Heraeus Bullion


Heraeus Holding GmbH is a precious metals technology group headquartered in Hanau, Germany.   Heraeus Holding GmbH (GmbH = Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung - English translation: company with limited liability)

heraeus bullionSilver Bullion Photo courtesy of Heraeus

Heraeus technologies include: precious metals trading and investment, energy, environmental services, sensors, electronics and communications, medical products, quartz glass manufacturing and specialty lighting.
 
Heraeus is the world’s largest family owned precious metals refiner, it was formed in 1851.




History of Heraeus Refining

Wilhelm Carl HeraeusWilhelm Carl Heraeus

Wilhelm Carl Heraeus (1827-1904) (pictured right) was the founder of Heraeus.

Wilhelm came from a family of pharmacists, his family owned and operated, the Einhorn Apothecary (Unicorn pharmacy) in Hanau, Germany.  

The family pharmacy originally opened in 1660.

As a young man, Wilhelm went to the University of Göttingen, where he studied chemistry and pharmaceuticals.

In 1851, at the age of 24, Wilhelm Heraeus took over his father's pharmacy.

Shortly after taking over his father's pharmacy, Wilhelm Heraeus discovered a way to melt platinum in large quantities.

heraeus pharmacyOriginal location of the Heraeus Einhorn Apothecary
in Hanau, Germany

In the 1800's, Hanau, Germany was a town of goldsmiths.

Goldsmiths in the area were perplexed because their customers were demanding platinum jewelry, but no one was able to melt platinum in large quantities to support demand.

Several of these goldsmiths complained to Wilhelm Heraeus about their problem.

At the time, goldsmiths were unable to produce a flame hot enough to melt platinum, platinum has a melting of 1,769°C (degrees Celsius), this is well above gold's melting temperature of 1,064°C.

In 1856, through a series of experiments, Wilhelm Heraeus found the solution using a oxhydrogen gas flame (blowpipe), he succeeded in melting platinum in large volumes, without impurities. 

In his first successful experiment, he melted two kilograms of platinum, at one time, using his blowpipe.

Wilhelm invented his own oxyhydrogen blowpipe which brought industries from goldsmiths to chemical laboratories calling upon him to use his methods for melting platinum.

This gave birth to the "first German platinum melting house" and made Heraeus's business grow far beyond its pharmacy roots.

At the turn of the century, the sons of Wilhelm Carl Heraeus, Wilhelm and Heinrich Heraeus took over as managers of the company, and in 1904 after their father's death, they inherited the company.

richard kuchDr. Richard Küch

The two brothers continued to follow their father's footsteps by emphasizing on the company's research and development, ultimately expanding Heraeus's refining market exposure. 

In 1909, they hired Dr. Richard Küch, a physicist and chemist.

During his career, Dr. Küch invented a way of creating high-purity, bubble free quartz glass by melting rock crystal with an oxyhydrogen gas-burner. 

Dr. Küch's inventions and the Heraeus brothers focus on research and development (R&D), laid the foundation for the technologies the company specializes in today.

During the first half of the 20th century, the Heraeus company went through many hardships, from WWI and hyperinflation, to bombing raids on its facilities during WWII, but through hard work the family kept the company alive.

After World War 2 was over, the company was into its second and third generations of the Heraeus family running the company. 

During this time, they continued to focus on research and development of new technologies.  In addition, they also expanded the company world wide opening offices in the United States and Japan.


Heraeus 4th Generation & Future

Dr. Jürgen HeraeusDr. Jürgen Heraeus

In 1983, Dr. Jürgen Heraeus, a fourth generation - Heraeus, was appointed to lead the Heraeus company.

Under his leadership, he re-organized the company into several decentralized, operating companies.

In 1986, Heraeus formed a 50% joint venture with UBS, UBS had previously bought 100% of a independent refiner known as "Agore SA," a precious metals refiner based in Switzerland. 

The venture gave birth to the company Agore-Heraeus SA, and later in 1999, the Heraeus company purchased the other 50% of the company from UBS, making Agore-Heraeus SA 100% owned by Heraeus.

Currently, Heraeus Holding GmbH holds more than 5,000 patents.

In 2013, Heraeus generated product revenues of €3.6 bn and precious metal trading revenues of €13.5 bn.

