Platinum Bar For Sale
At $2,000 a troy ounce, to buy one gram of platinum could cost investors roughly $70 USD. An extremely rare, non-corrosive metal, platinum is twice as precious and twice as costly as gold. One ton of refined ore only yields a minuscule medicine dropper full of liquid luxury. The ore, mined from the earth's crust, must be alloyed with iridium, an even rarer precious metal, which accounts for its sky high price and limited availability. Russia formerly held the world record in production; however two years ago, South Africa dethroned Russia, now accounting for two/thirds of the world's supply. Derived from the Spanish word, "platina," meaning "little silver," platinum is used primarily in expensive jewelry and in most diamond ring mountings. But in recent years, this little silver precious metal has become in high demand in the automotive manufacturing industry and medical fields. It is used as a key element in manufacturing catalytic converters, which inhibit green gas emissions in diesel-fueled engines. Due to stringent emissions control regulations, environmentally-friendly technology has increased the importance of the metal as an automotive component. In the medical field, tiny amounts are also used in prosthesis manufacturing, particularly silicone breast implants. Concerns over future supplies are valid, however reports indicate that estimated reserves of 1.5 billion unearthed troy ounces in South African mines should be ample resources to meet increasing global needs for this rare commodity.
Beyond its aesthetic, medicinal and industrial qualities, investing in platinum is an excellent hedge against unforeseen economic challenges. The demand for a "little silver" to line the portfolios of investors seeking to diversify holdings has increased, as the value of the dollar has declined globally. This rare metal has historically held and drastically increased in value, making it an extremely strong and liquid short-term trading vehicle. Due to its predominant purchasing power, platinum outpaces gold when it comes to liquid assets that can quickly be turned into last resort cash, regardless of where the value of the U.S. dollar eventually settles. Even to buy one gram of platinum in the face of an uncertain economy is like the Biblical and proverbial house which was built on a rock, rather than shifting sand: "Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock." (Matthew 7:24-25)
Primarily traded in the MidAmerica Commodity Exchange (MIDAM), the Tokyo Commodity Exchange (TOCOM), and the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), this jewel of a metal is available as a platinum bar for sale or in currency. American Eagles, Canadian Maple Leafs, and Kruggerands are all available on the global market. Currency coins are aesthetically pleasing, legal tender which appeals to many investors. Beautifully engraved and minted coins can be an excellent investment for coin collectors. Bars available online are priced in U.S. dollars, British pounds sterling, or Eurodollars. To buy one gram of platinum, investors may browse Internet websites for precious metal dealers and mints. Metal websites and stock market exchanges will also quote current pricing for bullion, bullion coins, and industrial, medical or cosmetic products. Recently, the market has also expanded to include trading in recyclable scraps.
Precious metal mints advertise online and at auction pricing for a platinum bar for sale and provide prospective buyers with guidelines for purchasing, shipping and insuring specific quantities. Most mints and dealers limit quantities for online bidding and postal sale. One gram is only .035 of an ounce; and many mints, auctions and dealers limit online and mail purchases to five ounces total per transaction. Whether an investor seeks to buy one gram of platinum or a bullion, the key is to buy the highest quality, graded at not less than .9995 fineness. A platinum bar for sale should be inscribed with its weight, grade, registration number and identifying symbol, along with the mint's trademark or logo. Most reassuring for investors are bars, coins, or bullions certified and graded through premier grading services, which are qualified to authenticate products. Reputable dealers and precious metal mints can be found online; and consumers would do well to spend time researching companies advertising a platinum bar for sale.
Most mints prefer purchases by bank wire or check; however major credit cards are accepted. Once purchases made by check are cleared, the precious metal mint or dealer will ship the product via the usual shipping methods, including registered U.S. Postal Service and express mail. Purchases may be insured, some through Lloyd's of London, to safeguard both buyer and seller assets. Because of its costliness, buyers should be hesitant to even buy one gram of platinum on popular bartering websites, unless products can be authenticated and come with proper certification. Buyers could ask sellers to send proof of authentication before leaping headlong into responding to advertisements for a platinum bar for sale. With today's uncertain global economic outlook and the threat of an impending U.S. recession, investing in a "little silver" and building one's monetary house on the stability of refined ore could go a long way in preventing future financial failure for wise investors and collectors of precious metals. At the least, it will be an adequate hedge against the winds of economic change that are predicted to blow on both national and international shores in the future.
