December 2013 Silver Bullion Newsletter - ECM Bullion Testing

Posted by Admin on 07 Jan 2014

Silver Bullion Pte Ltd

Dear Subscriber

Christmas Day and New Year are almost upon us and hopefully you are able to take some time off and enjoy the holidays.

As physical investors, we are not leveraged so we can take lower gold and silver prices in stride and see it as a buying opportunity while it lasts. With the exception of American Silver Eagle coins, supplies are stable and are likely to stay so for a while.

In this newsletter we are introducing Electrical Conductivity Measurement checks which are a great addition to our testing systems and allow us to provide new quick and inexpensive walk-in bullion tests. We also improved our website product listings and I wrote about tax jurisdictions and how choosing your country of residence can drastically affect your live, wealth and future.

Earlier this month I took the big step and married my fiancée of five years, and we are off for our honeymoon in Prague and Vienna. We wish you all a peaceful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

About Germans and their Taxes

This year a German court ruled that tax evaders owing more than 1 million euros in taxes should automatically face prison time. The news comes at a time when Switzerland is unveiling much of their banks secrecy pertaining to German customers. The announcement has caused outright fear among wealthy German residents.

This is particularly true as non-declared taxes are taxed at twice the normal income rate which by itself, can be as high as 45% not including the solidarity tax, church tax, interest due on unpaid taxes, and other payable fees. Hence, if you are a German resident with a substantial (say a million euros as it is pretty much all taxable anyhow) unreported bank account in Switzerland it is a tricky situation indeed. The options seem to either self-report – and many have done so - and have the government take virtually all your funds or don’t report and have the government take the funds and likely imprison you as well.

It gets worse as the original account beneficiary might have died and left the funds to an “innocent” heir. Imagine having a rich father who left money in a Swiss bank account for you to which you (knowingly or not) have access. You might end up in prison because your father left too much money for you in an unreported bank account with your name on it. Sounds absurd but the ruling seems to leave little ambiguity, and Germans tend to follow rules exactly.

Yet the strangest thing is that all this only matters if you are a German tax resident. This is so because Germans, unlike Americans, are taxed on residency rather than citizenship. So many of these taxes and prison sentences only apply if you actually live in Germany as your primary residence or gain your income from German sources. You can easily, and completely legally, opt out of this system by moving somewhere else.

Leaving a country like Germany – or Italy – can make a lot of economic sense and give you a real sense of liberty if you are industrious, rich or if a parent happened to leave a bunch of money in some unreported foreign bank account. It is little wonder that so many Germans are leaving the country each year and that so few choose to return and stay for any length of time in Germany once they have worked in a less punishing environment.

It is a sad reality that both work (with over 80% real taxation between employer and employee) and savings (25% tax) have become highly penalized activities and few people can accumulate their own meaningful savings for old age. The situation is even worse in countries like France or Italy as the vicious cycle of ever higher taxes and regulations are driving out more and more entrepreneurs and businesses along with jobs and wealth.

This is in stark contrast to countries like Singapore where a self-reinforcing virtuous cycle of low taxes leads to savings, leading to investments and more jobs and it is all based on making work rewarding rather than encouraging idleness.

If you are industrious and cannot get ahead in your home country, look beyond your country’ borders as the grass really is much greener somewhere else, sometimes.

by Gregor Gregersen

UI Improvements - Keyword Search, OrderBy and Overview Layout
Quickly find items using keywords, for example, type:
  • "2008" to see all 2008 minted coins
  • "Gold Bar" to see all gold bars
  • "1 kg silver" to see all 1 kg silver bars and coins
  • "horse" to see all Year of the Horse Lunar coins
Note that by default only available items are shown.
Items can now also be ordered by:
  • Availability: which also displays in-stock values
  • Popularity:which also displays units sold to date
  • Price: which also displays price per gram (up to 3 decimal points)
Overview Mode:
  • A condensed view to examine many products at once

New Bulion Testing Technology Now Available
Eletric Conductivity Measurements (ECM) Testing:
ECM measures the conductivity of electricity through a metal in a given cross-section and is very useful to test .999 bullion as it is very sensitive to impurities. We have finished qualifying two ECM probes and will use ECM as a complement or substitute for ultrasounds test in DUX test.

ECM does not require a liquid couplant, allowing for quicker testing and it is a good all-around single test for .999 pure bullion. Furthermore, when properly compensated for, ECM testing can be done through thin plastic packaging allowing for testing without removing a bullion bar from its packaging.

