Category Archive: Suisse Gold Bars

Essayeur Fondeur

Essayeur Fondeur

Two words that are found on most swiss gold bars that are a constant source of interest for all non-French speakers. In fact the words also are a little tricky to understand even if you do speak French!

(Incidentally, in case you are wondering why French words are printed on swiss gold bars, it is because there is no ‘Swiss’ language. Switzerland has in fact four national languages. These are French, German, Italian and Romansh!).

In direct translation, ‘essayeur fondeur’ means ‘assayer founder’. The real importance of these two words however is that they are the official stamp of the refinery that manufactured the bullion bars on which they appear.

Of the 5 world-class bullion refineries in Switzerland, four of them use the mark ‘Essayeur Fondeur’ on their bars. Only Argor-Heraeus bars differ in that they use the English words ‘Melter Assayer’ which is probably a better and more accurate translation for ‘essayeur fondeur’.

Along with the these words, the remaining four refineries also print a logo in order to differentiate themselves. The logos are as follows:

  • Cendres & Métaux SA
  • Mark: CM Essayeur Fondeur in rectangle

  • Metalor Technologies SA
  • Mark: Essayeur Fondeur with MP in triangle

  • PAMP SA
  • Mark: Essayeur Fondeur in rectangle with PAMP logo

  • Valcambi SA
  • Mark: Rectangle enclosing CHI in a circle and Essayeur Fondeur

Thus all gold, silver and any other precious metals products manufactured by these refineries will feature the words ‘Essayeur Fondeur’ clearly printed on them.

It is worth pointing out that Credit Suisse gold bars are printed with the assaying mark of Valcambi as that is their place of manufacture.

Fine Suisse Gold Bars

Fine Suisse Gold Bars

Pick up any suisse gold bar and after the initial pulse of excitement that everyone feels when they handle bullion, you will find the words ‘Fine Gold’ embossed on the soft metal’s surface.

The most popular fine Suisse gold bars are:

These fine gold bars come in a variety of sizes as follows:

  • 1g Suisse fine gold bars
  • 5g Suisse fine gold bars
  • 10g Suisse fine gold bars
  • 100g Suisse fine gold bars
  • 1oz Suisse fine gold bars
  • 10oz Suisse fine gold bars

Click here to buy fine Suisse gold bars.

Millesimal Fineness

‘Fine Gold’ a reference to the bullion’s purity as measured on the millesimal fineness scale which measures purity as parts per thousand.

Whereas karat is often used to describe the purity of precious metals by the general public, it is not sufficient when measuring highly pure bullion. 24 karat gold is in fact anything over 99.90% pure.

On the millesimal fineness scale, 99.90% calculates to 999 parts out of a thousand and is also referred to as ‘Three Nines’ fine.

Fine Suisse gold bars on the other hand are marked ’999,9′ which indicates a fineness of 99.99%, also known as ‘Four Nines’ fine and an extremely high purity content.

For the sake of completion, ‘One Nine’ fine equates to a fineness of 9000 which is less pure than 22 karat gold and ‘Two Nines’ fine equates to a fineness of 9900.

When it comes to these minted fine suisse gold bars, the reference to fineness is largely redundant as the vast majority of such suisse gold bullion bars are minted to only the highest quality of 999,9 fineness.

Related Links

Suisse Gold
Fine Suisse Gold
Suisse Gold Bars