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What are Precious Metals?

Precious metals are rare, naturally occurring metallic chemical elements of high economic value. They are valued for their beauty, durability, and rarity. The most well-known precious metals include gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. These metals are known for their use in jewelry, industrial applications, and investment commodities.  

A Brief Overview of Precious Metals

Gold (Au) 

Gold is highly valued for its rarity, malleability, corrosion resistance, and distinctive color. In many countries, it is widely used in jewelry, electronics, and as a standard for monetary systems. Gold is also a popular investment vehicle in the form of coins, bars, and precious metals ETFs (Exchange-Traded Funds)

Silver (Ag) 

Silver is valued for its electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, reflectivity, and antimicrobial properties. It is used in jewelry, silverware, solar panels, water filtration systems, and as an industrial catalyst. Silver also serves as an investment and a hedge against inflation. 

Platinum (Pt) 

Platinum is a dense, malleable, ductile, highly unreactive metal with a silvery-white color. It is used in jewelry, automotive catalysts, fuel cells, and various medical applications, including chemotherapy drugs. Like gold and silver, platinum is also considered a valuable investment commodity. 

Palladium (Pd) 

Palladium, like platinum, is used in automotive exhaust systems as a catalyst to reduce harmful emissions. It is also used in electronics, dentistry, and jewelry. Palladium has gained attention as an investment metal in recent years due to its industrial demand. 

These metals are considered “precious” due to their economic value, which is significantly higher than most base metals (such as iron, nickel, and copper). Their rarity and demand in industrial applications and as objects of beauty contribute to their high value. Precious metals are traded on various commodities and specialized exchanges worldwide, and their prices fluctuate based on market demand, geopolitical stability, and other economic factors. 

Precious Metals vs Noble Metals 

While there is overlap between precious and noble metals, with some metals being classified as both, the distinction lies in the specific properties that define noble metals, like resistance to corrosion and oxidation, and the broader economic and aesthetic values associated with precious metals. 

Key Differences: 

Resistance to Corrosion and Oxidation 

While both precious and noble metals are valued for their resistance to corrosion, the term “noble metals” refers to metals that are highly resistant to oxidation and corrosion in moist air. This is a chemical property. 

Economic Value 

Precious metals are defined largely by their economic value and rarity. While all noble metals are precious due to their resistance to corrosion and rarity, not all precious metals are considered noble. For example, silver is both a precious and noble metal, but its tendency to tarnish (react with sulfur in the air to form silver sulfide) can be seen as a contrast to the ideal of noble metals being resistant to corrosion in all conditions. 


Both groups of metals are used in jewelry and industrial applications, but the specific properties of noble metals make them particularly useful in areas where resistance to harsh environments is critical, such as in high-end electronics and catalytic converters. 

Precious metals have served as a valuable asset for thousands of years and appear poised to continue their role as a reliable store of value into the foreseeable future. Whether fashioned into currency or preserved in their raw state, their allure, rarity, and practical applications in industry make them a steadfast element throughout human history. 

Quick Guides to Investing

Step 1:

Why Buy Physical Gold and Silver?

If you are concerned about the volatility of the stock market, you’re not alone. The extreme highs and lows of the stock market often lead investors towards safe-haven assets, like bullion. Historically, the Precious Metals market has an inverse relationship with the stock market, meaning that when stocks are up, bullion is down and vice versa.

Step 2:

How Much Gold and Silver Should You Have?

This question is one of the most important for investors to answer. After all, experts suggest limits on how much of any types of investments should go into a portfolio. After deciding to purchase and own Precious Metals and considering how much money to allocate, one can then think about how much and what to buy at any point in time.

Step 3:

Which Precious Metals Should I Buy?

With the frequent changes in the market and countless Precious Metal products available, choosing investments can be difficult. Some want Gold or Silver coins, rounds or bars while others want products that are valuable because of their design, mintage or other collectible qualities. Also, collectors may shop for unique sets and individual pieces for their collections.

Step 4:

When to Buy Gold & Silver

After considering why, how much, and what Precious Metals products to buy, an investor’s next step is when to buy them. This decision requires an understanding of market trends and the impact of economic factors on precious metal prices.

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