What is Platinum
Platinum is a chemical element with the symbol Pt and atomic number 78. It is dense, ductile, malleable, highly unreactive, precious metal. It is one of the rarest elements on earth. Because of its scarcity and given its important uses, it is highly valuable and is a major precious metal commodity.
Platinum’s Mining and Availability
All platinum production per year is no more than 5 million ounces, compared to 82 million for gold and 547 million ounces for silver. South Africa is the world’s largest producer with more than 80%
Due to platinum’s rarity as a metal, advertisers associate it with exclusivity and wealth. Platinum credit cards have greater privileges than gold cards, platinum awards rank higher than gold, silver, or bronze awards.
Platinum’s Industrial Uses
Platinum has remarkable resistance to corrosion and therefore, is considered a noble metal. It is used in catalytic converters, electrical contacts, thermometers, electrodes, dentistry equipment, and jewelry. It is also been used in chemotherapy against certain types of cancer. In particular, 40% of platinum is used in automotive, 20% in the industry, 30% in jewelry, and 10% for investment purposes.
Platinum is a precious metal commodity with bullion coins, bars, or ingots, available to all investors. The price of platinum is volatile, more than that of gold therefore, investing in platinum should be approached with caution. In 2008 platinum lost 2/3 of its value, when it dropped from $2,252 to $774 per oz. In comparison, the price of gold dropped from $1,000 to $700 during the same time, a loss of only 1/3 of its value.
Platinum as an Investment Tool
During periods of sustained economic stability and growth, the price of platinum tends to be much higher than the price of gold, sometimes twice as much. On the other side during periods of financial and political turmoil, the price of the metal tends to decrease due to reduced industrial demand, falling below the price of gold.
Due to the scarcity of the metal and the strong demand, there is reason to think platinum prices could be ready to rise. Another reason for that is that a number of platinum mines have closed, while demand remains strong.
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