This is an account where specific bars are not set aside and the customer has a general entitlement to the metal. It is the most convenient, cheapest and most commonly used method of holding metal.
The units of these accounts are one fine ounce of gold and one ounce of silver based upon a 995 LGD (London Good Delivery) gold bar and a 999 fine LGD silver bar respectively. Transactions may be settled by credits or debits to the account while the balance represents the indebtedness between the two parties.
Credit balances on the account do not entitle the creditor to specific bars of gold or silver, but are backed by the general stock of the bullion dealer with whom the account is held. The client is an unsecured creditor.
Should the client wish to receive actual metal, this is done by ‘allocating’ specific bars or equivalent bullion product, the fine gold content of which is then debited from the allocated account.
These accounts are opened when a customer requires metal to be physically segregated and needs a detailed list of weights and assays. The client has full title to the metal in the account, with the dealer holding it on the client’s behalf as a custodian.
Clients’ holdings are identified in a weight list of bars showing the unique bar number, gross weight, the assay or fineness of each bar and its fine weight. Credits or debits to the holding will be effected by physical movements of bars to or from the client’s physical holding.