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Silver, platinum and palladium as investment instruments

22 august 2022

In addition to gold, both private investors and professionals can invest in silver, platinum and palladium. The dynamics of prices for these metals depends on many factors.


According to experts, there is 9 times more silver on the planet than gold, so it is cheaper. Because of the more attractive price per ounce, silver is called "poor man's gold".

Nevertheless, almost 75% of the annual production of silver falls on the needs of industry, the rest goes to the production of jewelry and investment instruments (coins and bullion).

The qualities of silver are numerous. It is a plastic, lightweight, antibacterial, insoluble in water and has excellent thermal and electrical conductivity metal. It is a part of many alloys.

Considering these strengths, silver is used in advanced technologies (solar energy, nuclear power, electronics, telephony, nanotechnology, medicine, etc.).

Silver production is about 25,000 tons per year, but for several years it has been in a state of stagnation due to chronic underinvestment by mining companies.

The largest producer of silver in the world is Mexico, which is ahead of Peru and China. These three countries account for almost half of the world's production of this metal.

As for investors, the ratio of gold and silver is a very popular indicator for measuring the attractiveness of a white metal. It is calculated by dividing the price of an ounce of gold by the price of an ounce of silver.

The volatility of the silver exchange rate is higher than that of gold. This is due to the fact that the market is narrower and therefore offers fewer liquidity guarantees. If gold is perceived as a safe haven, then silver has a more "speculative" profile, boursorama.com notes.


Platinum is thirty times rarer than gold. About 40% of platinum production is used for the manufacture of catalytic converters for cars. Stricter regulations on CO2 emissions in the automotive industry have stimulated the demand for platinum.

Jewelry accounts for another 40% of platinum production. The largest consumer markets are the USA, China, Japan and India.

Platinum is plastic, non-toxic, withstands high temperatures well and is resistant to corrosion. Along with its industrial capabilities, this metal finds many applications in the field of medicine (retinal implants, pacemakers, etc.).

Platinum production is stable at less than 200 tons per year. To date, South Africa is the world's largest platinum producer (75% of total production), ahead of Russia and Zimbabwe.

For investors, platinum is not something taken for granted from the point of view of capital investments.

Historically, bullion and coins accounted for less than 2% of the demand for platinum. Its sharp decline during the pandemic attracted the attention of many investors.


Perceived as noble and rare, palladium is one of the metals of the platinum group. However, its density is lower than that of platinum. Palladium also has a lower melting point. Like platinum, it is used in the production of catalytic converters for vehicles and thus provides a reduction in emissions of air pollutants.

Palladium is also used in the production of electronic components for telephony and dental alloys. In addition, palladium serves as an electrode in fuel cells.

The annual production of palladium is similar to the production of platinum - about 200 tons. The main producing countries are Russia, South Africa, the USA, Canada and Zimbabwe.

In the financial markets, the price of palladium is higher than gold. It is expected that the increase in price can be provided by the demand for electric vehicles.

Alex Shishlo for Rough&Polished