London Good Delivery

London Good Delivery represents the standard measure of quality in gold and silver bullion used in physical transactions within the London market and is the accepted standard for a gold or silver bar. The London Good Delivery List is maintained by the Physical Committee of the
London Bullion Market Association (LBMA).

PAMP good delivery bars (Credit: courtesy PAMP S.A.)

The LBMA regulations for gold require that a good delivery bar "must be at least 995 parts per 1000 pure gold, with 999.9 being the highest possible quality. Minimum weight is 350 fine ounces, maximum 430 fine ounces. It must bear a serial number and the stamp, or chop, of an approved refiner as designated in the London Good Delivery List of acceptable smelters and assayers, as well as the fineness and the year of manufacture. The bars must be of good appearance, free from surface cavities and other irregularities, layering and excessive shrinkage. They must be easy to handle and easy to stack".

The list has its origin in assayers and refiners approved by the Bank of England's own bullion office in the 18th century, and grew more rapidly in the 19th century after the Californian, Australian and South African gold discoveries. As of June 2001 the full gold list included 59 refineries in 28 countries, together with the names of 53 former smelters and assayers who no longer melt or assay or have changed their mark or location, but whose bars are still accepted as good delivery.

Gold bars in the making (Credit: courtesy PAMP S.A.)

To achieve good delivery status new refiners must meet the LBMA's exacting standards for producing and assaying refined metal, and meet criteria for net worth, years in operation and annual production levels, together with recommendation from their local central bank.

The full Good Delivery List is available from the LBMA and is on their website. New applications for acceptance should also be addressed to the LBMA.

See also: United Kingdom (London) - Market Introduction; Bank of England; London Bullion Market Association (LBMA); London Clearing Turnover; London Fixing; Original Five London Brokers