Frequently Asked Questions

Retail Depository

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We are located within Singapore's auxiliary police building at Centre II next to the Certis Cisco safe deposit boxes.

When you come please ensure you bring a valid form of ID to obtain access to the building, and proceed to level 3. Once you exit the elevator go through the door on your left, we are located at the end of the corridor.

Our Address

SILVER BULLION PTE LTD
20 Jalan Afifi
#03-02A Certis CISCO Centre 2
Singapore 409179

Operating Hours

Monday to Friday: 10am to 6pm
Saturday: 10am to 1pm
Office: +65 6100 3040

 

Our Products

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"IPM" stands for "Investment Precious Metals" and is the term used by the Singapore Customs to denote what is tax free bullion. Since 1 October 2012, certain investment grade gold, silver and platinum can be imported or sold GST (tax) free in Singapore. Singapore tax authorities define non taxable bullion as "Investment Precious Metals" or "IPM" whereas taxable bullion is referred to as “non-IPM".

There are no capital gains taxes in Singapore so this page focuses purely on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) - similar to VAT in Europe - which applies upon import or purchase of bullion. The completed GST exemption rules have been published as an IRAS e-Tax Guide titled GST: Guide on Exemption of Investment Precious Metals (IPM). - Sixth Edition

The tax exemptions are meant to encourage the trading and storage of physical investment grade bullion but are limited to a clearly defined subset of the bullion market.  Numismatic coins, jewellery,  gold / silver gift items or any bullion not defined as "IPM" are not tax exempted and will still be subject to GST (currently 7%). 

In broad terms, the bill states four basic qualifying criteria which must be fulfilled: 

1.     Purity of silver, gold, and platinum should be 99.9%, 99.5% and 99% respectively

2.     Is capable of being traded on the international bullion market (see detailed criteria below)

3.     Bears a mark or characteristic that is internationally accepted as guaranteeing its quality

4.     Trades at a price based on the spot price of the metal it contains.

In addition the following detailed criteria apply:

1.     Only a subset of investment coins are tax exempt: See SINGAPORE TAX FREE BULLION COINS

2.     Only bars refined by current or past LBMA / LPPM accredited refiners are tax free: See SINGAPORE TAX FREE BULLION BARS

3.     Furthermore IE Singapore (a Singapore government entity) can qualify additional bullion refiners to be tax exempt

As a Singapore Bullion Market Association (SBMA) member Silver Bullion Pte Ltd, along with the Singapore Mint and UOB, were selected in the second quarter of 2012 by the Ministry of Finance to provide feedback on the type of investment grade coins that will be tax exempt. We are proud to note that with our subscribers' help and submitted feedback (see July 2012 newsletter) the Ministry of Finance has re-instated the Silver & Platinum American Eagle coins as tax exempt. The American Gold Eagle coins remain taxable due to the minimum purity requirement.

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These investment coins are classified as Investment Precious Metals (IPM) and are GST exempt:

GOLD

  1. American Buffalo
  2. Australia Kangaroo Nugget
  3. Australia Lunar
  4. Austria Philharmonic
  5. Canada Maple Leaf
  6. China Panda
  7. Malaysia Kijang Emas
  8. Mexico Libertad
  9. Singapore Lion
  10. United Kingdom Britannia
  11. Canada Call of the Wild 4-coin series
  12. United Kingdom Lunar
  13. United Kingdom The Queen's Bests 10-coin series

SILVER

  1. American Eagle
  2. Australia Kookaburra
  3. Australia Koala
  4. Australia Lunar
  5. Austria Philharmonic
  6. Canada Maple Leaf
  7. China Panda
  8. Mexico Libertad
  9. United Kingdom Britannia
  10. Australia Saltwater Crocodile
  11. Canada Wildlife 6-coin series
  12. Canada Birds of Prey 4-coin series
  13. United Kingdom Lunar
  14. Armenia Noah's Ark
  15. Australia Kangaroo
  16. United Kingdom The Queen's Beasts 10-coin series

