Valcambi Suisse is one of the finest private refineries in the world, and stands out with its quality products in a nation known for hosting some of the greatest mints and refineries in the world. Switzerland has long been a home to the global financial community, and although Valcambi is not one of its oldest institutions, its state-of-the-art facilities and beautiful silver bars are among the reasons that its products are coveted by investors around the globe.
The Valcambi Suisse refinery first opened its doors in 1961 as the Valori & Cambi refinery in Balerna, Switzerland. Since that time, the company has undergone two critical transition periods. After eight years on its own, Credit Suisse came onboard as the primary owner in 1968 and helped lead the company to status as LBMA and COMEX Good Delivery producers. In 2001, Credit Suisse began a slow withdrawal from the bullion business, and by 2003 had sold Valcambi to European Gold Refineries.
Today, Valcambi has again been sold to Global Gold Refineries Ltd., a company that is jointly owned by private enterprises in India (5%) and Singapore (95%). Valcambi currently operates a 3.3 hectare facility that is capable of producing roughly 5.4 tons of precious metals each day, with a product output of roughly 3.8 tons of gold bars and coins daily, and 1.8 tons of silver bars each day.
Unlike sovereign mints that focus primarily on gold and silver coins in bullion or proof versions, Valcambi Suisse is a private minting facility that focuses on the production of bullion bars in gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. There aren’t many bars from the refinery that feature intricate designs, as the main draw of the products from Valcambi are the metal content and high quality of the finish in each product.
Currently, Valcambi strikes a wide range of cast and minted bars, as well as a brand-new gold sphere coin that was released in early 2016. This marked the first foray into coin design. Below are examples of some of the popular product styles offered from Valcambi Suisse, along with specific details on some of its most popular products.
Cast bars are extremely popular with investors interested in purchasing precious metal products at the lowest possible premium over the spot price of the metal. Cast bars are produced by pouring the melted metals from a crucible into a casting mold. The exact process varies by manufacturer, but most position the mold on a balance and when the proper amount of a given metal has been achieved in the mold, it tilts to drop the bar into a tank of water for immediate cooling. Some mints will use a natural cooling process that slowly sets a cast bar by exposing it to the air.
Once a cast bar is complete, it is cleaned with a soft cloth to remove any stains, weighed, and then (once approved) it is marked with a refiner’s stamp, serial number, precise purity and weight measurements, and an assayer’s mark.
The process for creating minted precious metal bars is different than that for cast bars, in part because greater precision is needed to generate bars of various weights with strict adherence to purity and weight levels. Most refineries produced minted bars by cutting the product from a section of rolled precious metal. The cutting and engraving process provides a better finish and appearance to the finished product. Once a minted bar has been produced, it is stamped with various designs on a minting press.
Generally speaking, the differences between cast and minted precious metal bars focuses on design and final appearance. Most cast bars have matte finishes, simple engravings to identify the refiner, weight, and purity of the product. Minted bars often feature complex designs, corporate logos, and clear background fields, with sharp edges and incredible attention to detail. Also, cast bars are often produced only in greater weights and intended for use as Good Delivery Bars with the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) or COMEX.
The CombiBar name is a proprietary brand of Valcambi Suisse. Used on all precious metal bars produced by Valcambi, from gold and silver to platinum and palladium, CombiBar is a unique technology that manufactures each bar with accurately constructed, predetermined breaking points.
This allows an investor to purchase larger quantities of silver, while offering the flexibility to breakdown the bar into more manageable parts. Larger bars can be broken down into smaller weights, making it easier to store more silver in a small safe or deposit box, and even resell just a portion of their investment in the future.
The CombiBar technology places precision cuts along predetermined break lines on the bar. This allows the investor to break off certain weights for payment or break down the whole bar into its smaller parts for easier storage. With this CombiBar technology, there is no loss of weight or purity in the bar when it is divided into its smaller weights.
Valcambi CombiBars are available online at Silver.com in just one weight, 100 Grams, but it is produced in two different weight breakdowns. Valcambi Suisse offers a 100 Gram CombiBar that is divisible into 100 individual 1 Gram bars, or divisible into 10 individual 10 Gram bars. Each bar features .999 pure silver, sharp, rectangular designs, and ships in blister-proof packaging with certificate of authenticity. The only difference between these bars and other silver bars from Valcambi is the lack of an individual serial number.
Whether you purchase the 100 x 1 Gram bar or 10 x 10 Gram bar from Valcambi, you’ll find the same design features. Each of the individual bars in the CombiBar feature their own design sets. Each smaller bar has the corporate name of Valcambi Suisse on the obverse, followed by the weight of the individual bar, its metal content, and purity. An assayer’s mark is included as well.
