Last updated on October 10th, 2022 at 10:58 am
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Whether gold is better than silver, platinum, or palladium is a question for the ages. That’s a question that has been asked for centuries in regards to precious metals like gold and silver. Both have long held an appeal as far back as ancient civilizations when they were first minted by early kings and emperors.
And while many people are familiar with their popularity today, not everyone knows exactly what makes them so special or how they differ from each other. Let’s explore some important differences between these different precious metals and see if one is really “better” than another.
Gold Vs. Silver
When comparing gold to silver, there are several key factors to consider before making your decision about which metal you prefer to own. These include purity (the higher the percentage copper content, the less pure the metal), fineness, color and price.
In terms of cost, gold tends to be more expensive due to its rarity and demand, whereas most industrial uses don’t require the same amount of purity needed to produce sterling silver jewelry. The reason being that 99% of all gold produced on Earth is used for investment purposes rather than industry.
As such, only 1% of available gold goes toward producing consumer goods like electronics, appliances, etc., leaving 90-99% of production space open for investors.
On the other hand, because manufacturing processes typically use lower grade materials for commercial products, sterling silver can be made cheaper without sacrificing quality. This means you’ll get a product that feels just as good as gold at a fraction of the cost; however, this comes with the downside of having slightly inferior properties.
For example, since sterling doesn’t contain any impurities, it will tarnish faster over time compared to gold. Also, unlike gold, silver cannot reflect infrared light, resulting in a duller appearance under fluorescent lighting conditions. Due to these drawbacks, we recommend avoiding using both sterling and gold simultaneously unless you want to wear mismatched pieces of clothing.
In terms of value versus weight, gold usually wins hands down thanks to its superior density. However, if you choose to go with silver instead, you should know that it takes considerably longer to melt and form into bars. Since silver melts at 1,763 degrees Fahrenheit, it must be refined multiple times during the process before coming out as finished bars.
On top of that, it may take around 2 weeks after melting to acquire enough material for a bar weighing 100 ounces! Although this is still quicker than gold, the extra refining steps mean that silver isn’t nearly as efficient as gold in outputting raw resources per unit area consumed.
Gold Vs. Platinum
Another popular comparison involves buying gold and platinum together. While no doubt appealing considering the high premium associated with platinum, it’s worth noting that owning both could actually end up costing you money overall. If purchasing physical commodities directly from major refiners, you would pay roughly $1,000-$2,000 per ounce for either metal.
However, if you purchase through a bullion dealer who buys wholesale direct from producers, prices are significantly reduced – sometimes even below spot price levels. With that said, the benefits of owning platinum outweigh those of gold alone, especially considering its unique characteristics.
First off, platinum is naturally resistant to corrosion and oxidation, meaning it won’t turn gray or yellow like iron does. Its whitened appearance also prevents it from absorbing heat energy, allowing it to retain much greater thermal stability than regular gold.
Additionally, platinum retains its luster indefinitely once removed from air, water or oxygen, which allows for extended storage periods without losing shine. Finally, because it contains no impurities whatsoever, platinum holds twice as much atomic mass units (amu) relative to gold.
All of these qualities make it ideal for everyday applications where durability and exceptional beauty are desired. At this point, our recommendation would be to simply weigh the pros and cons of owning each individually depending on personal preferences.
Gold Vs Palladium
Palladium stands apart from the rest of the group in terms of pricing, supply, and usage, making it perfect for diversifying your portfolio. Unlike gold and platinum, palladium is relatively affordable yet offers excellent resistance against rust and corrosion. Because it is rarer than gold, though, it can be hard to find stores that carry it in bulk quantities.
Luckily, online retailers offer competitively priced small amounts, giving you an opportunity to try it out yourself before committing to larger purchases. Another perk of palladium is that it’s often used within catalytic converters in cars, powering engines efficiently and helping reduce emissions. Thus, it’s already widely accepted throughout society as a valuable commodity.
As a result of its low scarcity rating, palladium is currently experiencing explosive growth in popularity among investors seeking safe havens for capital preservation. Furthermore, many experts believe that this trend will remain strong until new technologies emerge that allow us to manufacture this metal cheaply and easily. Therefore, whether you invest in gold or another precious metal, adding palladium to your holdings may help protect your wealth in case things start going south later on.
After all, when the world economy suffers financial turmoil, investors tend to flock towards stable investments like real estate or government bonds, causing stock markets to plummet. By contrast, individuals holding a sizable portion of palladium will experience minimal losses due to fluctuations in exchange rates.
The bottom line is that although it’s certainly possible to compare different kinds of metals, the truth is that no single metal is objectively better or worse than others. Instead, choosing wisely depends largely upon variables specific to your situation and goals, including budget constraints, risk tolerance, liquidity needs, and personal preference. Whatever you decide, remember that investing in precious metals never guarantees returns beyond inflationary pressures.
So keep your eyes peeled for future articles covering additional topics relating to each of these three precious metals. Thanks for reading!