PLATINUM

  1. American Eagle
  2. Australia Koala
  3. Australia Platypus
  4. Canada Maple Leaf
  5. Austria Philharmonic

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All the bars we sell are tax free. IPM (investment precious metals) status and tax exemptions for bars are determined according to the refiner (producer) of the bars as follows: 

1  For gold and silver, a refiner included in the current or former Good Delivery list of the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA)

                See List of Silver and Gold LBMA members

2  For platinum, a refiner included in the current or former Good Delivery list of the London Platinum & Palladium Market (LPPM)

                See List of LPPM members

Please note that IPM Status applies to all qualifying (see Basic Qualifying Criteria above) bars made by these refiners and is not limited to the standard, bulky (1,000 ozt silver and 400 ozt gold) Good Delivery bars.

For example, the popular 100 oz Johnson Matthey silver bars are tax exempt as they fulfill all basic qualifying criteria and Johnson Matthey is a refiner in the LBMA list. 

Credit Suisse branded gold bars are also tax exempt as they fulfill the basic qualifying criteria and are refined by "Valcambi SA" which uses the logo "Essayeur Fondeur" - see mark on bar - and is a refiner on the LBMA list.

 

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We have committed substantial resources in building a web-based service to facilitate the most efficient trading platform to buy silver, gold and platinum bullion in Singapore.

We can be contacted by phone for clarifications and support but all orders need to be locked in (submitted) through our website. Phone orders are substantially more expensive to support and are not yet an option with our current service structure.

Mail orders are not accepted due to the constantly fluctuating market prices and the local post office is not delivering bullion. As such, please order from our website and we will process your orders as we receive them.

 

 

 

Pricing

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Your order can be priced in either Singapore dollars, US dollars, or Euro. This is useful to avoid currency exchange charges.

 

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The silver spot price “is the instantaneous price someone is willing to pay in cash for a unit of silver”. Usually the unit refers to one troy ounce (31.1 grams) and it is normally priced in US dollars.

 

It is determined in a few major worldwide commodity exchanges around the world during local business hours. Major exchanges are in London, New York and Hong Kong. As exchanges worldwide open, we update our selling prices in short intervals to follow market prices. As bullion margins are very low compared to traditional jewelry outlets we need to keep prices as updated as possible.

 

Furthermore as we operate in Singapore with the functional currency being Singapore dollars, we price our items in Singapore Dollars and we convert US dollar silver spot prices into Singapore dollar prices based on the current exchange rate. Therefore our prices will change when either the spot prices change or the USD/SGD forex rate changes.     

 

Please note, for large orders, we can transact based on the LBMA morning price for a given date.

 

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When silver market exchanges such as Comex are closed, the price of silver is not updated as no trades are executed. Exchanges will be closed on from Friday afternoon onward (through the weekend) until Monday morning, and during certain holidays.

 

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Physical bullion always has a premium covers over spot price to cover:

           Manufacturing and assay costs to strike and certify bullion coins or bars

           Insured transport and storage costs

           Possible taxes (7% GST in Singapore was removed last October 1 2012)

           Capital costs which are very high as the industry is strictly based on prepayments

None of these costs apply to pure paper silver derivatives as they represent a price exposure to the spot price with no practical means to convert to physical bullion. Hence physical bullion and paper derivatives of silver are two very different products as the former can be quickly issued in nearly unlimited amounts and is settled in currency whereas the later represents a finite physical commodity. 

 

The exact ratio between physical positions and paper positions is not known exactly and it can be defined in various ways. The practice to lease silver out, which would normally be counted as reserves, further complicates obtaining an accurate number. However based on the Comex futures exchange, this ratio is around 5%. Studies by the CPM Group assume a 1% ratio when other forms of silver derivatives are included. It is therefore a safe assumption that there are somewhere between 10 and 100 paper derivative claims for every ounce of physical silver.

