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Precious metals like gold and silver have been tools for protecting and growing wealth for as long as “wealth” has existed as a concept. But in recent years, a new alternative to these old standards has emerged in the form of platinum.
Platinum and its value are nothing new, of course. The oldest existing piece of platinum jewelry was discovered and Thebes and dates back to the 7th century BC. But its use as an investment asset is a more recent development.
So today, let’s look at why people are investing in this asset and how to buy platinum yourself.
What Sets Platinum Apart From Other Precious Metals?
One of the key characteristics of platinum is how rare it is, being 30 times more scarce than gold. That it’s so uncommon would make it valuable enough. But platinum has several important practical applications as well.
Platinum’s main chemical quirk is its catalytic properties.
A car’s catalytic converter tends to be one of its most expensive components because of the amount of platinum needed to produce them. It’s also found in sparkplugs, hydrogen fuel cells, electric cars, diesel engines, and fuel refining. So as long as automobiles remain popular, there will be a demand for platinum.
The material has technical applications like high-density hard drives and cloud storage. And medical devices like pacemakers also need platinum.
So besides being very rare, its value in maintaining a functional society helps to make it a reliable investment.
Types of Bullion
Like most precious metals, buying platinum tends to mean investing in physical bullion. Bullion usually takes three forms, as listed below.
Platinum bars are often the least expensive option, an important distinction considering how expensive it is to buy platinum. They take the form of flat rectangles and most often come in denominations ranging from one gram to one troy ounce. The only engraving they tend to have is a stamp denoting the mint of origin and the content, weight, and purity.
Rounds are coins issued by private mints, and thus have no face value as legal tender. They do tend to be more affordable than government-issue coins though, making them a popular choice for investors.
A handful of government mints have struck platinum coinage. As with gold and silver coins, these are legal tender and the issuing government guarantees their content and purity. That government guarantee makes them more fluid than other options, at the cost of being more expensive to buy.
How to Buy Platinum
Each type has positives and negatives, so there is no real wrong answer. So for the beginning investor, some of the best platinum buying advice is to opt for a curated platinum crate assembled by professionals.
The firms offering these subscription services have more purchasing power than an individual. So they can get bullion in bulk at more competitive rates. Taking advantage of their resources is one of the best platinum buying tips if you’re only getting started.
Expanding Your Portfolio With Platinum
Now that you know how to buy platinum, you can work to make it a part of your broader investment strategy.
Gold and silver may be safer investments than stocks and bonds, but even their value is subject to gains and losses. Diversifying your portfolio with alternatives like platinum can help further protect and grow your wealth.
But platinum is only one investment that’s worth your time. For more tips and how-tos like this platinum buying guide, be sure to keep up with our latest financial news.