I purchased my first gold bullion coin in the 2000s. I had no idea what form I should buy, how much I should pay and I couldn’t’ really articulate why I was buying it. I just felt like it was something I needed to do. The purchase worked out very well. Over the next decade, gold more than doubled. However, the gain on the investment wasn’t where I found comfort. I found comfort knowing that coin was safely in my possession and part of my reserve assets. I never felt the urge to go cash in my gain. Instead, I felt a connection to that asset that was more innate. I knew deep down that the coin was real money and it had meaning over and above its dollar value.
Most of my clients were, when they came to me, first time buyers of precious metals. Like me, they have felt the call to buy precious metals as something they need to do. The point of this article is to give a short introduction to precious metals so that you, the reader, might have more information as you move forward.
What Are Precious Metals
Precious metals are divided into two groups. The “coinage” group is gold and silver. Traditionally, these metals have been used as money. Said another way they were used to make monetary coins and served as means of exchange in economic transactions. In the United States, silver was used in quarters, dimes and half dollars. These coins were 90% silver content. The United States quit using silver in 1965. Today, you can still buy 90% silver coins which were US minted prior to 1965 on the secondary market.
The second group is the Platinum group of metals. This group includes platinum, palladium and other metals such as rhenium, ruthenium, rhodium, iridium and osmium. These metals have traditionally not been used as money but have other uses. The Gold Planner, Inc. does make a market in gold, silver, platinum and palladium.
Why Are They Precious
The particular properties of the metals make them precious in comparison to base metals. Iron will rust but gold will not. Iron is, by mass, the most common element on earth. Gold and Silver are, by comparison to iron, extremely rare. The Platinum group of metals is even more rare. There are other properties which make the metals precious such as luster and ductility.