Why Is Platinum So Expensive?
Why Is Platinum Valuable & Expensive?
Where Does Platinum Come From - The History & Origin of Platinum
Platinum, though officially classified as a precious metal in the late 18th century, has been found in Egyptian jewelry dating from 700 B.C. Its name comes from the Spanish word platina – little silver – the metal with which the platinum was initially confused. While panning for gold in New Granada, Spanish Conquistadors found the white nuggets to be a nuisance and considered them to be unripe gold. Two centuries passed before a Swedish researcher discovered a way to produce commercial quantities. Prior to that, the metal had been used primarily to decorate porcelain and make laboratory instruments. Until the early 19th century, Colombia held the only known deposits of the precious metal. Just as those deposits began to dwindle, the metal was discovered in Russia, which became the primary source of it for the next 100 years. Currently, more than 70 percent of the world's platinum is mined in South Africa.
Properties of Platinum
The white silver metal known as platinum is the heaviest of the precious metals, weighing almost twice as much as karat gold. It is dense, ductile and impervious to corrosion. It is the least reactive metal and it has a very high melting point.
These characteristics, along with its chemical stability, make platinum extremely useful in industrial applications. It's color, which mixes well with gold, and its resistance to tarnish and wear, make it an excellent choice in the crafting of fine jewelry. Nearly 50 percent of what is mined annually is used in the manufacture of vehicle emissions control devices. More than 30 percent of what is mined is used in jewelry.
Platinum vs Gold Rarity
Compared to the nearly 1,782 tons of gold mined, only about 133 tons of platinum are mined annually. It is estimated that there are more than 5 billion ounces of gold above ground. There are only an estimated 200 million ounces of platinum. And unlike gold, there are no large stockpiles of platinum. It has been said that there is only around one-millionth of one percent in the earth’s crust. It is probable that all of the platinum in the world would fit into a square of less than 25 feet on each side or in an average American living room. Platinum is also more difficult to mine than is gold. Typically, the platinum mining process takes five to seven months and may require as much as 10 tons of ore to yield one ounce of platinum. It costs about $1,800 to produce one ounce of platinum. At its most expensive, the production costs for an ounce of gold is about $957 – nearly half of what platinum costs.
Is Platnum A Good Investment
Platinum American Eagles are an excellent and affordable way to diversify the types of metal in your portfolio. The prices of gold, silver and platinum bullion are independent of each other so diversifying the precious metals in your portfolio allows the positive performance of some to balance the negative performance of others. Eagles also provide a mobile form of investment - easy to store, trade, carry, and buy & sell. The coins have historically provided a hedge against inflation and trade close to the spot value of the coin. The weight and purity of American Eagle Bullion coins are backed by the U.S. government and as such can be traded nearly everywhere in the world. They offer one of the most liquid forms of investment available. American Platinum Eagles are available in 1 oz., 5 oz., .25 oz. And .1 oz. denominations. They were authorized by Congress in 1996 then first minted in 1997. They were the first and are the only official platinum coin from the U.S. Mint. Check out this ultra cameo Platinum Eagle coin to boost your platinum investment collection.
If you’re interested in buying platinum coins, you can explore the collection at IPM. IPM also offers a variety of platinum bullion and platinum coin collections. Feel free to learn more about precious metals and valuable coins by checking out our other unique blog posts, including Is Gold A Good Investment, What is Numismatic Value, & Our Guide to Rare Modern Coins.