The Many Forms of Platinum Bullion
Platinum bullion comes in the form of platinum powder and flakes, platinum nuggets, platinum foil, platinum sheet, platinum bars, platinum jewelry, platinum coins (the government-minted Platinum Eagle), and even platinum pellets. There are also other platinum products that are refined for various purposes including catalytic converters, dentistry equipment, electronics, and jewelry.
Where Platinum Comes From
Buying platinum bullion is not done based on the face value of any particular coin or other platinum product, but rather upon the weight and purity of the precious metal. Platinum bullion is mined mostly as a byproduct of the metals copper and nickel, and there are very few pure platinum deposits worldwide. The country that mines the most platinum is South Africa; coming in a very far second is Russia.
The Uses of Platinum Bullion
Platinum bullion has fewer industrial applications than does its cousin silver, but it is used extensively in the automobile industry as an auto catalyst, converting emissions into less harmful substances. The second greatest use of platinum bullion is for jewelry. Because platinum is so resistant to tarnishing and is very non-corrosive, platinum is valued very highly for rings, necklaces, and other jewelry pieces and ornamentation. The Japanese are one of the largest markets for platinum jewelry, but have recently been overtaken by the consumption of platinum for jewelry by the Chinese market based upon the flailing Japanese economy in recent years.
Platinum Bullion Investing
One of the most popular ways of investing in platinum is platinum bullion coins. The Platinum American Eagle bullion coin (more commonly known as the Platinum Eagle) was first minted in 1997. The purity of these coins is .9995. Next to silver platinum prices are among the most volatile of the precious metals. According to Wikipedia, the cost of platinum per ounce during the year 2008 ranged from $774 to $2,252!
Platinum is a metal that represents prestige. You’ve no doubt heard of the platinum rewards credit cards that are reserved for those with the best of credit scores and provide some of the best perks and benefits. Platinum has certainly gotten into the psyche of the public with all of the mentions of it in close proximity to gold and silver and diamonds, some of the most valuable materials in the world. As of this writing the platinum price per ounce is just a couple of dollars above $1,800 ($1,802.90).