Precious metals are some of the world’s most ancient forms of currency. They are naturally occurring materials that hold high value due to their rarity and use in industrial applications. Investing in them is a great choice if you do it smartly. Precious metals are a popular category of safe-haven investments, so-called because they hold their value or even increase in value during times of fluctuations in the stock market.
Most potential investors don’t know where to begin or think they must stick with gold to see gains. This isn’t the case. There are quite a few other precious metals worth considering. Check out these other 9 solid options when it comes to investing in precious metals.
Silver is nearly white in its pure form. The metallic luster of silver is so well-known that this metal has inspired a common color name. It’s soft and malleable and conducts heat and electricity. Silver is highly versatile and one of the precious metals with the largest range of uses. It is common to hold silver as a store of wealth. Silver is also frequently used in jewelry, medical devices, the automotive industry, batteries, electronics, and chemical production.
The precious metal silver has similar chemical properties to gold and copper. Silver is found primarily in copper, gold, lead, nickel and lead-zinc ores. Silver mines exist worldwide, but the biggest sources are Mexico, Canada, Peru, Bolivia, Australia, Poland, and the United States.
Platinum is a silvery-looking, well-known precious metal made popular for its use in fine jewelry. This soft metal takes its name from the Latin “Platino,” which means “little silver.” Platinum resists corrosion, is highly conductive, and is stable at high temperatures. It is primarily mined in South Africa, where it occurs deep within the earth.
Other uses for platinum besides jewelry include laboratory equipment, medical equipment and various applications in the medical industry, dental work, strong magnets, electrical contacts and fine resistance wires.
Another silvery-white, corrosion-resistant metal is palladium. This precious metal is exceedingly rare and found in nickel and copper ore. Typically mined as a byproduct by copper and nickel mining companies, it provides a lucrative secondary income.
The precious metal rhodium is part of the platinum group. It is very rare, hard, resistant to corrosion, and silvery-white. Rhodium exists in small concentrations on its own or in deposits of nickel and platinum ore. It’s mined as a byproduct of other metal mining.
This metal is extremely valuable and one of the rarest elements on earth. Silvery iridium is from the platinum group. It’s brittle, hard and has a high melting point. Additionally, it is resistant to corrosion and does not oxidize when exposed to the elements.
Iridium has many industrial uses. It has also become a collectible item since it is so valuable and rare. The majority of iridium comes from the byproducts of nickel mining. Otherwise, it’s mined by companies that specialize in platinum ores.
Another metal from the platinum group, ruthenium, is very shiny and has a silvery-white color. It is hard, brittle and resists tarnishing. Like Iridium, Ruthenium mining is a byproduct of nickel mining since these metals occur together naturally. The various metals of the platinum group are then separated using chemical processes.
Ruthenium uses abound in the commercial industry, which is commonly used as an alloying agent for platinum and palladium. Two common applications are platinum jewelry and electrical contacts. Ruthenium is also a key component in the manufacture of solar panels.
Part of the platinum group, osmium is also hard and brittle. It stands out from other platinum family metals due to its silvery blue color. Osmium holds high value as an investment because it is one of the scarcest precious metals.
Osmium mines are located in platinum-bearing river sands in South Africa, North America and the Ural Mountains. Concentrations of osmium are typically small, so it is mined as a byproduct of nickel mining. Osmium uses include platinum alloys, needles, electrical contacts and fountain pen tips.
Lithium is widespread but is only found in small concentrations, making it a rare precious metal. It is soft and silver-colored. The raw material is lithium salts, found underground in deposits of clay and minerals, in brines or dissolved in ocean water.
One of the most customary uses of lithium is for batteries. Electric vehicles and solar-powered systems both use lithium batteries to operate. Lithium has gained popularity as an investment partly due to its use in electric car batteries.
Lithium is also used in medicine as a stabilizer for psychiatric drugs. Its compounds are successfully administered to patients to treat serious mood disorders, such as depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
While copper is not a typical precious metal due to its widespread availability and trait of oxidizing when exposed to environmental elements, it is still a worthy investment. Copper has many commercial and industrial applications, particularly for electrical use. These widespread needs earn copper a spot on the investment list as there is money in this industry.
There are many precious metals worth investing in and multiple ways to go about it, such as physical metals, mining stocks, mutual funds or exchange-traded funds. The most important thing is to research your chosen asset and method of investing carefully before you begin — to ensure you understand the benefits, risks and processes. Investing in one or more of these precious metals correctly can help you build a successful portfolio.
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