Chain of Integrity
The Chain of Integrity is an important part of the bullion market's infrastructure which assures you that you own top quality gold bullion.
Each bar of gold delivered to BullionVault was refined by an accredited bullion refiner, and stamped with:-
The original verification process is called assaying.
Bars are classified as Good Delivery Bars by their local market. This means they are accepted by bullion market buyers when they are delivered against bullion sales. They retain this status while they are kept continuously in vaults within the recognised gold bullion dealing community.
A record is made of every movement of a bar between recognised vaults. This builds what is called the "chain of integrity" which is broken if the bar leaves the custody of the bullion community, for example to be placed in a private safe deposit box, from which it could conceivably be tampered with.
The chain of integrity is backed up by basic physical tests performed on receipt of bars, and also by specialist assayers who visit vaults periodically and test bars on behalf of their owners. It is also audited independently by random sampling under a double-blind arrangement performed by referees of the bullion dealing community. A full description of London's refereeing process is available from the LBMA's website.
By keeping your gold within the bullion industry's chain of integrity you are far better assured of top quality gold, and bars held within it get a better price when they are sold, because professional market buyers accept them at face value without assay.
A bar which has been outside the system may be instantly devalued. A professional buyer of such a bar may have doubts as to its integrity.
In fact buyers might decide to send them on to the refiner, from whom they will re-emerge as new bars with the refiner as the guarantor.
Melting down and re-assaying costs money and incurs a small weight loss, and even if your bar is perfect someone - usually you - will pay the costs one way or the other. So not much gold re-crosses the boundary between the general public and the recognised bullion dealing community, and it is why dealers who buy gold from private hands lower their bid price to you.
By avoiding private custody of gold you avoid exposure to :-
BullionVault stores your gold within the bullion market's recognised vaulting infrastructure, and validated by its chain of integrity.
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