Great news! We now accept PayPal as a payment method on our checkout page. A safe and convenient way to pay online, PayPal orders typically ship the next business day. The prices are the same as for credit cards. Our current payment options and terms can be found HERE.
The American Silver Eagle
The American Silver Eagle quickly soared in popularity worldwide from its initial release. Across the globe, investors in official government-issued investment grade silver bullion coins choose the American Eagle first. This remarkably striking coin is also a must-have among collectors of fine silver coins. The design is one of the most stunning ever produced. Even more memorable than its beauty, is the bold, courageous story the design displays.
A Story for Every Generation
The American Silver Eagle is much more than just another silver coin. It tells the illustrious story of our proud nation. The Walking Liberty design featured on the obverse was originally displayed on the Liberty Half Dollar (1916-1947), designed by Adolph A. Weinman.
Recognized worldwide as one of the most stunning designs in bullion coins, Lady Liberty gracefully, yet proudly represents freedom. She steps into a bright future, draped with a flowing U.S. flag. She looks toward the rising sun and recalls that this freedom was won at a great cost. In her left arm she cradles branches of oak and laurel. These are symbols of the glory of her people, their strength, and unstoppable resolve. Also, Lady Liberty extends her right hand in peace unto the nations of the world.
Liberty, Peace, Opportunity
On the reverse, John Mercanti’s design boldly displays the strength and unity of the United States. John Mercanti, the U.S. Mint’s twelfth Chief Engraver, designed the image in 1986 for the inaugural American Silver Eagle release. Although quite similar to the Great Seal of the United States, Mercanti applied his own unique touch.
Ready to defend all that Lady Liberty represents, the heraldic eagle displays a magnificent symbol of our national strength. With wings fully outstretched, the eagle clutches an olive branch in its right talon, and arrows in its left. The olive branch of peace speaks to us of the great and prolonged struggle that won and established our freedom. The arrows serve as an ever-present reminder of the tremendous cost that finally secured our liberty. They also warn any who may threaten this peace that we stand ready to defend it.
Prominently displayed over the eagle’s breast rests a brilliant shield of defense. Also, a banner streams from its sharp beak proclaiming “E pluribus Unum” (Out of many, one). This forms the basis of our strength as a nation. Our many and varied people must stand united as one to prosper in liberty, peace, and opportunity. The 13 five-pointed stars positioned above the eagle, represent the original Thirteen Colonies’ desire to live free of tyranny. The American Silver Eagle – A Story for Every Generation!
Silver Bullion Returns to the US!
The Congressional Bill authorizing the selling of excess silver from the Defense National Stockpile went through years of different incarnations. Finally, on June 21, 1985, the Senate proposed a bill that the House swiftly approved just three days later. On July 9, 1985, President Reagan signed Title II of Public Law 99-61 (Liberty Coin Act). Then, the first American Silver Eagle coin made headline news as it was struck in San Francisco on October 29, 1986.
The basis of precious metals investment begins with the inherent value of the metal itself. Although the metal is Market-driven, the premium above that base is affected by several factors. The overall popularity of the specific coin or series greatly affects that premium. The American Silver Eagle’s global popularity is well deserved. The historical performance and stability as an investment provides somewhat of a hedge against inflation. Not only is its performance attractive, the story the coin’s design beautifully presents promotes its strength in the global marketplace.
The standard brilliant uncirculated (BU) American Silver Eagle coins are not sold directly to the public. The Congressional Bill authorized the production and selling of official U.S. silver bullion coins. It also specified the method of their sell and their distribution. The US Mint sells these coins to a network of “authorized purchasers.” These are large, well-established and carefully-vetted dealers and distributors. This ensures the most effective and efficient distribution of the coins, as well as maximum on-going availability. And then these large-scale purchasers sell and distribute the coins to smaller distributors that supply local and online dealers. And like BOLD Precious Metals, these provide for and service the Public demand.