The reverse of each bar features the rotating rectangle logo of Valcambi Suisse, and the bar’s purity and metal content.
In addition to the silver CombiBar, Valcambi Suisse recently introduced its first Gold CombiBar. The concept and many of the design details mentioned above apply to the Gold CombiBar from Valcambi Suisse, with the primary difference being that these bars are available in a 1 oz Valcambi Gold CombiBar and a 50 Gram Valcambi Gold CombiBar. Both products share the same divisible technology used in the silver variant, but include .9999 pure gold instead of .999 pure silver.
As mentioned earlier, Valcambi Suisse offers the vast majority of its silver bars in either cast or minted ingot styles. The designs featured on all Valcambi products are the same in concept, though in practice certain bars may have slight variations on the finished product. For example, most bars have the Valcambi rotating square logo on the primary face with the identifying details, and some version of the Valcambi Suisse corporation name and/or logo on the reverse face.
All minted ingots from Valcambi Suisse, of a certain size, ship to you sealed inside of protective plastic sheets with a classic orange Assay card courtesy of the Valcambi Suisse refinery that validates the metal content and purity of your purchase. Examples of available weights in Valcambi Silver Bars include the following (minted ingot if not otherwise noted):
The primary difference between the available gold and silver bars from Valcambi Suisse focuses on the metal purity, which is .9999 pure gold instead of .999 pure silver. Additionally, the Valcambi Gold Bars struck by the refinery are available in a much wider range of sizes and weights than their silver counterparts.
Currently available minted ingots and cast gold bars from Valcambi Suisse include the following list, again with bars considered minted ingots unless otherwise noted:
Currently, there is only one bar available on Silver.com from Valcambi Suisse to feature platinum as the precious metal content in the bar. Platinum bars are gaining popularity at the moment. This precious metal, unlike gold and silver, is used in a variety of other applications in the world from dental tools to catalytic convertors in automobile engines, driving its value upwards as the demand for the metal increases.
The 1 oz Valcambi Platinum Bar is available to you in brand-new condition complete with an Assay card, and features .9995 pure platinum content.
Valcambi Suisse refinery may be known around the world for its innovative CombiBar technology that allows precious metal bars to be purchased in larger weights, with break lines that allow for easy division. This same technology has been brought to bear to create one of the most unique coins available on the market today. The all-new 1 oz. Valcambi Gold Armillary Sphere is now available on Silver.com.
The concept of the armillary sphere dates back to antiquity. The Greek astronomer Hipparchus credited his predecessor, Eratosthenes with inventing the sphere. An armillary sphere is viewed as a model of the celestial globe, with its various rings and hoops representing the equator and other important meridian lines on the planet.
This remarkable coin is considered legal tender in the Cook Islands. As a solid coin, this piece has a face value of $100. However, in addition to being adjustable to form an armillary sphere, the four individual rings of the coin can be broken off from the main piece to create individual precious metal products worth $25 each.
On the reverse side of each coin is the lone engraving of Valcambi, featured in cursive text. CombiBar technology from the refinery allows the coin to rotate as an armillary sphere or be broken out into four individual coins without the loss of gold content or purity.
The obverse side features individual markings on each of the four rings. Around each of the rings you’ll find the engravings of Queen Elizabeth II in right-profile relief, “Cook Islands,” the year of minting, “Elizabeth II,” and the weight, purity, metal content, and face value of the coin.
Each coin has the following highlights:
Silver.com is happy to accept a variety of payment methods for your purchase of Valcambi precious metal products. Visa and MasterCard credit/debit cards are accepted, with an average processing time of one business day. PayPal and bank wire fund transfers offer immediate processing, freeing up your products for fulfillment in our shipping queue. Paper check purchases take an average of four to six business days to process. Those purchasing precious metals with a bank wire or paper check enjoy a 4% discount on the purchase price.
Once your payment has processed, your products are packaged into discreet boxes for shipment through the United States Postal Service or UPS. Silver.com offers an affordable, tiered shipping scale that is based upon the total cost of your products. All purchases over $3,000 are eligible for not only free shipping, but also insurance. In the event your packages are lost or damaged, we’ll work with the carrier to locate your package, or file an insurance claim on your behalf to help recover your funds.
If you have any questions about Valcambi Suisse products, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a Silver.com associate. You can speak directly with an associate at 888-989-7223, connect with us online through our live web chat, or send us an email with your questions.