The company currently has more than 12,000 employees, located in over 100 subsidiaries worldwide.

The Heraeus Group aims to remain 100% family owned for the long term.


The Heraeus company and its future
(expand video for easier viewing)


Heraeus Precious Metals Bullion

Heraeus Identification Marks

"Hand of Roses" - Identification Mark

The "Hand of Roses" identification Mark comes from the Heraeus family crest. 

The family's forefather, Isaac Heraeus (1636-1676) created it after he settled in Hanau, Germany. The Hand of Roses is only a portion of the actual family crest.

Surrounding the "Hand of Roses" are the words "HERAEUS EDELMETALLE" and "HANAU."   

Heraues Bullion produced before 2011, have the following words around the "Hand of Roses,"  "HERAEUS EDELMETALLE GMBH" and "HANAU."


argor - heraeus

"Argor - Heraeus" - Identification Mark

The Mark "AH" is the Identification mark for Argor - Heraeus Refineries.

The "AH" is surrounded with the words "ARGOR" and "HERAEUS SA"  (S.A. = Société Anonyme, see definition here.)

The Identification Mark has been used since 1986 and is imprinted on all bars produced at the Argor - Heraeus refining facilities.




Heraeus Bullion Purity

All Hereaus Bullion is made in the following precious metal purities.

Gold  - .9999 / 99.99%

Silver  - .999 / 99.90% or .9999 / 99.99%

Platinum   - .9995 / 99.95%

Palladium  - .9995 / 99.95%




Heraeus Bullion Rounds

heraeus silver round

Heraeus produces gold and silver, one ounce rounds. 

The gold rounds they produce are made for the Kinebar (see below).

The silver rounds display the Hereaus "Hand of Roses" family crest on one side and the Hereaus name and the round's weight and fineness on the other side.




Types of Bullion Bars
Produced by Heraeus

Cast Bullion Bars - are produced by pouring a molten precious metal directly into a mold.  Markings are usually stamped on the bar using a hammer or a press.  The surface of the bar can be uneven and have some small pits and grooves.

Identification Marks and other company markings on cast bars will look depressed or "sunken," into the bar. (see below)

heraeus cast gold bar

Minted or Stamped Bullion Bars - are cut from a cast bar that has been rolled to a uniform thickness. The cutting is done with a die to create blanks that have a specified dimension and weight. All the surfaces are smooth and even.

minted gold barsHeraus Minted Bar Photo courtesy of Heraeus

Markings are stamped onto the bar using a minting press.

Company markings on minted or stamped bars will be "raised" due to this process. (see below)


heraeus minted silver bar



The Heraeus Kinebar

The Kinebar is a unique security stamp placed on Hereaus Gold Bars.  The stamp was developed jointly by Argor-Heraeus and OVD Kinegram Corp., using Kinegram technology.

heraeus kinebar

Kinegram is a foil-based optical security device, it is used by over 100 countries for the protection of government documents and banknotes.

The Kinegram can be found on Passports, ID Cards, Driver's Licenses, Credit Cards and on paper Currency.

The Kinebar is a gold bar, stamped with a security foil-element which consists of a proprietary, non-holographic, vector-based technology.

The design uses the effect of diffraction optics, so that when you look at the bar from different angles it shines in many different colors.

The gold Kinebar is offered by Heraeus in a vacuum sealed protective assay card, seen here - 1 ozt. Heraeus Gold Kinebar

The Heraeus Kinebar is offered in the following sizes, all bullion is Minted.

           Weight                     Height              Width          Thickness

                                        (mm)             (mm)            (mm)

  • 1 gold gram .............. 15 ............. 8.7.............. 0.5
  • 2 gold gram .............. 19.1 .......... 11.5 ............ 0.5
  • 5 gold gram .............. 23 ............. 14 .............. 1.0
  • 10 gold gram ............ 31.5 ........... 18.5 ........... 1.1
  • 20 gold gram ............ 40.4 ........... 23.3 ........... 1.3
  • 1 ozt. gold bar .......... 40.4 ........... 23.3 ........... 1.8
  • 1 ozt. gold round




heraeus bullion dealers

Bullion Direct

5 - 1 gram Heraeus "Multi-Card" Gold Bars

10 - 1 gram Heraeus "Multi-Card" Gold Bars

1 ozt. Heraeus Gold Round

1 ozt. Heraeus Gold Kinebar Round

1 ozt. Heraeus Gold Bar

1 ozt. Heraeus Gold Kinebar

1 ozt. Heraeus Silver Round page

1 ozt. Heraeus Silver Bar

5 ozt. Heraeus Silver Bar

10 ozt. Heraeus Silver Bar

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Serial Number - Heraeus Bullion

In General, serial numbers on bars, are put on bars and or assay cards as a service for the individual investor; to help them to keep track of the bullion they own.

