Buying precious metals is among the most popular investment activities at present. There are numerous different metals on the market, but those that meet the definition of precious are only few. While copper may have a lot in common with gold and silver as far as its properties go, it’s far too abundant to be regarded as precious. The most commonly purchased metals among investors are gold, silver and platinum. Palladium and rhodium are also investor metals, though they are not nearly as popular as the former three. Gold and silver are, by far, the most established.
Precious metals get a lot of their value from their usefulness. In the case of platinum and palladium, this usefulness is most significantly seen in the auto industry. These metals are used in catalytic converters, one of the most important devices for reducing the toxicity of car emissions. If you’ve ever wondered why these car parts cost so much, it’s because they have a quantity of one or both of these metals in them. Though platinum rivals gold in price on the modern markets, it was once considered a useless metal that did little but create more work for silver miners, as they were forced to separate it from the silver with which it is commonly found.
Gold and silver are easily the most popular precious metals investments. While platinum has been used for currency in the past, gold and silver have been used for that purpose for thousands of years. This gives them some prestige value that the other metals lack. Palladium and rhodium are almost entirely used for industrial purposes. Gold and silver are also used for an array of industrial and manufacturing purposes, but they have numerous other uses that tend to make them more popular with investors.
You don’t have to go all out with your first precious metals investment. In fact, this is one of the few investments in which you can put down a very small amount of money to start. You can start with one silver coin, if you want, and see how you feel about the investment before going further in. Diversification is important with any investment and, to that end, many investors choose to buy quantities of several different metals to ensure that their wealth is spread around a bit and that they haven’t too much risk in one investment.