Many people often confuse silver and platinum, and for good reason. The two precious metals are nearly identical. However, don't let their appearance fool you. Despite these similarities, these metals come with a variety of pros and cons that you need to consider from an investment perspective.
So which is the better investment silver vs platinum? And where can you purchase these types of precious metals?
In this guide, we'll answer these questions and more so you get a comprehensive view of the two materials. That way, you get the full picture of the current market conditions and risks associated with silver and platinum.
What Is Silver?
Silver is a precious metal that is white-gray in appearance. It's likely the second most popular precious metal outside of gold. Part of this is due to its widespread use in coins and jewelry pieces.
However, these days, silver is also invaluable in a variety of technology applications. This is likely because not only is silver an electricity conductor, but it's also simultaneously malleable and durable.
You can invest in silver by purchasing physical bars or coins. Alternatively, if you have a precious metal IRA you can purchase IRA-approved silver.
What Is Platinum?
Platinum is a metallic white-silver precious metal. While it might not be as popular as gold and silver as an investment material, that's quickly starting to change. That's because the non-corrosive, conductive nature of the metal makes it necessary for a lot of different tech components.
Whether it's cell phones or catalytic converters, the industrial sector has latched on to the material. Of course, the attractive appearance also means that it appears in jewelry often. The high demand for platinum means that its price is often above gold.
And, because it remains outside the class of a major precious metal investment, it's not as vulnerable to market spikes that can cause a sudden decline in value, like gold and silver.
Silver vs Platinum: Which Has a Better Price?
It's important to remember that precious metal prices are constantly subjected to spikes and dips in the market. As such, what might be a favorable price for them today could be gone by tomorrow.
That being said, in nature, silver is far more prevalent than platinum. Because of this, platinum tends to be worth a lot more per ounce than silver.
So if you're on a budget, silver might be the better option for you. That being said, it's important to remember that both metals are in high demand right now, particularly in the tech and industrial sectors.
However, that might change in the future. As supplies increasingly dwindle it might become more economically viable for these companies to switch to a different material. If this happens in the future, we can expect a massive dip in demand.
Silver vs Platinum: Which Has More Applications?
As we mentioned, both silver and platinum are common jewelry and coin materials. But which has the most applications outside of these contexts? The answer is silver.
The lower price and malleable nature make it great for use in tech products like solar panels, cell phones, computers, circuits, switches, medical instruments, and a variety of other home electronics.
Since platinum is both more durable and expensive, it tends to be used in more durable products like the catalytic converter. You can also find it in things like spark plugs, optic fiber lines, CDs, LCD screens, the blades on turbines, pacemakers, and even dental fillings.
Silver vs Platinum: Which Has a Promising Future?
It would seem that as of right now platinum might have an edge over silver in terms of its market future. This is true for two reasons. First, because platinum isn't a major investment metal like gold or silver, it tends to be safer from the market conditions that cause these metals to spike and fall.
However, more importantly, platinum has a hydrogen-fueled car. This alternative energy vehicle could be the new biggest thing in alternate energy transportation. And, if it is, that's great news for people with platinum investments.
Why? Because the fuel cells that power these cars require up to sixty grams of platinum. As such, if they break into the mainstream market there's going to be a huge demand for the precious metal.
That being said, silver isn't likely to get left behind. With green energy initiatives expanding, things like solar panels and electric vehicles are going to be increasingly in demand. So we can likely expect the demand for silver to stay where it is for at least another decade or two.
Advantages of Silver
Perhaps the biggest advantage of silver is its affordable price. Depending on the price trends, silver tends to be a lot more affordable than both gold and platinum.
As we mentioned, there remains a huge industrial demand for silver that likely won't go away for a long time. Like gold, silver is also good at retaining its value against inflation.
That's why many people use it in tandem with gold to hedge against this threat. Lastly, there's the historical value to consider. Like gold, silver has long been a contributor to wealth preservation.
Disadvantages of Silver
While silver does retain its value against inflation, it's important to note that its price is quite volatile. This is especially true compared to gold. That means that there will be significant swings in the price of it. However, it's important to note that these swings can go both ways.
It might provide you with a lot more money, or you could experience significant losses. The industrial demand for the precious metal also isn't always a good thing. If the economy takes a downturn, then silver does too. Also silver isn't very durable. So over time, it will require silver care.
Advantages of Platinum
Like silver, platinum has a wide range of industrial applications that make it invaluable to the economy. What's more, it's also significantly rarer than both silver and gold.
As such, it has some long-term value built into it. Lastly, it's a great diversity tool if your portfolio only contains gold and silver, which are more common. That way, if one of your investments fails you'll always have a backup.
Disadvantages of Platinum
Platinum is also subject to volatile market trends. Its price can rise and fall dramatically depending on economic conditions. Platinum also doesn't come with as many investment options as silver. Primarily you'll only be able to invest through bullions like coins and bars.
Types of Products You Can Buy
There are a variety of different precious metal products you can buy for both platinum and silver. That starts with a bullion. This is an umbrella term that encompasses a wide range of precious metal forms. Specifically, a bullion can include things like:
- Bullion bar
It can also include three other asset classes in addition to bullions: investment grade coins, Pre-33/Pre-65 coins, and rare coins.
Each of these different types of asset classes comes with their pros and cons. As such, the hallmark of a stable investment strategy typically involves diversifying your portfolio to include some of each if you're able to.
Where Is the Best Place to Buy?
When you purchase platinum or silver from a seller, the most important thing is to check their reputation. Some quick online reviews can usually be a good place to start. But you want to make sure that the seller is offering certified precious metals in a way that's safe and secure.
You also want to make sure that they're experts at pricing it. Sadly, there are a lot of scam artists out there looking to take advantage of beginners in precious metals investing.
So if a price seems too good to be true, it likely is. Customer service is important when searching for a place to buy. If you need advice before buying, the support team should be able to help steer you towards a direction that makes sense for your portfolio.
What's more, they should do it in a way that's honest and not trying to sell you things you don't need. Lastly, you want to make sure that they provide a diverse range of asset classes.
For example, here in the United States Gold Bureau, in addition to silver bullion, we also offer a variety of investment-grade coins.
Ready to Invest? Use the United States Gold Bureau
We hope this guide helped you learn more about silver vs platinum. As you can see, platinum may be slightly more premium, but both of the materials have the potential for explosive growth compared to more stable investments like gold.
If you're new to investing in silver or platinum, you'll likely have a lot of questions about how to get the most out of your investment. That's why we here at the United States Gold Bureau made a precious metals investor guide to help you avoid beginner mistakes that can cost you thousands.
What's more, it's free! Download your investor guide today to learn the secret to a successful precious metal portfolio.