Before 2011, it was not common practice for Heraeus to place serial numbers on bullion.

heraeus kinebar in assaycard

On a question & answer section on Heraeus's website, they answer some questions often asked by bullion investors below:

Heraeus : Q & A

Q: Can I use the serial number to verify the precious metal bars are genuine?

A: No. The genuineness of the bars cannot be verified by means of the serial number. However, the serial number links the bar to its certificate. All Heraeus gold bars have been delivered with a certificate since 2011.

Q: Do all Heraeus precious metal bars bear a serial number?

A: All gold, platinum and palladium bars produced since 2011 have serial numbers. However, there is some deviation from this for older bars; some of these do not have a serial number. Heraeus Silver Bars, as a rule, have no serial numbers.

You can see the full "Question and Answer" section of the Heraeus website here.




Heraeus - Cast & Stamped Bars,
Precious Metal & Sizes

Heraeus Gold   -   Minted Bullion Bars

         Weight                Height                    Width               Thickness

                                (mm)                  (mm)               (mm)

  • 5 gram .......... 23 ....................  14  ............... 1.0
  • 10g  .............. 31.5  ................ 18.5  ............. 1.1
  • 20g  .............. 40.4  ................ 23.3  ............. 1.3
  • 1 ozt. ...........  40.4   ...............  23.3  ............. 1.8
  • 50g  .............  49.7  ................  28.5  ............. 2.0
  • 100g  ............ 49.7  ................  28.5  ............. 3.9


Heraeus Gold   -   Cast Bullion Bars

          Weight                Height                    Width               Thickness

                                 (mm)                  (mm)               (mm)

  • 100g .............. 45.0 ................ 24.0 ............... 5.0
  • 250g .............. 50.5 ................ 30.5 ............... 9.0
  •  500g ............. 91.0 ................ 40.5 ............... 7.5
  • 1000g ........... 117.0 ............... 51.5  ..............  9.0

See Gold bar list here.




Heraeus Silver  Minted Bullion Bars

        Weight            Height                Width               Thickness

                            (mm)               (mm)               (mm)

  • 1 ozt. .......  49.7 ............. 28.5 ................2.2
  • 100 g ........ 49.7 ............. 28.5 ................7.0
  • 250 g ........ 80.0 ............. 47.0 ................6.5
  • 500 g ........ 96.0  ............ 51.0 ................9.8


Heraeus Silver  -   Cast Bullion Bars

        Weight                Height               Width               Thickness

                               (mm)               (mm)               (mm)

  • 1,000 g ........ 111.0  ........... 51.0 .............. 21.0
  •  5,000 g ....... 248.0  ........... 71.0 .............. 35.0
  • 15,000 g ...... 275.0  ........... 105.0 ............ 71.0

See Silver bar list here.




Heraeus Platinum -   Minted Bullion Bars

        Weight                Height               Width               Thickness

                               (mm)               (mm)               (mm)

  • 1 oz ............. 40.4 .............. 23.3 ..............  1.6
  • 100 g ..........  49.7 .............. 28.5 ..............  3.4
  •  500 g .........  80.0 .............. 47.0 ..............  6.2
  • 1,000 g .......  96.0 .............. 51.0 ..............  9.7

See Platinum bar list here.




Heraeus Palladium -   Minted Bullion Bars

          Weight                 Height               Width               Thickness

                                 (mm)               (mm)               (mm)

  • 1 ozt. ...........  49.7 ............... 28.5 ............... 2.0
  • 100 g ...........  49.7 ............... 28.5 ............... 6.0
  • 500 g ...........  96.0 ............... 51.0 ............... 8.2
  • 1,000 g ........ 121.5 .............. 54.5 ............... 12.2


See Palladium bar list here.




Sources:

Heraeus Holding GmbH - website

Argor - Heraeus - website




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