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A History of Platinum and How it Became a Precious Metal

A History of Platinum Prices - Royal Bull Silver Gold

Platinum is one of the world’s rarest metals and has a special place in the hearts, minds and wallets of many Canadian investors. How has its value changed over time? Let’s dig in!

Highly sought after for its use in a wide range of applications such as catalytic converters, and the refining industry, platinum’s prominence in our lives is fairly new, compared to its precious metal cousins gold and silver. 

Platinum’s Value Seen Early On in South America

Although platinum was used by inhabitants of South America for ornamentation and “discovered” by the Spanish conquistadors, its true value wasn’t immediately realized. A very high melting point meant that many earlier discoverers of this precious metal were not able to do anything with platinum – their fires simply couldn’t reach the melting point of 1768.3 °C. It wasn’t until as late as the 1900s when this melting point could be used to craft platinum into the shapes needed. Its true value then started making itself known. 

As Platinum Uses Grow, Platinum Value Soars

As the world’s dependence on vehicles, technology and refining continued to increase throughout the 1900s, platinum’s price steadily rose to over $470 CDN by the early 1990s. Throughout the following decade the price continued its ascent, now at a steeper incline, with a sudden jump in 2008 with the advent of the Great Recession. This jump can be attributed to investors taking their money from standard business and real estate investments and choosing to place their money in precious metals, platinum being one of them. Investors were not only concerned about the economy, but also about the ability of platinum to continue to be produced, resulting in the all-time high platinum price was about $2,270 CDN per troy ounce in March 2008. But by that autumn, the economy was on less shaky ground and the platinum price took a short-term dive to less than $800 CDN per ounce.

Somewhat recovering by 2011 with prices hovering around $1,700 CDN per troy ounce, platinum began a low decline until the recent pandemic of 2020–2022, which saw investors once again take their money from businesses hit hard by marketplace uncertainty, and instead put them money in precious metals. The COVID-19 pandemic’s influence on buying decisions was also a factor, as there was a sudden surge in demand for vehicles, and thus platinum demand increased as did platinum mining. The price of platinum topped out at around $1,500 CDN. But as the demand subsided, so did the price of platinum. 

Platinum is a Precious Metal With Huge Future Valuation

Although the platinum price has had recent ups and downs, many of the everyday items that many people need in their lives – vehicles, jewelry and products made via chemical/refining processes – are produced with platinum. As such, it will remain an important and highly valuable precious metal. 

Of course, platinum is also a great investment for your portfolio. An investment of $500 in the 1990s would have resulted in more than double that today! Buy and hold your investment to reap rewards tomorrow!

To stock up on platinum, one of the rarest metals on earth, visit Royal Bull’s platinum shopping page.