Argor-Heraeus SA – A Swiss Precious Metal Pioneer.

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Location Argor-Heraeus SA, a prominent global gold refiner and bar manufacturer, is headquartered in Mendrisio, approximately 17 km from Lugano in southeastern Switzerland. It’s where gold refining and the production of bars and other precious metal items occur.


WeightTypeFinenessIndicative Dimensions mmIssued with Current StampIssued in Current ShapeSerial Number SystemSystem Introduced
400 ozCast995+, 999.9250.0 x 80.5 x 40.0 225.0 x 55.0 (base)198619525 numbers1952
5000 gCast995, 999.9227 x 55 x 2220052005Letter Plus 5 numbers2005
3000 gCast995, 999.9137 x 55 x 2220082008Letter Plus 5 numbers2008
1000 gCast995, 999, 999.9116.5 x 51.0 x 9.519861952Letter Plus 5 numbers1973
500 gCast995, 999.991.0 x 41.0 x 7.619861952Letter Plus 5 numbers1973
250 gCast995, 999.950 x 30.5 x 919861952Maximum 6 numbers1952
100 gCast995, 999 999.945 x 24 x 5.520021952Maximum 6 numbers1974
50 gCast995, 999 999.930.4 x 20.6 x 5.220021952Maximum 6 numbers2014
10 tolaCast999, 999.945 x 26 x 5.919861980
100 gMinted999.949.7 x 28.5 x 3.919861952Maximum 6 numbers1986
50 gMinted999.949.7 x 28.5 x 2.019861952Maximum 6 numbers1986
20 gMinted999.940.4 x 23.3 x 1.319861952Maximum 6 numbers1986
10 gMinted999.931.5 x 18.5 x 1.119861952Maximum 6 numbers1986
5 gMinted999.923.0 x 14.0 x 1.019861952Maximum 6 numbers1986
2 gMinted999.919.0 x 11.5 x 0.619861980Maximum 6 numbers1986
1 gMinted999.915.0 x 8.9 x 0.519861980Maximum 6 numbers1986
1 g*Minted999.910 x 10 x 0.720132013Maximum 6 numbers2013
1 ozMinted999.940.4 x 23.3 x 1.819861979Maximum 6 numbers1986
1/2 ozMinted999.931.5 x 18.5 x 1.419861979Maximum 6 numbers1986
1/4 ozMinted999.923.0 x 14.0 x 1.319861979Maximum 6 numbers1986
5 taelMinted999.965.1 x 30.1 x 5.319861980Maximum 6 numbers1980
100 gKinebar®999.949.7 x 28.5 x 3.920122012Maximum 6 numbers2012
50 gKinebar®999.949.7 x 28.5 x 2.020122012Maximum 6 numbers2012
20 gKinebar®999.940.4 x 23.3 x 1.319941994Maximum 6 numbers1994
10 gKinebar®999.931.5 x 18.5 x 1.119941994Maximum 6 numbers1994
5 gKinebar®999.923.0 x 14.0 x 1.019941994Maximum 6 numbers1994
2 gKinebar®999.919.1 x 11.5 x 0.619941994Maximum 6 numbers1994
1 gKinebar®999.915.0 x 8.7 x 0.519941994Maximum 6 numbers1994
1 ozKinebar®999.940.4 x 23.3 x 1.819941994Maximum 6 numbers1994

Source: Argor-Heraeus  NB: All bars with the exception of 400 oz bars are issued with a numbered certificate. All kinebars® are sealed in PET with a certificate. * The 1 g bars for inclusion in Multicards are square in shape.

Ownership Argor-Heraeus SA is privately held, with ownership shared among Heraeus Holding GmbH, Commerzbank International SA, the Austrian Mint, and Argor-Heraeus management.

Accreditation Argor-Heraeus SA has earned various accreditations over the years, including:

  • 1961: London Bullion Market Association (LBMA)
  • 1974: CME Group – Market Contract: COMEX
  • 1982: Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM)
  • 2005: Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC)
  • Central Office of Precious Metal Control, Berne
  • Swiss Association of Manufacturers and Traders in Precious Metals In 2004, Argor-Heraeus SA was designated one of the five Referees to the LBMA Good Delivery system. The company is also known for manufacturing London Good Delivery silver bars (since 1992), along with London Good Delivery platinum and palladium bars.

Certification Argor-Heraeus SA upholds high standards, holding certifications such as ISO 9001:2011 for Quality Management Systems, ISO 17025 for Laboratory Accreditation, and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) certification as a financial intermediary supervised by FINMA. The company is also subject to LBMA Responsible Gold Guidance Audits.

Background Founded as Argor SA in Chiasso in 1951, the company initially saw an 80% ownership by the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) in 1960, which later became full ownership in 1973. In 1986, Argor-Heraeus SA emerged as a joint venture between UBS and Heraeus Holding GmbH. However, in 1999, UBS withdrew, leading to Heraeus and Argor-Heraeus management taking ownership. In the same year, Commerzbank International SA joined as a shareholder alongside Heraeus and management. In 2002, the Austrian Mint also became a shareholder, further solidifying ownership.

International Refiner Over the years, Argor-Heraeus expanded its global footprint. It established a large refinery and manufacturing plant in Mendrisio in 1988, expanding the plant in 1998. In 2004, the company opened its first Representative Office for Latin America in Santiago de Chile and established its German affiliate, Argor-Heraeus Deutschland. In 2005, Argor-Heraeus, in collaboration with Aljbatech in Russia, established Argor-Aljba, focusing on DLC and hard coating. In 2006, the company formed its second affiliate in Italy, Argor-Heraeus Italia. In 2012, Argor-Heraeus completed the construction of a new ancillary plant that doubled the company’s production area. The company is also committed to sustainability, with one of the region’s largest solar panel and electricity generation systems installed in 2012.

Argor-Heraeus refines not only gold but also silver, platinum, and palladium, producing bars and other products for the precious metals industry. The company boasts a workforce of 280 employees across Switzerland, Germany, Italy, and Latin America.

Gold Services Argor-Heraeus SA specializes in various gold-related services, including gold refining and recycling of scrap, gold semi-finished products for the watch and jewelry industries, gold medals and coins, gold bars, and precious metals services and logistics.

Gold Refining and Recycling of Scrap The company accepts gold-bearing materials, such as mine doré and scrap, for refining to specified purities up to 999.9. Gold refining processes encompass wet chemical methods and electrolysis, with an annual gold refining capacity of around 400 tonnes of fine gold.

Gold Bars Argor-Heraeus SA offers a comprehensive range of gold bars, including cast bars, minted bars, and kinebars. Cast bars range from 400 oz to 10 tola, minted bars from 1 oz to 1/4 oz, and kinebars from 1 oz to 10 g. The company is also known for manufacturing customized bars in collaboration with its major shareholders, the Austrian Mint, Commerzbank, and Heraeus, and supplies bars to banks worldwide, notably in Europe, CIS, and the Middle East.

History of Gold Bar Manufacture Argor-Heraeus has a rich history in gold bar manufacturing. The company began producing cast bars in 1952, minted bars in 1952, and 10 tola bars in 1960. Notable additions over the years include 5000 g cast bars (since 2005) and 3000 g cast bars (since 2008). Kinebars, featuring KINEGRAM® technology as a decorative and security device, are a unique offering of Argor-Heraeus.

Trade Communication Argor-Heraeus SA primarily caters to trade customers and does not engage with retail customers. Enquiries from industrial clients and large-scale gold bar dealers should be directed to the company’s headquarters in Switzerland, located at Via Moree 14, CH-6850 Mendrisio. Contact details include:

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