Gold last reported a.m. is steady at $1201.50 and Silver is $16.27 up 7 cents.
Individuals looking into precious metals investments primarily consider gold and silver but platinum and palladium are also in this class. Platinum is generally the most expensive of these metals with palladium being priced under gold. Because legal tender coinage has been minted with gold and silver the other two metals take a back seat with the average investor but both metals hold their own as a solid investment vehicle.
Platinum is used today primarily in industrial sectors across the globe and is very scarce. It’s estimated that 1/5th of everything we use contains platinum or requires platinum in its manufacture. Platinum possesses high resistance to corrosion, exceptional high temperature characteristics and stable electrical properties. Most of the global consumption use goes to jewelry and catalytic converters used in automobiles. These two applications require more than 70 percent of the world’s supply of platinum.
Russia and South Africa are two of the world’s largest producers of platinum holding about 80 percent of the earth’s supply. South Africa alone mines about 70 percent of the world’s platinum making Russia the second largest producer in the world. Industrial demand guarantees platinum a prominent position in the precious metals sector.
Palladium, like platinum finds it’s primary use in industry. Palladium is lighter than platinum having about the same density as silver. When used in jewelry it’s primarily used as an alloy for its workable characteristics and wear properties. Palladium is often times alloyed with gold to make white gold but there are very few pure pieces of palladium jewelry.
The most common use for palladium, like platinum, is in catalytic converters. A catalytic converter contains catalysts which convert toxic substances in engine exhaust into inert substances. This produces a cleaner exhaust that meets EPA standards. Reclaimed converters are a big source of palladium.
Palladium’s applications in electronics and chemistry indicate as technology grows, so will the demand of palladium. It’s currently being studied to find its potential for use in fuel cells and hydrogen storage. Palladium may very well become the the front runner for industrial applications in the not too distant future.
Both platinum and palladium are acceptable precious metals for a gold IRA. Regardless of which of the four precious metals you choose for future investments, all are worthy of being called an investment vehicle worth investing in.
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