Investing in Platinum

Diversifying your portfolio with precious metals does not end with gold and silver. The IRS also allows physical platinum coins and bars to be added to an Individual Retirement Account. Platinum has various applications in jewelry, electronics, dentistry, and automobile manufacturing. Its widest application is in devices called catalytic converters, which convert toxic pollutants in car emissions to less toxic pollutants. Platinum also holds high scarcity value, as it is mined in much lower volumes than gold and silver.

Although platinum is found on the moon and in meteorites, it is one of the rarest forms of metal on earth. This characteristic helps make it a precious commodity. Its date of discovery is unknown – yet archaeologists have discovered traces of the metal in Egyptian tombs and among hieroglyphics dating back as far as 1200 B.C. The metal was also used in the manufacture of artifacts in the Americas well before Columbus’ arrival. Europeans first mentioned the metal in 1557 when an Italian humanist noted that the metal was unable to be liquefied through the use of fire or any other reasonable measure. Platinum is most largely found in South Africa, with other notable deposits in Russia and Canada. However, South Africa has the leading proportion of the material with about 77 percent of the world’s supply.

Platinum is best known for its durable nature. It is malleable and is the easiest of the pure metals to form into a wire. It resists corrosion and is quite stable at high temperatures, making it safe for long-term storage. Due to its durable nature, chemical stability, and other preferable characteristics, it is often used in industrial applications. In 2013, the most common use of platinum was for vehicle emissions control devices. Other automotive uses of platinum include for spark plugs and turbine engines. Due to the metal’s ability to resist wear, it is often used in fine jewelry.

For many industrial applications, platinum is formed into a wire to create electrodes, or for use in platinum supports. It has also been used to form oxygen sensors and is present in anti-cancer drugs. Because the metal is so rare, marketing experts have used it as a symbol of wealth and opulence – and smart investors have added this sought-after metal to their investment portfolios for years.

Some popular platinum additions to an IRA are:

To learn more about your options for adding platinum to your retirement account, call 1-800-326-9598 and speak with a precious metals specialist.

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