Precious metals are an excellent way to diversify your investment portfolio and safeguard assets against inflation and financial turmoil. They also act as a safe haven asset that investors often turn towards during times of market instability.
Gold, silver and platinum are the three most sought-after precious metals. However, other options exist as well – such as rhodium, ruthenium and iridium that may be worth a look into, as well, in the article below.
Gold is a precious metal and one of the most sought-after investments. You can invest in physical gold coins, bullion or mining stocks; alternatively you may purchase ETFs to gain exposure to gold without owning any physical products.
Gold has many uses, from jewelry to electronics and pigments. For the most part, investing in gold has long been seen as a safe haven against inflation and an effective hedge against volatility in paper currencies. Not only is it a decorative wonder, it’s also extremely important in the creation of devices and machines.
It is an exceptional conductor of electricity and heat, as well as being a very ductile metal that resists corrosion or tarnish – making it constantly necessary in manufacturing. Because of its resistance to corrosion, it plays an essential role in almost every electronic device from cell phones to computers.
Silver plays an integral role in many types of batteries and electrical devices, making it a popular choice among investors looking to diversify their portfolio.
Silver can be acquired in several ways, such as buying physical bars or coins, investing in silver mining companies’ stocks or ETFs (which you can read about here) trading futures contracts and buying physical silver from dealers who specialize in precious metals. Since silver’s price is determined by supply and demand factors, it’s essential to take these into account before making a purchase.
Silver, like gold, is a precious metal whose value can be sold or traded at above market rates. As an investment option, silver makes for a good choice if you need to protect your portfolio against inflation or economic uncertainty.
Platinum has seen a marked increase in its value among investors over the last decade or so due to its use in catalytic converters and other industrial processes.
It is also used in jewelry production and medical applications like cancer treatment drugs like cisplatin and carboplatin. Other industrial uses for titanium include pacemakers, catheters and stents.
It’s essential to recognize that platinum is an expensive investment and typically requires a substantial amount of cash up front. Therefore, opt for smaller ounces when purchasing metal for your portfolio – such as privately minted bars or rounds – in order to pay less per ounce and sidestep futures contract fees.
Palladium is a sought-after precious metal for investment due to its many industrial uses. It’s mostly employed in the automotive industry to make catalytic converters that reduce emissions from cars and other vehicles running on fossil fuels.
This is an essential aspect of the global pollution problem, as without these devices the hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides emitted by cars would be much more hazardous. Catalysts containing palladium help transform these hazardous compounds into less damaging forms like carbon dioxide, nitrogen and water vapor.
Palladium can also be utilized to purify and store hydrogen, an essential element in fuel cells. This research could revolutionize how we power future technologies. Investing in palladium is also possible through futures which operate like stocks on exchanges.
Ruthenium is an effective antioxidant that has been demonstrated to shield cells from free radical damage. Additionally, its properties could potentially aid in treating cancer by inhibiting tumor growth.
In the pharmaceutical industry, it’s used as an ingredient in chemotherapy drugs. Additionally, it has other applications like treating rheumatoid arthritis. This rare element is usually produced in small amounts as a byproduct of nickel mining. It has several uses, such as alloying agent and catalyst for chlorine production.
This rare metal has many applications, such as in the electrical industry where it acts as an alloying agent to increase titanium corrosion resistance. Additionally, it is employed in producing high-density data storage and chip resistors. Chemically speaking, its role as a versatile catalyst in the production of acetic acid and ammonia has significant significance too.
Rhodium is a precious metal that requires extensive extraction from ores, making it expensive to obtain. As such, the price of rhodium fluctuates depending on demand – particularly from the auto industry which accounts for 90% of its use.
Another popular market is jewelry, where rhodium plating can be applied to more malleable metals such as silver or white gold to increase durability. Additionally, silver and palladium jewelry receives a shiny, scratch-resistant finish from this plating – which is a little more refined versus rhodium’s more rustic look, making it more expensive (and more invest-worthy).
Rhodium is sometimes combined with platinum or iridium to produce a specially-formulated metal that can withstand heat. They can be found in furnace windings, pen nibs, phonograph needles, electrodes for all kinds of spark plugs and high-temperature thermocouples, according to Lenntech.
Iridium is a rare and precious metal used in various applications. It has a high melting point and resistance to corrosion, making it ideal for industrial uses like spark plugs for general aviation aircraft. It is an integral element in the kilogram’s weight and measurement standard, though it is one of the most expensive precious metals available.
Iridium was named for the Greek goddess Iris, whose symbol is a rainbow. The stunning array of colors present in iridium compounds makes it an enchanting element and responsible for its popularity in jewelry in the market.
For a bit of history – in 1803 English chemist Smithson Tennant made an astonishing discovery while searching for platinum and osmium in acid-insoluble residues of platinum ores. He discovered that these elements dissolved in aqua regia, a mixture of nitric acid and hydrochloric acid. He then isolated iridium in its crude form as a black powder.