By Cate McCurry, PA
People will be able to give the gift of the gold as Irish-branded gold bars go on general sale for the first time, following an agreement between one of the country’s oldest institutions and a bullion dealership in the capital.
The Dublin Assay Office – overseen by The Company of Goldsmiths of Dublin – was established 384 years ago and assays and hallmarks articles of precious metals sold in Ireland.
The Dublin Assay Office's gold bullion bars being made available are 999.9 parts per thousand fine gold and are the only Irish-branded gold bars available on the market.
They can be purchased through Dublin-based Core Bullion Traders in 10g, 1oz, 50g and 100g investment-grade bullion bars.
Based on the current market price of gold, a 1oz Dublin Assay Office branded gold bullion bar would cost in the region of €1,590.
Core Bullion Traders’ head of trading believes that they will be a big attraction among the Irish abroad, who want a connection to their native land.
Nigel Doolin, head of trading at Core Bullion Traders, said: “Many gold buyers are very particular about the countries and brands that they buy.
“We have clients who won’t buy gold from certain countries and people who, for example, will only buy American-branded gold bullion.
“This will open up a new commercial market for Irish-branded gold bars – especially for members of the diaspora who want a long-term investment with a tie to their heritage and country.
“We also see a big market in people marking special occasions with a unique gift that is also a quality investment.
“Origin is important when buying gold bullion, and we search the world for quality precious metals brands to bring to the Irish market – to date, we have been very successful in bringing other new gold products to Ireland.
“However, we have been actively seeking an Irish brand to support and are delighted to have reached agreement with the Assay Office to be an authorised retailer of these Dublin Assay Office investment bars.
“The Dublin Assay Office is one of our country’s oldest established institutions, one of the most highly-regarded in the world of precious metals, and we are lucky to have it.”
The Company of Goldsmiths of Dublin was established by royal charter of Charles I in 1637.
It governs the Dublin Assay Office, which has had several homes throughout its history and was based in The Custom House when it burned down in 1921.
The Assay Office moved to Dublin Castle in 1925, from where it continues to assay and hallmark articles of precious metals sold throughout Ireland.
The ongoing performance of gold as an investment puts it in an appreciating low-risk asset category, according to Mr Doolin.
“A lot of younger retail investors have entered the market this year, generally deciding between investing in either gold or cryptocurrencies,” he added.
“However, it must be understood that they are completely different financial tools.
“Gold should be viewed as a store of wealth with little risk, with changes in value this year ranging between 6-10 per cent.
“Bitcoin has had huge swings in value – going from 92 per cent up at one stage this year, to retreating to 42 per cent down on the highs, classifying it as a high-risk asset.
“Gold has recently been re-classified as a Tier 1 Asset in Banking terms, which means it is now classified as a zero-risk asset.”