A Smart Investment, Pure and Simple
Each American Silver Eagle coin contains one Troy ounce of .999 fine silver in BU condition. With the purity and weight backed by the U.S. Government, you can be assured that your coins are top quality. American Silver Eagles are also one of the most liquid government-issued bullion coins in the world. Historically, they have retained their value better than other government bullion coins.
American Silver Eagle – A Story for Every Generation
And, as we at BOLD are well-known for reminding our customers, “Don’t forget to include your children.” What better way to teach them about real money and the liberty, peace, and opportunity this nation affords? Recount to them the story depicted on the American Silver Eagle. As you explain each detail, let them hold the coin that restarted the production and distribution of U.S. silver bullion coinage. Start the conversations that will continue to multiply for generations to come!
BOLD is dedicated to providing the best selection of bullion coins at the lowest possible prices to each customer. Our driving passion is to bring quality, value, and courtesy in servicing each order.
For every Superhero there is a story to be told. You might say, there are two stories, the personal history and the professional exploits. The two begin to merge into one in the unfolding of each episode. From the earliest comic books, to the larger graphic novels, and then the blockbuster movies, we have continued to return for each new release. We connect with their determination to use their powers for good, even while continually tripping over their own personal shortcomings.
Perhaps no modern storytellers of the lives and exploits of superheroes have captured this better than Marvel. Our connection with these characters and their stories, intrigue, entertain, challenge and actually inspire us. Tell the truth, how many of us growing up were captured by the idea that one day we could make a difference like these amazing men and women?
Superheroes not only fill the pages of comics and graphic novels. They also abound in the real history of the peoples and nations of the world. Throughout the ages, mighty, yet complicated men and women who have made their mark on history have had their legacies preserved. As a memorial of their heroic contributions and exploits, their images were chiseled, stamped, or engraved upon stone and metal. This practice continues today in the production of fine bullion coinage.
The small island nation of Tuvalu, a member of the British Commonwealth, has contracted with the illustrious Perth Mint to produce a fantastic Silver coin series based on popular Marvel characters. The quality of these coins are excellent and the premiums are reasonable considering the limited mintages (50,000) and popularity of the theme. The first release in 2017, Spider-Man, was a huge success. Since then, the series has continued with Thor, Black Panther, Iron Man with more to come!
A Rich History
There is a rich history that precedes the modern practice of coin collecting. Many trace the rise of interest in compiling sets of coins back to the Renaissance period of the fourteenth century. These consisted primarily of ancient coins bearing the images of kings and rulers and was the pursuit of the rich and noble class. It wasn’t until much later that what we might consider a middle class interest began to evolve.
The interest often fell along the lines of the personal preferences of these early coin collectors. Some sought ancient specimens for both their beauty and the historical aspect of the person, whose image graced the coin. Others found great interest in collecting a wide variety of foreign coins. Perhaps they were seeking to open their minds to the vastly different and amazing cultures and natural beauty of this wide-world.
Whether those of ages past, or current, collectors seldom choose items simply on the basis that they might someday increase in value. No, we collect items because of the connection we feel to the story, place, or character they represent. However, when it comes to precious metals, and bullion coin series based on superheroes, we enter into a realm where value appreciation often does follow personal appreciation. With the lower mintages usually associated with series such as these, there is even greater opportunity for premiums (and value) to increase as the availability declines.
Our investments and collections of bullion coins include those marked with images of real men and women who have stood against the tide in history. They also include depictions of the fierce and beautiful examples of wildlife species that amaze us. Also, coins bearing the beauty of special places throughout the world, whether natural or man-made, delight us. And, yes, we also include those emblazoned with fictional characters that exemplify many of the same traits of historical examples that inspire us.
So, is it really OK for me to invest not only in Eagles, Maples, Libertads, Britannias, Philharmonics, Kangaroos, and Pandas, but also series like Marvel’s Tuvalu Superheroes? We certainly believe so, especially if you enjoy it! If you are only into precious metals as a cold, hard investment (which is also OK), you are missing out on a lot of the fun and excitement.
