Platinum is a chemical element and member of the platinum group of elements. Most metals in the platinum group are prized for resilience to corrosion and relative imperviousness to high temperatures. In fact, platinum is regarded as a noble metal due to its resistance to oxidation and corrosion.
Noble Metals and Base Metals
Palladium, platinum and gold are all noble metals and generally resistant to aging. Base metals like zinc and iron, on the contrary, do not age very well. Nobel metals are popular for other reasons, however. Platinum has numerous industrial applications and aesthetic uses. For example, platinum is used predominately in the catalytic convertors of automobiles, yet platinum is making inroads into jewelry stores, the dentist’s office, thermometers and even the hands of collectors.
Platinum as Precious Metal
A precious metal is a metallic element of high economic worth. Precious metals, such as platinum, are often ductile and contain a rich lustre. In the past, precious metals took the place of fiat paper in large economies. Today, however, precious metals like gold, silver and platinum are viewed as investments and hedges against unstable local currencies. Platinum is actually the most widely transacted precious metal in the world. In other words, investors have determined that platinum is a worthwhile store of value and investment opportunity.