Well-known to everyone, popular precious metals - gold, silver, platinum and palladium - are not the most expensive in the world. The real leaders are less well-known, they belong to the group of platinum metals.
Currently, an ounce of rhodium costs 23.7 thousand dollars, which is almost 13 times more expensive than gold. At the same time, as of January 1, 2020, it cost only 6 thousand dollars, that is, the growth was 291%.
At the same time, an ounce of gold has risen in price by only 17%, from 1,517 to 1,778 dollars.
What is the reason that rhodium is the most expensive of all platinum group metals? Its annual production is only 30 tons! Gold, for example, is mined on average from 2,500 to 3,000 tons.
The rarity of rhodium in the earth's crust is one of the main factors behind its high price. Another is that this metal is widely demanded in industry, jewelry and nuclear power. It is used to make a scratch-resistant white gold coating. In cars, rhodium is required for headlight reflectors and exhaust gas catalytic converters. More recently, rhodium bars and coins have begun to appear on the market.
Only 3 tons of iridium are mined per year. It is one of the rarest platinum metals in the world. From January 1, 2020 to February 19, 2021, its price increased from $ 1,480 to $ 4,250 per ounce, that is, by 187%.
Due to its hardness, iridium is used to harden alloys in the manufacture of aircraft engine parts and deep-water pipes. Iridium is widely used in other industries as well as in medicine for the treatment of cancer. Despite the impossibility of minting (due to its hardness), several coins were nevertheless made from it using a laser. Iridium quotes have every chance to reach $ 5,000 per troy ounce in the near future.
This is one of the rarest platinum metals, but it is less in demand than others. The annual production of ruthenium is 30 tons, and it is used in electronics, electrochemistry and medicine, but in smaller quantities.
Since January 2020, the price of an ounce of ruthenium has increased from $ 250 to $ 320, that is, the profitability of the precious metal was a modest 28% over the period. Ruthenium is often used to coat coins to increase their strength. In the past few years, pure black ruthenium coins have been issued.
All these rare precious metals of the platinum group are indispensable in the industry, and in part, therefore, are capable of generating huge income.
It is not surprising that investment products from these metals - bars and coins - have recently appeared on the market.