Don’t be afraid to follow your personal interests. Also, this is a great way to interest your children to join you in coin collecting. As we at BOLD Precious Metals always say, “Never miss an opportunity to get your children involved!”
One of the most illustrious mints in the world, Perth Mint in Australia is well-known for its beautiful designs and excellent production quality. As the official mint for Australian government-backed bullion coins, they produce a number of long running popular series featuring the unique animal species found on the continent Down Under. These include the Kangaroo, Kookaburra, Koala along with other sets like the Australian Wildlife series.
In 2018, they have embarked on an exciting new series called The Next Generation! Keeping with the theme of iconic Australian animals, each design will feature a mother and baby interacting in a wonderful celebration of life in the wild extending across generations. The warm and engaging theme of this series as well as the impeccable execution by Perth is sure to make this one of the most popular new series to come out in 2018.
But the theme of the series of only part of the reason The Next Generation series is set up for tremendous success. Perth has reached all the way back to the Middle Ages of France and Great Britain for fresh inspiration in the series design. Each coin released will be minted in the ancient piedfort style. The word piedfort means “heavy foot” and, in the context of coinage, it refers to a coin that is double-thick. Back in the Middle Ages, rulers and nobles took a liking to double-weight coins with smaller diameters and thus the piedfort style became popular. They made impressive show pieces back then, as they still do today. Perth is reviving this format in their Next Generation series to the delight of many bullion collectors!
Each coin will be 2 oz of .9999 fine Silver using the same diameter of their other 1 oz bullion coins like kangaroos, but approximately twice as thick. The exact measurements are a diameter of 40.6mm and max thickness of 6.42mm. This results in a coin that feels and looks amazing! The coins also feature a bold reeded edge and a background of precision radial lines emanating from the center of the coin, both on the obverse and reverse. These lines not only help to make each design “pop” off the surface, they are also very hard to counterfeit and thus help ensure authenticity.
It is also important to note for buyers that each release will have a limited world-wide mintage of only 75,000 coins produced. Not only that, but the premiums on this series are going to be very reasonable compared to other “specialty” bullion series. Based on all the reasons above, we expect The Next Generation series to be extremely popular and encourage all of our customers to consider adding it to their collection. The British Queen’s Beast series has proven the popularity of 2 oz modern bullion coins and Perth is poised to build upon that with this new series, at a lower cost to buyers.
The inaugural release features the Koala!
The reverse displays a full-body, left-facing profile of the mother koala climbing along a leafy Eucalyptus branch. Her face is turned, facing us, as though posing for the photo. You can hardly blame her for posing, as she is represented in such beautiful detail. Her fur is so finely engraved, it looks like you could reach out and stroke it. Her expression, framed by her large ears, is so adorable there is no resisting your urge to smile!
And then, there is the small joey clinging tightly to her back. She is old enough to have migrated from her mother’s pouch, where she hid in safety the first six months after birth. Once you move your focus to her, your smile becomes a warm sense of the wonder of life, and the beauty of maternity. The hope that is bound-up in the Next Generation is represented with both astounding detail and tenderness in this delightful scene.
The Royal Canadian Mint announced that it has developed MINTSHIELD™, a proprietary process to protect the surface of their Silver bullion coins from the appearance of spotting (commonly known as milk spots due to their milky white color). While these spots do not effect the value of the silver in the coin, bullion stackers and coin collectors alike have been frustrate by the prevalence of spotting on modern Silver coins. The issue is wide-spread and not limited to any specific mint. There have been many speculations about the source of spotting, but no definitive answers. The best we can say is since it mostly affects modern coins, it likely has something to do with modern minting processes.
As one of the mints most known for spotting, especially on their bullion coins, the announcement from the Royal Canadian Mint is very significant! The trademarked Mintshield Surface Protection technology is engineered to “reduce the occurrence of white spots on silver bullion coins”. As a proprietary process, the RCM does not divulge many details about Mintshield, but they do state that all Silver Maple Leaf bullion coins going forward (including the newly released 2018 versions) will include the Mintshield technology. We are excited to see how well this will work!