Given the speed of use we are now offering a quick and inexpensive ECM check service for walk-in customers. Unlike DUX, which comprises three separate tests, an online test report and tamper proof label (TPL) the "ECM check" is a quick on-site check with the customer. If there is no need for a report this is a good option. A typical scenario would be to check bullion from a third party before you buy it.

In case you are interested, we received the first 2 probes in Singapore (Serial 0005 and 0006) as we identified ECM as a great testing tool about five months ago. Each ECM probe and hardware costs around SGD 15,000.

Ceramic plated with silver case:
There was a disturbing case of small 1 oz fake bars sold in the US via classified ads a little while ago. Have a look at the story and photos through this link Fake silver bullion and coins show up on Craigslist.

Fake Bullion Cases From Across the World:
We have started an article category, titled Fake Bullion Cases From Across the World maintained by James, our materials engineer to compile relevant occurrences of fake bullion.

December, Platinum, Silver & Gold

Platinum Bar Credit Suisse - 10 oz

Platinum Bar Credit Suisse - 10 oz

The 10 troy ounce Credit Suisse platinum bars are 311 grams of .9995 pure platinum and guaranteed by the world renowned Credit Suisse Bank of Switzerland.

 Silver Coin Koala 2014

Silver Coin Koala 2014

Supplies of 1 oz and 1 kg coins are due to arrive this coming week.Pre-orders are possible.

Silver Coin Mexican Libertad 2013 - 1 oz

Silver Coin Mexican Libertad 2013 NEW Pkg - 1oz

Take note that our latest delivery of 15,000 Libertad 2013 silver coins had arrived, packaged in new improved plastic tubes holding 25 coins each.
Due to the taller tubes, the number of coins held in each Banco de Mexico bullion bag has decreased to 450 coins from originally holding 500 coins. We refer to the new packaged coins as Silver Coin Mexican Libertad 2013 NEW Pkg.

We are in the process of moving 20 parcels (9,000 Libertad coins) into the vault.

Bullion Availability Update
In this section we summarize our inventory status and current bullion availabilities as reported by our suppliers and industry sources:
Local & S.T.A.R.+ Storage Availability
  • supply Silver Maple Leafs - Maple Leaf supply is solid and we have over 30,000 In-Stock. 2014 coins are in production and can be ordered. 
  • supply Silver American Eagles - American Silver Eagle coin availability is very tight as the US Mint is taking a long time to re-tool before releasing the 2014 coins which has caused premiums on the secondary market to temporarily increase.
  • supply Johnson Matthey 100 oz Poured Silver Bars - Availability is good and premiums have fallen slightly.
  • supply .9999 Royal Canadian Mint 100 oz Silver Bars -  RCM bars supply is stable.
  • supply Gold - Gold Maple Leaf and gold bar supply is good and pre-orders can be obtained reliably within normal delivery timelines.
  • supply Perth Mint Silver Coins and Bars - Koala 2014 Coins have been released although 10 oz coin supply is very tight. Bars have a good availability.  
  • supply Perth Mint Gold Coins and Bars - 1 oz and 1 kg Gold Kangaroo coins are incoming as are 100 gram bars and 10 oz bars. 
  • supplyPlatinum Credit Suisse Bars are now available. 10 oz bars have a better premium compared to their smaller bars.

If you plan to import bullion into Singapore make sure you understand what type of bullion is classified as Singapore IPM Tax Free and what type is not, so that you are not burdened with unnecessary import taxes. See IPM Criteria & Tax Free Bullion for details.

See more products and prices at

Best Regards

The Silver Bullion Team
Silver Bullion Pte Ltd
Registration Nr: 200907537M
Floor #03-02A Certis CISCO Center II
20 Jalan Afifi, Singapore 409179

Phone: (65) 6100-3040
Fax: (65) 6826-4022
Email: [email protected]


Information provided here should not be considered as advice or as an offer or enticement to buy, sell or trade. The contents of this publication, including any opinions and analysis, are strictly intended for educational use. Opinions expressed in bylined articles are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Silver Bullion Pte Ltd.

Silver Bullion Pte Ltd. makes no warranties, whether expressed or implied, as to the accuracy of the information provided or for eventual results obtained by using the information. In no case shall Silver Bullion Pte Ltd. be liable for direct, indirect, or incidental damages resulting from the use of the information.

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