In today’s volatile global investment market, if there’s one thing that offers some semblance of assurance, then that has to be precious metal trading. Gold, silver, and platinum prices generally tend to remain on the positive side, courtesy of the popular demand among consumers and investors alike. These metals are unique in the way that they hold universal value and as such are very marketable. Surely, their prices do undergo temporary changes with changes in market supply and demand, but their intrinsic value never diminishes.
What are precious metals?
Precious metals are rare, organically occurring, metallic elementals that have an inherent value. They don’t usually oxidize or corrode, and they don’t naturally tarnish. The main precious metals are considered to be gold, silver, palladium, and platinum – which are all used in jewelry, but also have a range of different applications.
Precious metals have been used for currency and jewelry throughout human history, and more recently, metals like gold are used in devices including iPhones and computer software. Some precious metals are seen as concrete stores of wealth during times of market uncertainty – known as safe-havens.
What are the different precious metals to trade?
There are generally taken to be four main precious metals to trade: gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. These all have a range of applications, not just as a historical store of money or for their use in jewelry, but also in industry, electronics, medicines, and as alloys.
Gold: Gold has been used in the production of expensive goods for millennia. Today gold is used in jewelry, decoration, and – thanks to its conductivity – the smartphones and computers that we all use daily. It’s also the safe-haven asset of choice for many investors during times of market uncertainty.
Silver: Silver is a popular metal in industry, where it’s used for its conductive, anti-bacterial, and malleable properties. These give silver a range of applications, including in batteries, dentistry, and water purification.
Platinum: Platinum in its pure form is used in jewelry and dental work. But, it’s also popular as an alloy – for example, the alloy of platinum and cobalt is used to make magnets. It’s also used in some chemotherapy drugs, particularly those that treat testicular and ovarian carcinoma, lung cancer, and lymphomas.
Palladium: Palladium is a congener with platinum – meaning the two metals share a common structure, origin, or function. More than half of palladium’s supply is used in catalytic converters for cars, which are essential tools that convert harmful gases like carbon monoxide into nitrogen, carbon dioxide, or water vapour.