Platinum Is A Newcomer
Compared to silver and gold, platinum is a newcomer to the world stage. Pre-Columbian South Americans were the first people known to use platinum. The Spaniard Antonio de Ulloa is credited with discovering platinum in 1735. In these early years platinum was seen as a nuisance that interfered with the mining of gold.
It’s Being Used Up Like Silver
Today platinum has a wide variety of industrial uses. Similar to silver, most of the platinum mined is being used up. This is in contrast to gold. Most of the gold ever mined is still in circulation. Platinum is about 15 to 20 times more rare than gold. Normally platinum trades at a higher price than gold, but today platinum prices are lower than gold prices.
Wild Price Swings Are Common
Almost all platinum is mined in either South Africa or Russia. Russia has by far the largest known reserves of platinum. Since neither South Africa nor Russia are particularly stable countries, the platinum supply has the possibility of suddenly being severely constricted. In the past, platinum prices have been known to swing wildly.
Where Do I Get Platinum?
You’re local coin shop will probably sell platinum coins and bars. Several countries, including the US, Canada, and Estonia mint platinum coins. I prefer coins to bars because bars usually involve assay fees to move in and out of. Coins are easier to buy and sell. There are platinum ETF’s and commodity exchanges sell platinum futures if you are so inclined.
Should I Buy Some Platinum?
Is platinum a good investment? It might be. Just like silver, platinum has historically traded at much higher levels compared to gold. Some analysts claim platinum is selling at bargain basement prices right now. Add to this the possibility of platinum supplies being suddenly interrupted by some disturbance in Russia, and you might be able to profit big.
Personally, I’m not invested in platinum. It’s close to $1,000 an ounce, and I’ve got a low net worth. Any precious metals investing I do in the near future will be put into silver. If you’ve got plenty of money though, and you are already covered by some gold and silver, buying some platinum could be a great idea to diversify a bit.
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