Platinum Versus Palladium
Platinum and Palladium have been known since 1735 and 1802, respectively, but have only broken onto the mainstream Precious Metals scene relatively recently. If you’re interested in expanding your investments to include either of these rare metals, you’ll want to learn more about them and their growth potential. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or an experienced investor, peruse these quick facts and see if Platinum or Palladium are right for you.
What is Platinum?
Platinum is a white Precious Metal used in everything from high-end jewelry to catalytic converters, but it wasn’t always considered either precious or useful. During the 17th century, traces amounts of Platinum was found in South American Gold mines, and the Spanish miners generally considered the white metal an annoyance. Now, those in the know on the subject of Precious Metals know that Platinum is both extremely valuable and extremely rare. Much rarer, in fact, than the Gold the conquistadors were after centuries ago.
Almost half of the annual Platinum production goes directly to the automotive industry to help control vehicle emissions. Platinum is likely the catalyst in the ignition of hydrogen in your car’s catalytic converter. Also using lots of Platinum right now is the fine jewelry industry. High-end jewelry accounts for about a third of the Platinum mined each year. Other, less well-known applications for Platinum include medical machinery electrodes, use in turbine engines, and of course, Precious Metal investment products.
What is Palladium?
Palladium is a Platinum group metal, and though it can be mistaken for its more expensive mate, Palladium is its own elemental metal. Because of its great similarity to Platinum, Palladium has also gained usage in the auto industry and is becoming a common alloy in the jewelry industry. An alloy of Palladium and Gold makes a beautiful white Gold, and is now crucial element of the fine jewelry trade.
Many industry insiders consider Palladium a cheaper substitute for Platinum, because of its abundant supply. Although there are no official numbers on the actual amount of available Palladium currently above ground, it is usually a better deal for industrial purposes, as it is currently valued well below Platinum.
How Are These Metals Different?
Platinum and palladium are almost identical all but the most discerning eye. Their similar elemental makeup means they act as catalysts to the same chemicals and elements and, when used in personal accessories, maintain a bright white color and do not tarnish over time. The difference between these two exceptional and exceptionally beautiful metals comes down to density and cost.
Platinum is much denser than Palladium. It is a heavier, more durable metal than either Silver or Gold and is often used for wedding or engagement rings due to its enduring strength. In terms of price, Platinum’s density allows for extreme malleability of the metal, therefore raising Platinum’s price to nearly double the price per ounce of Palladium.
Industrial Metal Uses
Platinum and Palladium both have applications in the automotive industry, in medical equipment, and in fine jewelry. Platinum is also used in dentistry, as surgical instruments and electrical contacts, as well as in the production of exceptionally strong magnets. Palladium is an essential component of white gold, is used in dental equipment, and is used in the works of high-end watches.
Platinum and Palladium Investments
The scarcity of Platinum and Palladium combined with the growing demands enjoyed by both metals makes for an exciting potential return on investment for these Precious Metals. As an example, Gold mining ceased today, worldwide, the Gold we have on hand would last for about twenty-five years. However, is Platinum mining were suspended right this minute, the supply would meet demand for about one year. Because it is comparable to Platinum in some ways but is generally available at a lower price, Palladium interests those wishing to buy Platinum. Moreover, the price of Palladium is still fairly volatile—almost unpredictable — providing investors the opportunity to make that thrilling speculative profit.
Precious Metals Popularity
Because of their important industrial applications, aesthetic allure, and investment potential, you would think that Platinum and Palladium would be unavailable and hard to get, but it’s not difficult to find. Platinum and Palladium, while they are gorgeous Precious Metals with real potential as investment products, simply don’t enjoy the same popularity as Gold and Silver. Also, due to the relatively tiny supply, the prices of these metals tend toward volatility, making them less than ideal for casual investors.
Availability of Supply
Platinum and Palladium bullion are commonly available in the form of bars and rounds, and occasionally in a real coin. These high-quality items feature lovely artwork, allowing you to enjoy your investment as you build and diversify your investment portfolio.
Whether you’ve been considering branching into Platinum or Palladium investment products for some time, or we are just now piquing your interest, you can feel confident that your transaction with APMEX will be smooth and simple, and your satisfaction is guaranteed. Browse our excellent selection of Platinum and Palladium pieces today.