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Platinum is a rare precious metal and its price has often been higher than gold and for many years at a time. The all-time platinum price in US dollars peaked a few months before the full onset of the 2008 Financial Crisis ensued. Since then platinum bars have become an attractive “value buy” amongst platinum bullion buyers and investors.
The all-time high price of platinum happened on March 4, 2008. That day, the platinum record price high reached $2,276.00 oz USD in the AM London Fix. That very same morning of this all-time platinum price high, the US dollar price of platinum was more than double the AM gold fix ($981.75 oz), close to four times the AM palladium fix price ($588.00 oz), and over one hundred times the day’s silver fix price ($20.32 oz).
With the 2008 peak in platinum price there was a near simultaneous launching of platinum exchange-traded funds (often referred in short as platinum ETFs) and platinum exchange-traded notes (called a platinum ETN in short). With the sharp drop in record high platinum prices and the introduction of new methods to gain platinum price exposure, investor demand for platinum related funds saw a double digit increase in US dollar volumes within the first decade of the 21st Century.
Kitco offers both private mint guaranteed platinum bars and government mint guaranteed platinum coins all made of a minimum .999 platinum bullion fineness. Physical platinum bullion coins and bars will remain a trustworthy platinum investment for the long term.
Yes and no.
Platinum is indeed rare with an estimated Earth’s crust concentration of 0.005 parts per million (ppm). In comparison, silver is found in 0.075 ppm while gold is found at 0.004 ppm in the ground. To give you a better perspective, if we convert platinum’s parts per million rarity into time, we would find 1 minute of platinum in just over 380 years’ time. For gold it would be more than 450 years and for silver over 25 years respectively.
Although gold is slightly rarer in the Earth than platinum, human beings have been mining gold for many thousands of years while platinum was only scientifically discovered a few centuries ago. Thus above ground supplies of gold bullion dwarf today’s refined and available physical platinum supply.
Platinum is so rare in supply that all the platinum ever mined in human history could be melted into a platinum bar that would fit inside the average United States citizen’s garage.
Officially discovered in the 18th Century, modern mining experts estimate that throughout history over 15 times more gold and about 150 times more silver have been mined than platinum. Mining experts also estimate that just over 10,000 tons of platinum have ever been mined by mankind.
As recently as 2016, bullion industry reports show just over 2,000 metric tons of platinum remaining above ground. Capital flows for platinum as an investment have increased substantially since the start of the 21st Century.
Today close to 90% of the fresh world’s platinum supply is dug up from just four major mine sites. Three of these major platinum mines are located in South Africa while the remaining other major platinum mine resides within Russia.
About 70% of all new mined platinum supplies come from South Africa where mining labor strikes, instability, and turmoil have become the normal state of affairs. Platinum’s supply is thus much more vulnerable to both mining and political disruptions compared to other ubiquitously mined and sought after precious metals like silver and gold.
Since 2006 peak platinum production, Russian and South African platinum supplies have been declining due to rising costs and lowering ore grades. Much higher platinum recycling supplies over this timeframe have helped meet and offset growing market demands.
From the beginning of the 21st Century, annual worldwide demand for platinum has averaged just over 7 million ounces per year.
World platinum demand comes from 4 major sectors:
The majority of platinum demand comes from the car industry’s catalytic converter demand to help reduce emissions.
The next largest sector of platinum demand is for platinum jewelry due to the precious metal’s resistance to tarnish and warping.
Another major sector of platinum demand comes from 25 different industrial uses ranging from electronics, medical technologies, usage in nitric acid fertilizers, and turbine engines.
The smallest of the four segments of the world’s platinum demand comes from the platinum investment sector (ranging from electronic shares in a Platinum ETF to actual physical Platinum Dealers of platinum bars / platinum coins like us here at Kitco Metals).
Platinum Bullion Characteristics
Platinum is heavier and denser than gold, and double the density of silver. Therefore fine platinum bullion bars and .999 platinum bullion coins take up much less storage space per troy ounce than silver and even less space than gold bullion.
Platinum is the least reactive metal with extraordinary resistance to corrosion, wear, and tarnish.
Platinum is the most ductile metal making it the ore most able to be stretched into a wire without breaking.
The platinum melting point of 1773°C or 3224°F is very high compared to other metals. This high melt point of platinum was one reason Spanish explorers regarded it and other high melt point noble metals (e.g. palladium) as mere nuisances in their quest to find and refine silver and gold in the new world (the Americas). They simply did not have the technology to burn a fire hot enough to melt, refine, and identify these precious metals properly. In fact platinum was often used as an alloy and filler for silver and gold coin counterfeits in the 18th & 19th Century.
Safe shipment in the mail of platinum bars and platinum bullion coins is more common than you might think.
The majority of our customers take fully insured, physical platinum delivery to their door or preferred mailing addresses.
Upon fully cleared payment of your order with Kitco, your platinum bars or platinum bullion coins are secured tightly in nondescript packaging. All discreet platinum parcels are shipped with full insurance, postal tracking, and adult signature requirements.
You can elect to deliver and store your platinum bars and platinum bullion coins safely and securely with Kitco’s Allocated Storage Program.
Kitco offers multiple third party non-bank platinum vault options all fully insured, segregated, and allocated as your property at all times.
Our network of top-tier platinum vaults includes some of the most secure platinum storage facilities located in Canada, Hong Kong, the United States (COMEX approved), and the Cayman Islands (certain conditions apply).
Keep your physical platinum bullion bar purchases safe outside of the banking and financial systems with our Platinum Storage Solutions.
Since around the year 2000, there has been a general increase in platinum prices and an increase in the numbers of platinum bars being sold to the investing public.
Since the onset of the 2008 Financial Crisis, the trend of online platinum dealers selling platinum bars and other platinum bullion products to the investing public has increased as well.
It is quite common for investors to buy physical platinum bars online with the intention to take physical delivery in order to better diversify risks to their wealth and investment portfolios.
Finding a trusted local or online platinum bullion dealer to buy platinum bars is not as simple as a google search. You should find a reputable experienced platinum dealer who promptly delivers quality platinum bars and platinum bullion bars at fair and reasonable prices.
Our organization has been working in the platinum and precious metals industry for over 40 years. In our time we have seen many local and online platinum bullion dealers come and go.
Please reach out to our first class Customer Service Representatives by email or by phone, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or using 1 877 775-4826 (US and Canada), 1 514 313-9999 (Worldwide).