Platinum and Palladium recently made a break into the precious metals industry. They are precious metals because like gold, they hold a lot of value in a very small amount of space. These metals are also industrial metals used in various applications in dentistry, automobile production, jewellery, and in electronics. If you are looking to invest in these metals, then take a look at these facts. Hopefully, you shall be able to make an informed decision on whether you should invest in Platinum or Palladium.
These two metals can be hard to differentiate to the untrained eye. They have similar traits, which deem confusing at times. These metals both react as catalysts to the same elements and chemicals and they both maintain a bright white colour that does not fade over time when used in jewellery. To better understand these metals, let us review their uses, density, and prices.
At 70%, South Africa has the largest production of platinum in the world. Platinum is much denser than palladium. This allows for more manipulation of the metal without breaking. The versatility of platinum rises its prices to nearly twice the price of palladium per ounce. Platinum’s uses are tangible with its main use being for diesel engines. Platinum is the main component of catalytic converters used to convert toxic by-products from the exhaust into being less-toxic. A powdered form of platinum is used as a catalyst in the ignition of hydrogen in the catalyst converter on cars. For gasoline or petrol engines, either platinum or palladium can be used – the main determinant of which metal gets used is the price. Platinum is also used in dentistry, in the production of strong, permanent magnets and in the form of surgical instruments and electrical contacts. Approximately 46% of platinum consumed annually is used in catalyst operations, 31% for jewellery, and the rest for minor industrial usage. All in all, around 250 tonnes of platinum is used annually.
Palladium is very similar to platinum, however, this metal is less denser and less expensive. Due to the similarities, palladium is also used as an industrial catalyst and is a common substitute to platinum in the jewellery industry. Palladium is a key element of white gold and it makes up some of the best workings of high-end watches. Also, palladium is believed to be more available than platinum and is frequently considered a lower-cost substitute for platinum. If you wish to buy one of these metals for industrial purposes, palladium is a greater bargain because it sells nearly half as much as platinum. Palladium is also used in automotive catalysts, electrodes in medical equipment’s, converter, and as mentioned earlier, in fine jewellery. About 4.4 million ounces in 2011’s total palladium production went to the automotive market!
If you consider the supply side, these two metals are very rare. There is a supply deficit in these metals due to the challenges faced when mining platinum and palladium. It is only logical that the prices of these metals will rise in the future. If you are a serious investor, you should find ways to benefit from this in the end. Considering the demand side, the metals have ample uses but the one unique industrial application that makes them to be in constant demand is from catalytic converters. There is also in demand from dentists, electronic manufacturers, and for use in jewellery.