Silver vs. Platinum: Which Is the Better Investment?

Silver and platinum are alike in many ways. 

Similar in appearance, both metals have weaved their way into our everyday lives. You may not realize it, but the properties of silver and platinum make something you use today. 

But investing isn’t a popularity contest. You must know the ins, outs, and arounds of silver and platinum to choose the best investment for you.

We will look at both metals, what they offer, and their drawbacks.    

What Is Silver? 

Silver is a shiny, gray-white precious metal. 

It is durable, malleable, and the most thermal and electrically conductive metal.

Ancient civilizations used silver for coinage and decorative adornments. At one time, ancient Egyptians valued silver more than gold

Silver is rare—although not as rare as gold, platinum, and palladium—and highly coveted. 

The primary uses for silver are jewelry and coinage. But silver has also found a home in the workings of modern technology. Much of the electronics that we use every day rely on silver to function. 

Investors in physical silver select from bars and coins. You can have them direct-delivered via cash purchase or own IRA-approved silver in a precious metals IRA

What Is Platinum? 

Platinum is a shiny, silver-white precious metal.  

Russia and South Africa supply the majority of the non-corrosive, dense, stable, and ductile metal.

Platinum’s purity, conductivity, and ductile nature make it perfect for use in electrical and biomedical products. It has many industrial uses, and that list is expanding. 

Coins and bars are the choice of investors seeking physical platinum.  

Platinum can be a multi-pronged investment and serve several purposes. 

Whether you prefer holding IRA-eligible platinum in your retirement account or having it directly delivered to your doorstep, platinum can have a place in your portfolio. 

Silver vs. Platinum: Investment Comparison 

Success with platinum vs. silver as an investment comes down to three things—supply, demand, and timing. 

Silver vs. Platinum: Price 

Supply and demand drives the prices of precious metals. 

Silver is far more abundant in nature than platinum. It’s more affordable to buy an ounce of silver vs. platinum price per ounce. 

The past year has witnessed per-ounce silver prices move from just over $18 to a yearly high of $26 and back down to where it sat as of late 2023 at $23. 

In that same time frame, platinum moved from $881 per ounce to $904, where it sat as of late 2023, peaking at $1,138 along the way. 

Both metals have strong demand. 

Unrest in the Middle East has caused investors to turn to safe-haven metals like gold and silver. Geopolitical uncertainty in the world has been the catalyst for a rally in silver. It jumped as high as 10% in October 2023. 

If you already own a tax-deferred retirement account—such as an IRA or eligible 401(k)—you can own IRA-eligible physical platinum and silver

You can transfer any IRA to a precious metals IRA—also known as Silver IRA or Gold IRA. The Silver IRA functions just like a traditional individual retirement account but gives you the option of owning physical assets like silver and platinum, as well as paper-based assets. 

If you are 59 ½ and own a 401(k), or if you have a 401(k) from a previous job, your account is eligible to roll over into a self-directed precious metals IRA. 

Both the IRA transfer and IRA rollover are tax-free and penalty-free. 

Silver vs. Platinum: Applications

Silver and platinum have vast industrial uses. Both metals are versatile and suited for a tech-based society. 

Both precious metals are used in jewelry and currency. And beyond that, silver and platinum seem to be everywhere. 

Here are some of the products that contain silver:

  • Solar panels
  • Electrical contacts
  • Water filtration
  • Film
  • Cell phones
  • Laptop computers
  • Switches and circuits
  • Anti-bacterial coatings
  • Medical instruments
  • Home electronics

Products that use platinum include:

  • Pacemakers
  • Dental fillings
  • Spark plugs
  • Optical fiber lines
  • LCDs
  • Turbine blades
  • Computer discs

Platinum is far more expensive but much preferred over silver for jewelry. While they can look alike, they differ in durability and overall value. 

Compared with platinum, silver is a soft, pliable metal. It is susceptible to scratching, tarnishing, and losing its shape. It is not uncommon to see older silver rings missing their gemstones because the silver structure deteriorated. 

Platinum is one of the most durable metals on the planet. It will not tarnish, has a high melting point, and makes for long-lasting, premium jewelry pieces. 

Silver vs. Platinum: Future Market Trends and Speculations 

Hydrogen-fueled vehicles seem like the next frontier for platinum. 

The fuel cells powering hydrogen cars require 30 to 60 grams of platinum, much more than the 5 grams a catalytic converter requires.  

Platinum is rare, and there are concerns about supply meeting demand as production ramps up. 

Some platinum experts believe the upcoming cycle change from platinum to palladium in many products will free up enough platinum for vehicle demand. 

Silver’s usage is ever expanding. 

Consumer electronics, solar panels, 5G rollouts, and the emergence of electric vehicles helped push silver demand to a record 1.2 billion ounces in 2022.

The new green economy needs silver, and there seems to be no slowing it down.

Pros and Cons of Investing in Platinum vs. Silver 

As with any investment, there are pros and cons. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of silver and platinum will help you make the most educated choice.

Investing in Silver Advantages and Drawbacks 

Some advantages of a silver investment are:

  • Silver acts as a store of wealth. During inflationary periods or times when monetary policy dictates printing more money, silver holds value. The price of silver typically rises, taking more dollars to buy it, and maintaining purchasing power.
  • Silver truly diversifies your portfolio. Most portfolio assets are paper-based—stocks, bonds, treasuries, CDs, ETFs. Silver is a real, tangible asset that you can hold in your hand. It is not correlated to the stock market, and historically, it performs well when stocks hit turbulence. 
  • Silver is a safe-haven investment. Investors turn to silver and gold to protect their wealth. Geopolitical strife and economic uncertainty drive investors to move from paper-based assets into value-preserving silver.

Silver’s disadvantages include:

  • Silver doesn’t pay a dividend or generate interest. Its price is supply and demand-driven. There is no guaranteed rate of return. 
  • Silver has widespread industrial uses. Its price can decline during periods of slow economic growth or economic downturn.
  • Silver requires storage. You must safely secure and insure your silver, which comes with a price. 

Investing in Platinum Advantages and Drawbacks 

Consider the following advantages to platinum investing:

  • It provides portfolio diversification. Platinum is a tangible asset, non-correlated to the stock market. 
  • Platinum has high industrial demand. This makes it suitable for a potential long-term investment. 
  • Platinum’s price volatility can yield high returns. Timing is everything, but a well-timed investment in platinum can reap big rewards.

Platinum is not without its drawbacks as an investment. They include:

  • Platinum may experience lower liquidity than silver. It is not as common, which can make it harder to find a buyer when you are ready to liquidate. 
  • Platinum is expensive. Because it is in high demand, yet rarer than silver and gold, platinum trades at much higher price than silver. 
  • Platinum prices can swing wildly. Just as price volatility in platinum may lead to high returns, it can also lead to steep losses. Platinum is supply and demand driven but mined in very few places around the world. Geopolitical unrest and economic uncertainty in South Africa can disrupt the flow of platinum. 

Should You Invest in Silver or Platinum?  

Is considering silver vs. platinum a difficult choice? 

No. Both precious metals are worthy of a place in your portfolio. 

Both have varied industrial uses and feature prominently in coinage and jewelry. And Iin today’s green energy tech world, silver and platinum seem to be cogs that help keep things running. 

Barring a major shift, both precious metals seem to have a bright future.

The experts at Advantage Gold sit at the ready. We will locate and facilitate your silver and platinum purchases. 

Whether you are buying your silver and/or platinum in a precious metals IRA or having your metals shipped directly to your door, our account executives make the process quick and painless. 

Give us a call, or click the link and we’ll call you. 

Either way, you’ll be happy you did.

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