Platinum Metal Bar StockThe cost of platinum, like all investments, is subject to the economic laws of supply and demand. More precious than gold or silver, the silvery-white metal is prized for its chemical properties. Investors need to determine for themselves the wisdom of adding platinum metal bar stock to their portfolios as there are no guarantees in the stock market. Savvy investors make investment decisions based on personal strategies and goals. Those interested in pursuing this rare metal as an investment vehicle should do as much research as possible before taking that initial step.
Before discussing the five-year history of the cost of platinum, let's look at the metal's history and applications. Before French king Louis XVI declared this lustrous rarity a royal metal, such ancient cultures as the Egyptians and the Incas treasured their finds. Spanish conquistadors brought what they called "platina," the Spanish word for "little silver" to Europe from the New World along with shiploads of other riches. In the 18th century, refining techniques were developed that purified the final product, and in the 19th century, the fashionable wore platinum jewelry. Both the priceless Hope Diamond and the Star of Africa are mounted in "platina" settings. During World War II, the United States government banned its use for non-military purposes and still considers this strategic metal to be a military resource.
Three major regions are mined for platinum. These are the Bushveld Igneous Complex of South Africa, an area rich in mineral deposits; Russia's Ural Mountains and areas of Siberia; and the North America continent's areas of Montana and Ontario. Thanks to global geological surveys, explorations of other areas are being undertaken. These include regions of Australia, South America's Chile, Indonesia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The primary source is the South African mines. Their 2006 production statistics show that 214 tons of the rare metal were produced that year in comparison with 2,467 tons of gold and 16,127 tons of silver. Only ten percent of the production went to making coins for investment purposes. Forty percent was used for jewelry and about half, or about 100 tons, were used in catalytic converters. One reason the cost of platinum is being driven higher is because its rarity coincides with diesel trucks needing to meet increased international emission standards.
Demand is high in other areas, too. The malleability property means "platina" can be formed into tubing, rods, bars, and alloy wires. Because of the effective catalyst properties for chemical reactions and because allergic reactions to the metal are rare, industries purchase the metal in these various forms for all kinds of diverse applications. Besides being used in auto components and jewelry, platinum is used in chemical processing, dentistry, electronics, fuel cells, glass and glass fiber applications, petroleum refining, and in the production of biomedical component parts. Other desirable properties are also present. The silvery metal doesn't tarnish or corrode, is not affected by water, and is a good conductor for electrical components. Combining it with cobalt adds magnetic properties.
The rare metal is heavier and harder than gold. For example, one expert states that a block of platinum the size of an ordinary sixteen-ounce beverage can would weigh about fifty pounds and be valued at over a million dollars. While gold is soft and often combined with other metals to form an alloy before being used for practical purposes, platinum can be used in a pure state. But the expense of labor and the refining process is another factor in the high cost of platinum. Even in South Africa, sixteen tons of mined ore only yields one ounce of the "little silver." Manufacturers purchase the formed bars or rods.
For financial matters, these wise words from the Scriptures are worth noting: "The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way but the folly of fools is deceit" (Proverbs 14:8). Keeping that in mind, investors with a rare metals component in their portfolio can choose to purchase minted coins or ingots, mining company stock, or platinum metal bar stock, The appeal of owning coins is that the investor or collector has a tangible asset in her possession. Experts suggest that those choosing this route buy only coins that are documented as having .999 purity. The stock investor can research publicly traded mining companies to find suitable options. The two largest mining companies in North America primarily mine for the metal palladium, but they also mine a small percentage of platinum. They are publicly traded and the interested investor can find more information about them on countless investment websites. Whether or not buying stock in these individual companies is a wise decision is up to each investor to decide. These wise words from the Scriptures are worth noting. "The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way but the folly of fools is deceit" (Proverbs 14:8).
Investing by purchasing platinum metal bar stock is an additional option. Someone who purchased shares five years ago certainly has nothing to complain about. One internet chart shows that the metal sold for approximately $700 an ounce in February 2003. The going rate in February 2008 was approximately $2200 an ounce. Again, the tremendous increase in price is due to the competing forces of supply and demand. The supply remains scarce and the cost of refinement is expensive, but the demand for increased applications, especially in burgeoning technological and biomedical fields, is ravenous. Will the cost of platinum continue to rise? Is investing in platinum metal bar stock a good idea? The metals market has been a volatile investment choice in the past. Whether or not this market remains a worthwhile investment vehicle is a question each investor must answer for himself.