Investing in Platinum
Unlike gold and silver, which have been used as money for thousands of years, platinum was not used as a monetary metal until the early 19th century. Before that, it was widely considered to be a nuisance element which interfered with the gold mining operations of the Spanish Conquistadors during the 17th century in South America. Today, platinum is a widely used but extremely rare industrial metal and used in a wide range of applications including the automotive, jewelry, dental, chemical, electrical and glass manufacturing industries.
Platinum is far rarer than gold . . . in fact, it is said that all the platinum ever mined in history would fit into a cube less than 25 feet on each side. Today, the majority of platinum is mined in just two parts of the world – South Africa, which produces about two-thirds of the world's annual supply, and Russia, which produces about one-quarter of the annual supply. As a result, the annual supply of platinum critically needed by industry is dependent on these countries producing regular quantities of the metal with little or no interruption.
In early 2014, there have been events in both South Africa and Russia which have impacted available supplies and which could, in not resolved, cause platinum prices to increase dramatically. According to the CPM Group, in their ''2014 PGM Market Outlook'' report written exclusively for Monex, there are only a handful of mines in South Africa that produce most of the platinum in South Africa, and there are major labor problems at these mines, as well as other issues related to government relations, seismic problems and other technical issues that could result in a dramatic reduction in platinum bullion production. Add to that the political situation in Russia and the Ukraine, and you have the potential for further disruptions in platinum supplies.
At the same time, platinum is a critical element in the production of catalytic converters for diesel vehicles, and that demand is projected to steadily increase in the years ahead due to new and stringent emissions regulations in countries such as China and India where vehicle production has increased substantially. With potentially decreasing supplies available, along with potentially greatly increased demand, the investment potential for platinum is outstanding. In past years, changes in the supply/demand dynamics of platinum have resulted in dramatic changes in the price of platinum, and the potential for more price swings in the future could be attractive to traders who seek to take advantage of the platinum market's volatility and opportunity.
Platinum bullion bars are manufactured by a number of reputable refiners, including Johnson Matthey, Engelhard and others. Pure, .9995 fine platinum bullion is available from Monex in 10-ounce bars, which are easy to stack, store, hold and trade. Each bar is hallmarked by a leading refiner, and stamped with a unique serial number, weight and fineness.More Information
Platinum bullion coins are a popular and convenient way to make an investment in platinum. The coins are easy to buy, easy to hold and store, easy to divide, widely recognized and thus, easy to sell and trade. Monex offers platinum coins produced by the U.S. Mint and the Royal Canadian Mint.
Pure, .9995 fine Platinum American Eagles are available from Monex in three sizes: One troy ounce, with a $100 face value – the highest face value of any American coin ever produced . . . one-quarter-ounce, with a face value of $25 . . . and one-tenth-ounce, with a face value of $10. One-ounce coins are available in units of 10 coins, quarter-ounce and tenth-ounce coins are available in units of 20 coins. Each Platinum American Eagle coin features a stylized image of Lady Liberty and mint date on the obverse, and an image of a bald eagle soaring over a setting sun and the coin's weight and purity on the reverse. Platinum American Eagle coins are guaranteed by the U.S. Mint for exact weight and purity.
The Platinum Canadian Maple Leaf is available from Monex in one-ounce size only, in units of 10 coins. Each coin is .9995 fine and carries a $50 Canadian face value. The coin features an image of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse, and Canada's national symbol, the maple leaf, on the reverse. Each coin is produced to the exacting standards of the Royal Canadian Mint and each coin's weight, purity and face value are guaranteed by the Canadian government.More Information