Precious Metals - One of Many Odd Things I Collect
What is a precious metal?
According to Scottsdale Bullion and Coin:
Precious metals are naturally occurring metals that are relatively rare and more difficult to find than other types of metals. The rarity of precious metals has traditionally given them high economic value throughout history.
This definition primarily applies to platinum, silver and gold.
As the site also mentions, these three metals are utilized for jewelry, art and investment. Additionally, each metal has practical applications. Platinum is often used in aeronautics thanks to it's resistance and non-corrosive properties. Gold can be found in cell phones and personal computers. It is used in dentistry and some cancer treatments. It is even included in window glass to help cool large buildings. Silver is also used in dentistry, electronics and medicine. It is highly conductive (silver melts ice at the touch) and has antimicrobial properties.
This is all great, but why collect them?
Good question! A practical person might say: investing in precious metals is a way to diversify your portfolio. These metals have retained their value over generations. If you are able to buy now at historically low prices, you are guaranteed a profit in the future. (PS - I am NOT a financial advisor.) Having precious metals also serves as a back up if there is instability in financial markets or the banking system.
But this is all VERY boring.
I like them because they are PRETTY!
In my case, this particularly applies to platinum and silver (the gold is just too yellow for me). Now platinum is CRAZY expensive, but silver is soooo affordable. Today (1/25/2020) silver is selling for just $18.20 per ounce. This makes getting into the silver market very easy for most individuals.
There are lots of different ways to collect silver. One is jewelry. Most silver jewelry is .925 pure. Other alloys are mixed in to keep the pieces more durable. You could also collect flatware or antiques. However, my preferred method of collecting silver is via the purchase of silver coins, bars and rounds.
Collecting silver this way is great for several reasons:
- Pieces generally come in standardized weights. Common sizes include 1oz, 1.5oz, 2oz, 5oz, 10oz and 1kg
- The coins have both a silver weight value (known as spot price) and an assigned currency value. For example a one ounce coin might have a $5 face value, but the silver used to make the coin might have a spot value of $15.23 or more.
- Coins, bars and rounds have a collectable value. Some coins have designs by well known artists. Others are minted in small numbers. Some are quite old (perhaps even ancient). This provides added value to each piece. At times you get lucky and find a high value collectable coin, bar or round being sold for a low spot price.
- It is possible to find silver in this form that caters to almost any interest. Do you like Star Wars? Well get a Star Wars coin. Are you a history buff? Well find a Titanic silver round or a piece highlighting the heraldry of England's royal family. Are you religious? There are bars with quotes from scripture. If you can imagine a thing, it has likely been immortalized on a piece of silver.
If it is so pretty, how about some pictures?
Thanks for reading! If you are new to precious metals, I hope you have a greater appreciation of their value and collectability!
All images are my own. Post originally shared on the now defunct narrative.org April 3, 2019. On that date silver spot price was just $15.23! In less than a year the profit on silver was $3/oz! Proud Member of: