We will discuss the differences in platinum vs silver and their history. We will talk about how these metals differ from each other chemically, physically and regarding investment quality.
Many investors recommend including precious metals like silver and platinum in your investment portfolio. It’s important for everyone to own metals in the form of jewelry, coins or even bullion. Gold, silver and platinum have stood the test of time and continue to have demand. In fact, silver and gold have been money for thousands of years. Platinum has been used since ancient times as well. As a result, what are the differences in platinum vs silver?
History of Platinum Vs Silver
Platinum is one of the rarest minerals which makes it scarce. In fact, its low supply is always a factor when determining platinum price. The use of platinum dates back to the ancient Egyptians, thousands of years ago. For example, the famous Casket of Thebes was made of platinum, as well as gold and silver. Moreover, platinum was also used by native North and South Americans prior to colonization in jewelry.
In the 1700s, interest in platinum began to grow among Europeans and by the 1800s, it was being mined heavily in Russia. Later, platinum ore was discovered in Canada and mining began there. Today, it is mined in South Africa as well. In the 1970s, the price of platinum began to increase, coinciding with inflation and the oil crisis.
Modern Uses for Platinum
The primary use of platinum in the 21st Century is its industrial use as a component of catalytic converters in combustion engines. Essentially, platinum is a key component in breaking down harmful byproducts of fuel burning into less-harmful emissions. In addition, there are other uses in the industry for platinum, as well as jewelry making. Finally, platinum is a popular metal in the medical field for things such as tools, dental fillings, chemotherapy and more.
For thousands of years, silver bars and coins have been used as currency. Silver has the properties of money, which are portability, divisibility and tangibility. In fact, money was backed by silver and gold until 1933. Read more about the “US Dollar History: How the Dollar Became the World Reserve Currency” to learn more.
Silver Has a Limited Supply and Growing Demand
The Supply of Silver Is Finite; Demand for Silver Includes Industry, Jewelry and Money
There is a limited supply of silver on Earth. Silver Miners throughout the world have a finite quantity of silver available for mining. At some point, the amount of silver removed from mines will diminish and become zero.
At the same time, silver demand continues to grow. First, silver has many uses in technology, jewelry, medicine and money. Furthermore, jewelry made of silver has been popular for millennia, and continues to grow in demand. Next, there are many industrial uses for silver including batteries, solar panels and electronics. In fact, more than 50% of silver mined today goes to industrial use. Finally, silver coins remain in demand all over the world.
One other important point about silver is that it has traditionally outperformed gold in bull markets. For example, from 1970 to 1980, silver increased in price (compared to US Dollar) by over 3,000%.
Platinum Vs Silver: Physical Differences
Platinum is considered superior when it comes to luster and beauty. Moreover, it is a very shiny metal that doesn’t tarnish like silver. Second, it is also very hard and strong and not considered a soft metal like silver. Finally, platinum is considered very durable and lasts longer. Whereas, silver tends to wear down and tarnish easily. Also, platinum also has a shinier, brighter appearance compared with silver.
Platinum Vs Silver: Chemical/Metallurgical Differences
Platinum requires high temperatures for molding it into different products. Whereas, silver requires slightly lower temperatures for changing its composition. Furthermore, silver is considered a “soft” metal, which can be bent and is malleable at room temperature. This is one of the properties that makes silver a superior element for jewelry making. However, platinum is considered very hard, and difficult to bend or break. Finally, silver tends to tarnish quickly and is duller; platinum is very shiny and stays that way.
Platinum Vs Silver: Investment and Pricing Differences
The prices of platinum vs silver are quite different. Currently platinum is trading around $1,000 per ounce; whereas, silver is trading at approximately $23 per ounce. Clearly, you can purchase much more silver for your money. In addition, if you are on a budget for buying jewelry or even for investing, silver is the clear choice.
Platinum has been in a bear market for almost 10 years and may be reaching a tipping point regarding price. In addition, it is interesting to note that in the past 15 years, platinum has only seen the price go lower on one occasion in November 2008 at the height of the US housing crisis. During this period platinum dropped to $800 per ounce, a steep decline from its all-time high reached just months earlier, in May 2008 ($2,000 per ounce).
Silver has followed a similar pattern when comparing platinum vs silver. For example, it had a steep decline to $9 per ounce in November 2008 as a result of the US housing crisis. However, starting in 2009 the price of silver began to recover sharply, hitting a near-all-time high in March 2011 of $46 per ounce. Many investors believe that silver is under-valued right now and is a buy. However, it is difficult to tell given the price fluctuations and declines caused by huge moves in the silver contracts markets on Wall Street.
What the Future Holds for Silver and Platinum
We at Piggy Bank Coins believe when comparing platinum vs silver, you may reach the same conclusion we have: Silver and platinum have a bright future for investors. Holding tangible assets such as silver and platinum will always be highly regarded by investors. Having silver or platinum in your investment portfolio is considered by many to be a safe and secure option. It’s important to grow your wealth, but retaining a portion of your wealth is critical too. Silver and platinum are real, tangible money that can be a store of wealth for a lifetime. Moreover, we believe demand will continue to grow and that investors should continue to hold silver and platinum.
Many market watchers predict that platinum and silver will trend much higher over the next few years for several reasons. First, analysts believe that demand for silver and platinum will continue to increase for uses in technology, jewelry, money and various other purposes. Second, many economists are concerned about world-wide debt rates increasing, which can lead to inflation. Finally, as economies struggle with increasing inflation, silver and platinum tends to increase in price relative to paper currencies. As a result, many smart investors move money to silver and platinum portfolios.
If you want to learn about the history of money, check out Mike Maloney’s free “Hidden Secrets of Money” video series. It’s a goldmine of information that can help you better understand money and where the world stands today financially. Highly recommended!
It is important to note that Piggy Bank Coins does not provide financial advice. We don’t endorse or recommend any financial investments. Instead, we provide information for educational purposes to those seeking knowledge regarding personal finance. However, in the spirit of transparency, note that the author is an investor in cryptocurrencies, precious metals and some equities.
In addition, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires that Piggy Bank Coins disclose to readers that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. Furthermore, we try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.