Why Is Platinum Valuable?

The rarity of platinum is what makes it valuable. Just as in everything else, when there is greater demand compared to supply, the value of object increases. The same can be said for platinum. Compared to many metals, both gold and platinum are rare. Often, platinum is called the metal which is most precious or the precious metal that is the rarest. Every year there is fifteen times more mined gold than there is platinum. This explains the hefty price tag and the demand. In fact, there will most likely never be a time that the supply of platinum will ever reach its current global demand.

It is not as abundant as gold. Plus, it can only be found in a few earth deposits that are mineable. The location in which this precious metal happens to be mined includes South Africa, North America, Russia and South Africa. Roughly, two-thirds of the supply of the world is found in South Africa. The next biggest producer is Russia. Primarily, the mines in North America are for palladium and in the metal production, a small percentage is platinum. It takes approximately ten raw platinum tons of ore to produce one platinum pure ounce.

What Is It?

Platinum is a whitish, gray metal that exhibits a color of being metallic somewhere between silver and nickel. Platinum has a 195.23 atomic weight, giving it a density almost as much as gold. This means that it is heavy compared to the amount of space it consumes. It has the PT scientific symbol and its atomic number is seventy-eight. It is harder than silver and gold in its pure form. In jewelry, almost five percent of other metals are put into PT in order to create a soft-enough allow for securely setting precious stones in the settings of jewelry.

The Demand For Platinum

Platinum has properties that are unique and make it useful especially in industrial uses. In the industry of automobiles, it is used to convert dangerous emissions by acting as an exhaust catalyst converting the emissions to non-toxic, safe substances. A third of the production of platinum goes to the auto demand for this precious metal.

Platinum has also been popular in jewelry since the eighteenth century. It has become a vehicle for investment. Countries such as China, the Isle of Man, Australia, Canada and the YSA now mint coins made out of platinum for investment purchases. Pure platinum bars sold for the purpose of investments are now being produced by Credit Suisse, Johnson Matthey and Engelhard. Usually, coins are 99% pure and are available in up to one-ounce sizes.

Used In Everything!

Believe it or not, you can find this rare, precious metal everywhere. This includes in the production of lasers, computers, chemicals, medicines, fiberglass, gasoline and other petroleum products, explosives, plating, wires, paint, glass, synthetic fibers, fertilizers and refining crude oil. Controlling pollution is another one of its uses.  In producing these items, it is necessary to use platinum. There are very few methods that can substitute this precious metal.

There are many processes of production that use platinum. You will find platinum in spark plugs, converters, refrigerators, chemotherapy medicines and also in jewelry. Each year, a third of all platinum goes to control dangerous car exhaust emissions.

In Jewelry

When exposed to water or air, platinum does not oxidize or tarnish. This especially makes it durable and attractive in jewelry. It can, of course, dissolve when exposed to acids, just like gold. This ability to resist corrosion, silver-white beautiful appearance contains rare properties. This makes it a popular metal for creating jewelry. Due to its properties of being hypoallergenic, it is a great selection for those who suffer from fourteen-carat alloyed gold allergies or from allergic reactions to other metals.

Platinum settings can be found in many famous pieces of jewelry including the Hope Diamond and Star of Africa.

Industrial Uses

Platinum is depended upon by more than twenty percent of manufactured goods. Is this something you find hard to believe? It has high uses in technology, is ductile, malleable and has unique properties. For one thing it is hard to corrode. It has high conductivity of electricity and has a high 3,215 melting point in Fahrenheit. Characteristics such as these are what make it perfect for using in many processes that involve industrial production.

A Great Investment

There is a very tight supply and demand for this precious metal. The supply of platinum above ground is quite low compared to both silver and gold. Small mining changes or use may have large implications. For instance, if they stopped mining platinum today, the supplies above ground would last for just a few years. Comparably, the world supply of gold may last ten times this much. Even during periods of normal relative production, the availability of platinum above the ground has been quite tight. There are no known large stockpiles of platinum that will protect versus the significant disruptions of supply. In the second World War, the government of the USA has halted all use of this metal that is non-military, as they have recognized this fact.


Where To Find Platinum

Usually, you can find platinum naturally in the deposits of small nuggets, dust or small grains that average fifty to seventy percent purity. Small platinum amounts are gotten as a mining by product. It is complex to discuss the industrial platinum extraction. Often, it is discovered in mixed ores that have other metals in them such as gold and palladium. Platinum on average exists on the crust of the earth about 5/1000ths of a gram per earth metric ton.