 

In this context the simplicity and lack of counterparty risk of fully owning physical bullion over the long term lends itself very well as a protection against inflation, a currency crisis and is likely to appreciate as confidence wanes in financial institutions and complex derivatives.  However its higher transaction costs make it ill suited for frequent trading when compared to paper silver derivatives.

 

On a side note, silver in the form of jewelry commands premiums of 800% + over spot prices. This is very high compared to bullion prices which, in the case of coins – such as Perth Mint coins - can also be of very high quality and finishing.

 

 

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We offer competitive discounts through our Discount Tiers.

 

When comparing prices with other online bullion dealers outside of Singapore, check whether they will ship internationally. Many bullion dealers in the U.S.A. do not ship internationally due to insurance and customs regulations that differ for every country.

 

Next, check if your order is fully insured. Insurance is a large component of the shipping cost and  normally requires a third party insurance as courier services (including FedEx and UPS) will insure only a small portion of the order. Without insurance, should the order be lost in transit, it would be very difficult to make a claim in the country of origin. 

 

If a dealer does ship internationally you would need to add the following costs to your order:

           Shipping and insurance Courier services will charge a shipping fee for delivery but will not insure high value goods such as Silver Bullion. Third Party insurance will normally represents an additional 2% to 3 % of shipment value for Silver (Gold is below 1%).   

           GST (tax) depending on jurisdiction, the shipper, not the seller, (eg: FedEx) will pay customs duty (if applicable) of the shipment value on your behalf to get the silver cleared through customs. You will receive a invoice from the shipper for the GST plus a service fee for forwarding the money.

           Other fees, such as currency conversion fees from SGD to USD and wire transfer fees normally add another 1 percent or more as the bank will normally give you an exchange rate significantly below spot market rates. 

           Prepayment Risk. Unlike our COD option which allows you to take delivery at the moment you pay, you almost always have to prepay, and ultimately carry a failed delivery risk, when ordering from abroad.

The total cost of the above is what you actually buy silver at. Please consider this in order to make a fair price comparison. Prices on the Silver Bullion website already include all of the above and we publish silver inventory that is in stock here in Singapore.

 

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No. Since 1 October 2012, you do not have to pay GST (goods and services tax) on all bullion products that we sell. When you make an order through Silver Bullion Pte Ltd, we will issue you an invoice stating that you did not pay any GST.

 

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Prices will continue to change until you lock in a price by clicking on the button 'Submit Order' on the summary page. Please refer to our Policies page for more details about price confirmation and the ordering process.

 

Discount Tier Program

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Discount tiers are volume discounts, with a twist. The twist is that we combined the boz (bullion ounce count) of your past purchases to your current order to determine your discounted Tier price.

What are the benefits of the Discount Tier Program?

What are the benefits of the Discount Tier Program?

  • Many existing customers qualify for immediate discounts. Log onto the website for automatic lower prices according to your discount tier.
  • Volume discounts grow from one order to the next. Even small orders can qualify for volume discounts. Great for customer who wish to dollar average through regular buying.
  • Mix and match products. This is possible as discount tiers are based on bullion ounces purchased (1 boz = 1 silver oz), which is a common measure across all products and order types.

How does the discount tier program work?

  • Add items to the shopping cart, as the shopping cart reaches a discount tier threshold (for eg: 1,500 boz) the appropriate discounts will automatically be applied.
  • Log onto the system to have your accumulate boz count combined together with the boz of the items in your shoppping cart as below

The Discount Tier Thresholds:

The system assigns a discount tier based on the ounces (boz) in the shopping cart and the past order [requires login] ounces (boz) according to the following tables:

 

Each Purchased oz Counts as:

1 Silver oz = 1 boz

1 Gold oz = 10 boz

1 Platinum oz = 10 boz

 

To Determine Your Tier:

Tier 1 - 0 to 1499 boz

Tier 2 - 1500 to 2999 boz

Tier 3 - 3000 to 4999 boz

Tier 4 - 5000 to 9999 boz

Tier 5 - 10000 to ++

 

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A traditional volume discount applies to a single product type in a single transaction, hence only large orders enjoy volume discounts. Silver Bullion's accumulated bullion discount applies across product types across your transactions. This is true regardless of order type, so you can keep accumulating boz regardless if you are storing through S.T.A.R. Storage or buying and taking delivery of your bullion.

 

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Yes. Your boz do not expire, we offer discount as long as you keep using the same account to submit orders.

 

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The orders must have a process status of "Waiting for Payment'", "Payment Received" or "Completed".

 

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As per our own policy, gold is equivalent to 10 boz per ounce that is purchased. For example, two ounces of gold is equivalent to 20 boz.

For a given purchase and due to the current price ratio of silver to gold, silver will result in more boz, which reflects our focus on silver. This means you go up the tier faster if you first order silver and reach the higher tiers.

 

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After you log into the website click on "Order History" within the "Discount Tier" box on the right column of the webpage. Your detailed order information will be listed, including your bullion ounces and order status.

 

I have a 300 boz balance from past orders. I am now making a 1200 oz order. A 1500 boz balance qualifies for a discount. Would I receive the discount on this 1,200 oz order?

Yes. As soon as items are added to the shopping cart, the additional ounces are counted towards the boz balance. Prices are automatically adjusted and discounts applied. Please note that discounts do not apply to past orders (ie: there is no retroactive discount applied to your past 300 oz order)

 

Shipping

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We currently do not ship bullion by freight forwarder outside of Singapore. The primary reason is that it is very difficult to obtain a shipping insurance on silver bullion shipments in Southeast Asia. We do not want to have a situation where a silver shipment might disappear en route without adequate insurance and control checks in place.

 

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The short answer is insurance. Any shipping without full insurance is too much of a risk for us and our customers.

We have seen cases where eBay sellers use DHL to ship bullion internationally, however if you read the DHL shipping policies you will see that DHL does not allow shipment of any form of bullion, nor insure it. We are assuming that such shipment can only be made by misrepresenting the shipped content. The risk of such an approach is that the buyer (you) carries all the risk as the buyer will already have made a full payment and in case of shipment loss, DHL will refund only a very small fixed amount.

 

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Yes. You can lock in a price and make a purchase from anywhere.

If you choose to do this, we require full payment to be initiated within one business day of placing your order. We will hold the physical bullion for you until you pick it up. Please note that we require a pickup in Singapore within two months of the order.

 

Selling Your Bullion To Us / Our Buyback Program

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To sellback your bullion at our retail office, please submit a sellback order via the link below.

https://www.silverbullion.com.sg/Sell

Things you need to know:

  • Please bring the bullion that you are selling to Silver Bullion within one business day.
  • Silver Bullion reserves the right not to buy back if products are deemed to be in poor condition or damaged.
  • Prices offered may be reduced for damaged products (e.g. dented coins, cracked original capsule, etc.)
  • We buy non-IPM products from customers who had bought them from us in the past.
  • Silver Bullion reserves the right not to buy back if the bullion is not brought to our office within one business day.
  • Every sell back order placed is binding and a cancellation charge / market loss charge are levied if the order is cancelled.

 

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You can lock in the price and submit a sell back request online 24/7 through your S.T.A.R. Storage interface.

1. Log in

2. Click on 'STORAGE' -> 'Manage S.T.A.R Parcels'.

3. Under the 'Bullion' tab, click 'Request Sellback'.

4. Select the currency to sell in.

5. Select the parcels you wish to sell by ticking the checkbox.

6. Click on 'ReviewSellback Request'.

 

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Silver Bullion Pte Ltd is always interested to buy investment grade (.999 or higher) silver, gold and platinum bullion, regardless of where the bullion was originally purchased.  A direct purchase from you is typically below volume acquisition prices. This makes buyback attractive for us.

