What Is Palladium and What is the Investment Outlook?
Only a few years ago, most people didn’t know what the precious metal called palladium even was. I’ll admit, I was in that same boat until a friend tipped me off as to what this element was and told me of it’s relationship to platinum.
Fast forward more than six years, and palladium is now a well-known, viable investment choice.
Just what IS Palladium?
Palladium is a rare metal that is known for its lustrous silvery-white appearance. The metal was discovered by William Hyde Wollaston back in 1803. Palladium is one metal in the wide group of precious metals known as the platinum group. Other metals in the group include ruthenium, platinum, osmium, rhodium and iridium. Amongst all of the metals in the group, palladium possesses the quality of having the lowest melting point and is also the least dense amongst other metals.
Rising Popularity of Palladium
After the discovery of palladium by Wollaston in 1803, the metal remained relatively unpopular. It was previously named “Pallas” after a Greek goddess of wisdom. Palladium has however risen to fame during recent years because of its various uses. The metal is used in the manufacturing industry as well as for other industrial purposes widely across the world. The metal has also become a top choice for investment amongst traders.
Due to the increasing use of palladium in industries, it now categorizes amongst the most renowned precious metal. The metal is also used for purification of hydrogen.
Common Uses of Palladium
Palladium is one of the few precious metals that is used in a large number of industries and for various purposes. The common uses of the precious metal include:
Palladium is used in dentistry as palladium based alloys are used for making dental crowns as well as bridges. Palladium is compatible with human tissue and therefore makes a safe choice for inserting inside a person’s mouth. Additionally, the metal is also used in radioactive form to treat cancer.
Another use of the precious metal is in the electronic industry. Palladium serves several electronics related purposes as it is chemically stable and is used for electrical conductivity as it is effective as well as extremely durable and makes a sound substitute of gold for plating electronics. Palladium is also cheaper than gold and therefore is considered by electronics’ manufacturers commonly.
Palladium is used as an auto-catalyst as it is softer than platinum and is also ductile and high temperature corrosion. Palladium is also resistant to oxidation and therefore is widely used as an auto-catalyst. The metal is used for eliminating dangerous emissions that are a result of internal combustions. Palladium is highly demanded in the auto catalyst industry as the industry is the biggest user of the metal.
Palladium is used as a significant component of refining and purifying nitric acid. It is also used for developing raw materials for nylon and synthetic rubber. Due to its heat absorbing capacity, palladium works outstandingly well with purification of nitric acid and hydrogen.
Palladium bullions coins are widely manufactured globally as the metal is an attractive choice for coinage purposes. It is also important to note that palladium coins are purchased and traded by investors globally.
Palladium is used in the composition of fuel cells as alloys made out of the precious metal are used in fuel cell technology.
Palladium possesses the same density as silver and therefore is used widely in the jewelry industry. However, palladium is not used as the sole metal in jewelry as manufacturers combine palladium with platinum, using the former metal as an alloy with the latter metal. Palladium is used to maximize and optimize platinum’s performance, including its working characteristics as well as wear properties. The metal is also used as an alloy to produce white gold.
Polyester and Photography
Palladium fulfills its purpose of being an important catalyst in manufacturing polyester. Additionally, both platinum and palladium are used in the printing process of photographs. Palladium is considered as a better choice in contrast to silver for tonal quality and aching archival longevity when printing photographs.
Medicine and Water Treatment
The radioactive isotope of palladium, palladium-103 is used in many medicines and is used especially to treat prostate cancer. Moreover, scientists are researching the capabilities of the isotope to treat breast cancer, one of the most common types of cancer that exists in today’s time. Moreover, palladium also serves as a catalyst for water treatment. It is used for eradicating toxic and other carcinogens from ground water.
There are several of other uses of palladium including hydrogen purification. In my opinion, it’s safe to say that palladium investing will continue to grow over the foreseeable future.
Palladium as an Investment
Palladium has become a top choice for traders as the value of the metal is increasing. The concept of investing in precious metals has become common as people want to protect themselves against inflation. Precious metals allow individuals to make profits and are viewed by most as a less risky investment when compared to equities. Some of the most renowned precious metals include gold, silver, platinum and of course, palladium.
