is stored and how we can be sure of its location and even its existence. Whilst we display vault statements on our site we feel it best to occasionally visit the vaults and check that the bars on our statements match those in the vault.
Today it was my turn to visit Gringotts the vault and count the shiny stuff. Before I go any further, for those imagining me standing in front of a big round door secured with huge metal cylinder locks whilst small goblins unlocked it for me, for a huge mound of gold bars to then be unveiled before me, you are mistaken.
It was way better than that, but that would be telling.
After seeing the vault, myself and Philippe from Malca Amit got to work checking the bars we store with them. Each is individually stored in a padded, protected pouch and this is stored in a numbered, barcoded bag. Each time the seal on both of these is broken (as had to be for me to check the bar numbers and bar weights), the bar was resealed again, in a new pouch and a new numbered bag.
As I unwrapped and checked the bars, I checked them off of the lists we have been provided with. It was then down to Philippe to seal them into new pouches and bags, recording which bar was in which pouch so he could amend our statement accordingly. I then checked that there were no errors on our new statement i.e. the same bars, in newly sealed and secured bags were in place.
After this fairly lengthy process Philippe secured all the gold together in a secure box which has a registered tag, unique to The Real Asset Company. It was in this state that the bars were returned to the vaults.
At the moment we store 1 kilo and 100g bars in our Malca Amit vault. The 100g bars were what I was looking forward to seeing the most as they are the latest addition to our service in response to client feedback.
In the next few weeks we will be launching our ‘reserve a bar’ offering which will allow clients to register 1kg and 100g bars in their name.
In our new service, when a bar is reserved clients will see their bar separately represented in their Portfolio page and will be able to view their personal certificate from the refinery showing the bar number, fine weight and purity. They can save or print off these certificates whenever they wish.
Gold bars from Valcambi, the world’s largest refinery, will be available to users of this service, which we hope gives clients even more control in their bullion investing. Because of this great new service I was keen to check out the new bars that had just been delivered by Valcambi.
All of the 100g bars that will be available when the service is launched are brand new bars, hot off the (refinery) press. They feature Valcambi’s great new design and come with a vibrant ‘Assay certificate’. The certificate shows the registered bar number and the signature of a certified Valcambi ‘assayer’.
I am so excited about our new product offering and really feel it goes a long way to providing our clients with the reassurance they require as to the ownership of their gold. I now feel even happier about it having seen the bars and appreciated what a great investment they will be.
Switzerland has long held the respect of the banking system and those looking to protect their wealth. My visit today reassured me of the time, security and care that is put into storing both The Real Asset Company’s and our clients’ gold by Malca Amit, our vault provider.
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