What Is The Most Precious Metal?

What Is The Most Precious Metal?

When discussing the most precious metals in the world, all discussions obviously include gold and silver. These two metals have been considered the official standard of wealth and value throughout the vast majority of human history, and were used for monetary systems across many nations throughout history.

There are two other precious metals that were never used in the traditional sense, like gold and silver were, but are nonetheless considered to be precious, and worthwhile of an investment. These two metals are platinum and palladium.

Platinum: The Most Precious?

Platinum is the most precious of the aforementioned metals, and at nearly 15 times more scarce than gold, with no known stockpiles, makes it very sought after. Because one in every five consumer products either contains platinum or was produced using the precious metal, it remains in high demand.

Platinum is known for its malleability, resistance to corrosion, strong density, and is often used in the jewelry, dentistry, aeronautics and weapons industries.

Gold: Historical Value

Gold only recently passed platinum in terms of price per ounce, but because it is such a necessity to so many industries, it is predicted to surpass it in the future.

Gold, the next most precious metal on our list, is known as the king of precious metals and is one of the oldest metals to be recognized as currency. First coined by the Romans in 50 B.C., it was used as currency in China more than 3,000 years ago.

Gold's conductivity, reflectiveness, malleability and durability make it a desirable commodity for use in crafting jewelry as well as in industrial applications.

Physical gold is private, portable, secure and immutably valuable. Historically, it has retained its value, maintaining through the collapse of governments and even cultures. No paper asset offers the same security.

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Palladium: Multi-Faceted

Palladium is the third most precious metal.  This silvery-white metal was discovered in 1803 and is named after the asteroid Pallas. Palladium is sought after for its rarity, malleability, stability in heat and ability to absorb large quantities of hydrogen at room temperature. The lustrous metal is used by automobile and electronic manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and jewelers. It is also used to purify hydrogen and treat groundwater.

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Silver: Consistency

Silver is the fourth most precious metal in our list. Historically, silver has been the most affordable precious metal and, like gold, has been considered a form of currency since its discovery. The lustrous, white metal is a by-product of processing and smelting copper, gold and lead-zinc ores and was discovered after gold and copper in 4,000 BC.

Silver is the most electrically and thermally conductive and reflective metal on earth with the lowest contact resistance of all metals. It is also the most used metal with no known substitutes. It is used in a multitude of applications ranging from jewelry to mold prevention, and represents an extremely valuable way to diversify one's precious metal investing.

Other Precious Metals

These four precious metals, platinum, palladium, and silver collectively fill out the list of most valuable precious metals that are commonly invested in. There are other precious metals in the world, some of which are more valuable than the ones on this list, yet are less commonly invested in. Examples of these are rhodium, ruthenium, iridum, and osmium.