Wednesday, December 21, 2011
These are also called 'coin bars' to distinguish them from coins and bars. They are the silver in-between you might say.
The main reason for this was tax. In some countries, such as Germany for example, there is a 17 percent VAT on silver bars. The EU had agreed to remove sale taxes on gold bullion in 1999 but silver bullion was 'overlooked'. However silver legal tender only attracts a seven percent VAT in Germany and some other countries and nonbe in most others.
The way around that was to stamp silver bars with the official stamp assigning the bars as legal tender and so changing the tax status of the bars.
Australia played a part in this as the Perth mint was the first who produced Münzbarren products for the Cook Islands in 2007. This production was taken over in 2008 by the German company Heirmmerle & Meule. Another country issuing Silver (and gold) Münzbarren is Iceland.
Münzbarren is also becoming more popular these days. Only recently Umicore, a materials technology group, issued a range of Münzbarren as legal tender for the principality of Andorra. These come in a range of 250, 500, 1000, 5000 and 15,000 gram bars. In 2012 legal tender bars from Rwanda are due to be released and other countries are jumping on the Münzbarren band wagon also.
Bar sizes vary from 100 grams up to a hefty 15 kilo bar. The currency values assigned increase proportionately with the size of the bars of course.
Münzbarren also comes in gold as well as silver.
All designed to increase investor's wealth as well as legally get around those pesky bullion taxes in Europe.
If silver bullion is taxed in your country then it might be a good idea to check out silver Münzbarren as a possible alternative.