Do you have your heart set on investing in platinum or gold this Valentine’s Day? How about looking at palladium instead? Here are four facts that are bound to have you falling in LOVE with this precious metal.
L – Lustrous – A dense, shiny, silvery-white metal, palladium is one of six metals belonging to the platinum family. Platinum group metals (PGMs) consist of palladium, platinum, iridium, osmium, rhodium, and ruthenium. Palladium is generally tarnish-resist making it an excellent option for jewelry and dental metals due to its low probability to cause allergic reactions as well as being more affordable. In 1939, jewelers began using palladium as a platinum alternative when creating white gold.
O – Occurrence – Thirty times rarer than gold, palladium is considered a very precious metal. Likely discovered much earlier, William Hyde Wollaston was the first to isolate the element while experimenting on samples of platinum. However, due to the extreme rarity and lack of practical applications at the time, palladium remained just a scientific curiosity until the 20th century.
V – Versatile – Aside from jewelry, palladium has many other practical uses. Despite being discovered in the 18th century, it wasn’t until the late 20th century that demand for palladium rose. This was due to the many technological advances seen today as palladium is now used in circuit boards and multilayer ceramic capacitors in electronics like laptops and mobile phones. More durable than platinum but still malleable and lightweight also makes palladium an ideal metal for surgical equipment and dental alloys.
E – Environmental factors – Several environmental trends are contributing to the drive-up in the price of palladium, most notably as seen within the automotive industry. 90% of all palladium extracted is used in car exhaust systems, forming part of the catalytic converter. In hybrid and electronic vehicles, palladium, nickel, copper, cobalt, and platinum all play an important role as these clean energy metals are needed from everything from batteries, fuel cells, and converters. With the popularity of electronic vehicles growing, the corresponding demand for the metals required to make them (like palladium) will also increase.
In love yet? Consider this. A recent report published by Reportlinker found that globally, the hybrid vehicle market is anticipated to register a compound annual growth rate of 10.23% by 2025. While China remains the dominant player in the industry, the U.S. follows for the biggest year-on-year growth. And with tightening regulation on vehicle emission standards, it’s clear that demand for palladium is not going away any time soon.
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