In our last blog we discussed whether gold is a safe haven for investors. Because inflation is increasing noticeably, many people are looking for solid investments that will keep their value over time if the dollar loses more of its value or there is more stock market volatility. One of these investments is precious metals. Gold and silver coins are traditional choices, but there are others, like platinum and palladium, that are newer and rarer. In this blog we will talk about palladium and the reasons people choose to purchase palladium coins and bullion.
Palladium: a New Discovery
Gold has been mined and used as a precious metal for the full length of human history, and silver as well. Palladium, however, was only discovered in 1803. Over time this metal has become more valuable because of its uses in science and technology. It’s both malleable and durable. For its desirable chemical properties, it’s used to make jewelry, electronics, and dental crowns and fillings. It’s also in high demand by the automotive industry which uses it to make catalytic converters.
Because the demand for palladium currently outpaces the supply, palladium bullion and coins have become much more valuable in recent years. In fact, during the past 5 years it has far outperformed gold as an asset. Looking forward, prices are forecast to remain high.
Palladium vs. Platinum
How does palladium compare to platinum? They are both rare, silver white metals that do not tarnish over time. Both are primarily mined in South Africa and Russia, and both have been in demand for use by the auto industry which is facing more stringent environmental regulations on emissions. Strikes and geopolitical issues have hampered and may continue to hamper the mining of these metals. The war in Ukraine may also impede the use of Russian palladium for minting.
Platinum is much more dense than palladium, and is more frequently used for men’s jewelry. More platinum coins have been minted and are available for purchase by collectors and investors. Both metals are often available in 10-ounce bars.
Which Countries Have Produced Palladium Coins?
Palladium has only been in use as a coin metal since 1966 when Sierra Leone issued the first ones. The Soviet Union produced a palladium coin in 1989 and the Russian mint followed suit after the Soviet Union dissolved. The greatest number of palladium coins have been minted there. Other countries have also issued palladium coins, primarily commemoratives, including:
In 2010, the U.S. Congress passed a bill authorizing the U.S. Mint to produce a one-troy-ounce palladium coin, the American Palladium Eagle. It was first issued in 2017 and has continued to be issued. In 2018 the U.S. Mint began making American Eagle 1-ounce proof palladium coins in limited edition series, and in 2020 a limited number of American Eagle 1-ounce uncirculated coins were also minted. These have proven to be popular among collectors.
Currently palladium coins are not as popular as gold, silver, or platinum coins and are harder to acquire or sell than these coins. Palladium is seen as having less liquidity than other precious metals. However, the price per ounce for palladium is higher than gold at the moment and looks to remain that way.
At Grand Rapids Coins we believe that palladium coins and bullion are an excellent investment choice, especially as a portfolio diversifier. If you would like more information about acquiring either coins or bars for your investment portfolio or your collection, please contact us today. We would be happy to talk over the various options with you.