Palladium is considered by people as a viable investment choice because it doesn’t require individuals to invest heavy amount of money. Palladium is available at a low price and can be purchased in the form of bullion coins and bars.
The most popular palladium coin is the Canadian Palladium Maple Leaf. Additionally, people also buy palladium bullion bars. Another benefit of investing in palladium is that it always stays in high demand because it is used in industries and for several purposes as mentioned above. Palladium provides a great opportunity to traders to diversify their risk and widen their portfolios.
Amongst precious metals, gold is considered the top choice but because of rising gold prices, everyone cannot invest in the precious metal. Gold prices have become sky high and to invest in gold, you need to have substantial amount of invested money in order to make profit. On the other hand, palladium is cheaper and therefore, you can buy more of it without laying out the capital required to purchase gold.
Facts about Palladium Bullions
Palladium coins are mostly manufactured by leading companies and governments and are therefore found in their purest form.
The biggest manufacturer of palladium is Russia. One report has 50 percent of world’s annual palladium produce coming form Russia. Russia’s decisions regarding palladium affect the price of the precious metal directly. When Russia decided to stop supplying the world market and deprived it off palladium to seek its own benefits, the metal’s price experienced huge volatility. Additionally, apart from Russia, Tonga, Portugal and Australia are also suppliers of the metal.
Palladium Coins Vs Bars
When it comes to investing in palladium, you should first decide whether you want to buy palladium bars or palladium coins. Palladium coins are easy to make and transport. They are accepted across the world as they are found in their purest form. The most renowned palladium bullion coin is produced by the Royal Canadian Mint and is known as the Maple Leaf. The Maple Leaf palladium coin is found in its purest form with 95 percent level of purity. Purity of the metal is an important consideration because when it comes to buying, the purest form of metal will sell quickly as compared to impure forms. The benefit of buying palladium coins is that they are pure and therefore when you will decide to sell it in the market, you will be able to earn the most of it.
Just as palladium bullion coins, palladium bars are also very effective and make a sound investment choice. Palladium bars are generally stored in banks. Palladium bars are also said to have a higher premium as compared to palladium coins.
Palladium can be purchased on the internet as well as through physical retailers. The best source of buying the metal is from the mine but since you cannot directly purchase from mining companies, you will have to get in touch with brokers and dealers in order to get you the purest form of palladium. (My recommendation is to use Regal Assets.)
If you choose to use Regal Assets, you’ll find they are quite educational and will make sure you are comfortable with the entire process. I can’t say this for other companies as this is the only one I’ve gone through the process with, but I will issue you some warnings. (Keep reading.)
Beware of Auction Sites and Non-Trusted Palladium Sellers
Irrespective of your medium, you should always conduct research to find yourself the best source. Some top choices to buy palladium online include eBay and Craiglist. eBay has a huge variety of palladium coins and is a great platform to buy the metal because you will get a lot of variety as traders across the world can access the platform. Moreover, chances of getting the precious metal at a relatively lower price on eBay are high because there is a lot of competition and therefore, you cannot get ripped off.
However, when buying palladium on eBay, don’t just stick to one auction. Search the site very well and see ongoing auctions before placing your bid on one. Moreover, Craigslist is a local platform where people sell everything including cars, jobs; you name it! Finding palladium sellers on craigslist is easy and therefore should be considered by those who are looking to buy the precious metal. However, before trusting a seller, always get in touch with them through email and speak to them over the phone and ask all questions you have in mind. Just as buyers, sellers have great antics of selling their product and therefore, you should prepare some questions that you will ask the seller to get a clear insight regarding the investment you will make. I wouldn’t buy from anyone other than Regal Assets unless it’s in person. Call me “old school,” but I work hard for my money and like to ensure I am getting what I pay for.
With several uses of Palladium, the precious metal is a great choice for people to invest in. There are many benefits of investing in palladium but at the same time, just like any other investment, it has its negatives too. Palladium has been rising in value of late and therefore makes a workable choice for diversifying your risk and protecting yourself from rising inflation.