Gold Investment

Precious Metals

Gold

Gold may not be the oldest commodity in the history of exchange but in the course of mankind, there should be no argument that gold is the most commonly used medium for the exchange of goods. To this day, gold remains one of the most actively traded commodities. From international financial markets to everyday life, the yellow metal still retains its irreplaceable position.

Although the physical properties of gold are never changed, its functions in our societies have evolved rapidly since it first crossed path with human civilization. Gold was first made into jewellry for adornment; then functioned as a common currency for the bartering of goods. As of the present, gold is also being used as a foreign exchange reserve by central banks, a raw material in electronic products, and an investment tool.

Gold mines can be found in most parts of the world. Major gold producing countries includes South Africa, the United States, Australia, Canada, and China which collectively contributes about fifty-five percent of the annual mine production. Output growth in recent years has slowed down to range between a few percentage points each year.

Silver

Silver was first used in jewelry vessel and molded into silverware as storage utensils. A number of ancient civilizations subsequently had silver minted into legitimate currencies, though with an increasingly sophisticated global monetary system and rapid advancement in technology, the application of silver has changed dramatically. Silver is a great reflectant and sensitive to light. It is the most versatile precious metal in industrial production, a strong metal with considerable malleability and ductility, it also has electrical and thermal conductivity.

A large portion of silver is produced in mines, but most silver is derived as a by-product of gold, copper, lead, and zinc ores, since mines exclusive to silver production are not commonly found.

just over half of the mined silver comes from Mexico, Peru, and the United States. Old silver scrap constitutes around one fifth of annual silver supply, while government sales and producer is hedging, which may not necessarily contribute to the supply side every year on a net basis, make up for the rest.

Platinum

The scarcity of platinum has enabled the white metal considerable status amongst other precious metals and a higher value than gold. Evidently, most wedding rings are made out of platinum as a symbol for eternity and purity. China and Japan together consumes eighty percent of the annual platinum jewelry output due to the fervent penchant for platinum jewelry in these two countries.

Being an effective catalyst even under high temperatures, platinum is widely-used in various industrial processes including autocatalyst, electrical, chemical, glass and petroleum production. Increasingly stringent rules on vehicle emissions in developed countries have also helped to create stronger demand for platinum in recent years.

Platinum mines are concentrated in South Africa as the country produces about seventy percent of the annual global supply. Excluding supply from Russia and North America, the rest of the world contributes less than two percent of annual supply.

Palladium

Gold’ performance tends to move independently of other investments and of key economic indicators. Even a small weighting of Gold in an investment portfolio can help reduce overall risk.

Palladium has the shortest history as a precious metal traded in the market, though its extraordinary luster once seized the limelight from the others. During the early 90s, palladium was mainly used in electronics and dental applications. Since the industrialized countries has lowered the acceptance level for pollutant emission, the demand for palladium, the key element in autocatalyst for gasoline vehicles, has jumped to around sixty to seventy percent of total supply. On the other hand, Palladium has only limited use in jewellry making because it is much less malleable than the other precious metals.

Palladium mines are concentrated in South Africa, Russia and North America, totaling around ninety-eight percent of the annual output. Although Russia alone accounts for about sixty percent of the total palladium production, it did, however, impose a strict control on palladium export and the country?|s bureaucratic government has frequently caused delays in export to users in recent years.