As I mentioned before in previous articles, one of the main benefits of buying smaller quantities of gold is to have something valuable, tangible and portable to barter with for the time of the coming financial meltdown. The two private mints PAMP Suisse and Valcambi Suisse have each created their own type of divisible gold bars that can be broken down into smaller segments. The PAMP product is generally referred to as Multigram bars and the Valcambi product as CombiBars. So the purpose of this blog article is to compare the merits and demerits of these two quite similar products.
First, let’s have a look at the different available sizes/weights of these two competing products. PAMP Suisse issues its 99.99% pure Multigram bars as the name implies in multiples of 1 gram. The 1 gram Multigram bars are available in three different configurations: 8 x 1 gram, 12 x 1 gram and 25 x 1 gram. Whereas each of the eight segments of the 8 x 1 gram Multigram bars bears a Chinese Lunar zodiac animal design, the 12 and 25 x 1 gram bars display the image of “Lady Fortuna“, the Roman goddess of fame and fortune. Divisible gold bars with 2.5 gram segments also exist, but only as a part of the 16 x 2.5 gram Multigram Multimetal portfolio. This product is made up of four 2.5 gram segments of each of the four precious metals gold, silver, platinum and palladium.
More choices with Valcambi’s divisible gold bars
The 99.99% pure Valcambi Suisse CombiBars are also available in multiples of 1 gram just like the PAMP Suisse Multigram bars. Valcambi offers the Gold CombiBars in five different sizes: 20 x 1 gram, 50 x 1 gram, 100 x 1 gram as well as 10 x 1/10 oz and the unusual star-shaped 5 x 1 gram. The latter I have never seen offered by any online precious metal dealer though.
Whereas the PAMP Suisse Multigram bars bear an artistic design on the front (either Lady Fortuna or a Chinese Lunar zodiac animal), Valcambi’s CombiBars don’t have any image on them. The front of the various CombiBars just repeats the same info on every individual segment that the CombiBar is composed of. So every segment has a Valcambi logo followed by the purity and weight information and the assayer’s stamp. Each CombiBar’s reverse shows the Valcambi Suisse name, logo, bar weight, gold purity, assayer’s stamp and serial number spread out across all individual segments.
Both the PAMP Suisse Multigram bars and the Valcambi Suisse CombiBars are also available out of other precious metals besides gold. PAMP Suisse offers 12 x 1 gram and 25 x 1 gram Multigram bars out of platinum. Silver or Palladium Multigram bars are not offered though. However, as is already mentioned above, the 16 x 2.5 gram Multigram Multimetal bars that PAMP Suisse also offers contain four 2.5 gram silver and palladium segments each.
Valcambi Suisse on the other hand offers its CombiBars out of silver, platinum and palladium as well. The 99.9% pure Silver CombiBars are available as 10 x 10 gram and 100 x 1 gram bars. Platinum and Palladium CombiBars of 99.95% purity are only issued in the configuration of 50 x 1 gram.
So the takeaway message from this article is the following: If you are considering to buy divisible gold bars or divisible bars out of other precious metals as a sort of emergency/backup currency for the time that paper money will have become worthless (or lose value rapidly due to hyperinflation like in Zimbabwe in 2008), Valcambi Suisse CombiBars will give you a bit more product choices compared with PAMP Suisse Multigram bars.