Buying gold anonymously: table shops before going out?

The upper limit for anonymous gold purchases will drop to 2,000 euros next year. What the new law entails and why some retailers are now even considering not doing table shops altogether.


Buy gold anonymously

The amendment to the 4th EU Money Laundering Directive has been decided – so-called bar shops will be further restricted: From January 1, 2020, gold, silver and other precious metals may only be bought anonymously with cash payments up to a maximum limit of 2,000 euros. Large savers with investment amounts of over 10,000 euros must already be registered by precious metal traders.


Additional effort for the trade

The new law primarily affects people who want to make small investments or buy precious metals as gifts for weddings, baptisms or similar occasions. For gold traders, the legislative decision means a significant increase in bureaucracy, which is why prices can be expected to rise slightly. If small purchases of two 1-ounce gold coins, such as the Krugerrand, already require a detailed check by the customer, including documentation of the identity card, these business transactions naturally take longer. 


Stationary precious metal trade threatened

In an industry that primarily works with margins of less than one percent, this scratches the profitability limit. There will certainly be a trend away from the anonymous table shop and local purchase towards online retail. Individual traders have already announced that they will no longer offer bar shops, but only want to sell precious metals by mail order.


Questionable law

The aim of the amending directive is to create more transparency, thereby strengthening the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing. However, according to official figures, the proportion of money laundering cases in connection with the trading of precious metals is negligible. Gold buyers are usually classic savers who are looking for security in a stable means of exchange and payment and only want to diversify their assets through gold.