There will always be demand for Gold/Silver/Platinum in the market for investment or industrial usage. We aim to provide a two way liquidity in the market whereby customers could buy and also sellback bullion to us.

We have fufilled large volume of sellback amounting to millions in value and are used to handling them.

When selling Bullion for up to SGD 250,000, our payment will normally be credited to your Bank Account within two (2) business days. For transactions above SGD 250,000, or if we experience a high volume of concurrent customers sell orders, payment will be credited to your account by wire transfer within five (5) business days.

 

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For sellback at our retail office, we usually issue a cheque. Customers could also request the funds to be transferred to a bank account in their name.

Please note that we do not give cash for sellback as we do not carry too much cash on hand.

For sellback through S.T.A.R. Storage, payment will be credited to your linked Bank Account within two (2) business days. For transactions above SGD 250,000, or if we experience a high volume of concurrent customers sell orders, payment will be credited to your account by wire transfer within five (5) business days.

 

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There is a saying in the precious metals industry: “If you cannot touch it you do not really own it”. Paper silver is any derivative of physical silver bullion. In most cases these derivatives are secured through other derivatives which in turn are backed by only a tiny fraction in physical bullion reserves. Normally, there is no practical way to convert the paper silver to physical bullion. This means that you do not own the bullion, you only purchase price exposure.

 

The lack of physical backing means that it is possible to create nearly unlimited amounts of paper silver at virtually no cost. Furthermore, only a small fraction of deposited money is needed by the issuing institution to hedge their position through other financial instruments such as Comex futures contracts.

 

Hence these paper silver products can be very profitable for the issuer even with low buy / sell spreads as there is almost no cost involved in creating paper silver positions. As a consequence at the Comex futures exchange – which is often used to back silver derivatives and the guarantor of last resort – the ratio of physical silver reserves to paper positions is well below 10%. So there are at least 10 claims on the same silver and this ratio is likely to shrink further as more silver derivatives are opened.

 

Physical silver bullion means that you take possession of the actual metal and you own 100% of the bullion (measured in troy ounces).

 

Many of our customers purchase physical bullion as a long term means to profit from the ongoing decline of confidence in the US dollar, given the vast amounts of debt that was accumulated over the last 30 years and the more recent explosion of currency (base money, or euphemistically called "quantitative easing") across the world.  

 

Given this context the demand for physical bullion comes from the simple fact that physical bullion, unlike bullion derivatives, cannot be created out of thin air. By owning the actual metal you can make sure that there are no multiple parties with claims on the same bullion and your position cannot be frozen or closed as it could with a financial derivative.

 

Thus:

 

To actively trade on silver, a paper silver derivative that obtains price exposure will likely be a better choice as transaction costs are lower and there is no GST (tax) involved.

 

On the other hand, for a solid long term protection against currency crises, high inflation and a potential systemic financial collapse, the simplicity and 100% ownership of physical bullion are compelling arguments.

 

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We still have to break the seal of the parcel and authenticate the bullion, by means of weighing and visual inspection, and if we decide to with the X-Ray analyzer and ultrasound device, as per our policy.

 

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Our buyback price are displayed on our website. Click on the "Bullion" tab and select the respective product you like to view.

There are no additional charges for sellback.

 

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Yes you can, we can also wire funds in USD or transfer in Bitcoins (for sellback below USD 50,000).

The S.T.A.R. Storage interface allows you to lock in a sell price in either SGD, USD, or Bitcoins.

For sellbacks in Bitcoin, please ensure that your Bitcoin wallet/address is registered with us to enable the automatic Bitcoin quote during the sellback process.

For your account security, all wires/transfers can go only to your linked bank account or registered Bitcoin address.

Payments, sellback, and conversions in bitcoin are subject to a bitcoin conversion fee in accordance with the Schedule of Charges as published from time to time on our Website.