History of platinum
Platinum has a number of qualities which make it so valuable. Its molecular structure, high melting point and durability mean that it is extremely useful when working in high temperatures and under high pressure. It is also used in medical equipment and for radars due to it's conductivity and sensitivity. Additionally it has been named the "environmental metal" due to it's use in catalytic converters on cars as it converts the polluting emissions from the exhaust into carbon dioxide and water. Russia was in fact the first country to mint platinum coins in the 19th century and was followed later by America and Canada in the 1990s, who started to produce the American Platinum Eagle and the Canadian platinum Maple Leaf.
Platinum or platinum coins as an investment
Many investors see platinum as an ideal precious metal to add to their
investment portfolio given its rarity and variety of uses. For example
around 5 million troy ounces are mined every year compared with 82
million troy ounces of gold and 547 million troy ounces of silver. It
tends to do better during times of economic prosperity, given that
investors invariably look to buy gold
and silver during economic depressions. However in the last year the
price of platinum has actually sky rocketed and almost doubled. Due to
it's rarity ( you have to mine 14 tonnes of stone to get one ounce) it
is a lot more expensive to buy platinum coins than buying silver and gold coins.
There is also a great demand nowadays for platinum jewellery,
especially in China, which has further increased the price. Since
platinum, as said before, can be used for such a variety of products it
seems that the demand for platinum will always outweigh supply and
therefore offers a great investment opportunity.
Ways to invest in platinum
One way of investing in platinum is by buying strong platinum coins such as the American Platinum Eagle which similar to other gold bullion coins like Krugerrands comes in 1/10, 1/4,1/2 ounce weights as well as the one ounce weight. It is also worth noting that American Platinum Eagles are unique in that on the reverse side of the coins they have a different design that changes every year. It is also possible to invest in platinum mining companies rather than the metal itself which has proved profitable in recent years.