Considering that the Royal Canadian Mint has in recent years added robust anti-counterfeiting security features on their bullion coins such as the micro laser engraved leaf containing their proprietary “Bullion DNA” and the precision machined radial lines on the background of the coin, Mintshield may very well place the iconic Silver Maple Leaf as the world’s leading government issued Silver bullion coin!
America The Beautiful 2018 Series
BOLD is especially excited about the 2018 America the Beautiful 5 oz Silver bullion coin series releases. Five of the most distinctive designs to date will begin their scheduled releases with the first hitting the Market in February.
Since the 2010 premier release of this beautiful series, each year has continued to demonstrate increasingly strong public demand. The sustained popularity of a bullion coinage series is often revealed during its Pre-Release sales cycles. And this is absolutely the case when it comes to the America the Beautiful 5 oz Silver bullion coins. Across the board, dealers are finding it more difficult with each release to maintain sufficient inventories to keep pace.
This, of course, speaks to the universal appeal of the overall theme of the series. As BOLD is quick to point out, each release is much more than a beautiful, investment bullion grade collectable coin. Every one features an awe-inspiring, National site. What is represented through these wonderfully designed scenes are true National treasures, having deep historical, cultural, or natural significance.
Our National Heritage
The two most widely sought U.S. coin series together tell a brave story, which must be told and retold to each generation. The American Eagle bullion coins represent America’s proud and distinctive heritage as a leader among the Nations of the world. They boldly represent that our freedom was won at a great cost. We are also reminded that our freedom is only as secure as our resolve to defend it.
In the same manner, our Nation’s amazing natural, cultural, and historical diversity is proudly displayed through these beautiful ATB coins. They remind us of the astounding riches and beauty that are ours as a nation, to protect and maintain. And each coin in the series serves as an open invitation to visit and support the National sites represented. The series can also be a tremendous teaching opportunity, as you share with your children the stories that make these sites so important to us.
A Remarkable Series Created
The America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-456) authorized production of these 5 oz, .999 silver bullion coins. These larger coins replicate each of the designs featured on the US Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarters. They are the first 5 oz coins ever produced by the US Mint. They have a diameter of 3 inches with a nominal face value of 25 cents. The first releases in the series launched in 2010 with 5 designs. Five additional designs will follow each year through 2021 totaling 56 coins in all.
The ATB 5 oz bullion coins are one of BOLD’s most highly recommended silver series. They are considered semi-numismatic. That is, the coins have limited production (mintage) and the price factors in both the metal content and its collectability.
Being bullion products, upon release ATBs carry only a modest initial premium over the spot price of silver. That premium generally appreciates over time, once the production run for that release is complete and no new coins produced. This semi-numismatic status offers buyers the potential for a double benefit. Not only will you be holding bullion as an investment, but also the expectation of increased premium over spot from its status as a limited release in a collectible series.
Scheduled to release throughout 2018, the U.S. Mint is delivering 5 beautiful designs commemorating:
- The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan – Release in February
- The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin – Release in April
- The Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota – Release in July
- Cumberland Island National Seashore in Georgia – Release in September
- Block Island National Wildlife Refuge in Rhode Island – Release in November
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore was established as a National Lakeshore in 1966, becoming the very first protected U.S. lakeshore. Consisting of 42 miles of Lake Superior’s shoreline, the entire area of Pictured Rocks covers over 73,000 protected acres. Stunning views of deeply multi-colored sandstone cliffs running along the shores gave rise to the Lakeshore’s name. Some of the tallest of which tower 200 ft above the lake surface.
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore was established in 1970. The protected areas cover 69,372 acres of some of the most beautiful lakeshore beaches, cliffs, and coves in the U.S. Of the many distinctive attractions drawing visitors to Apostle Islands are the lighthouse tours. Eight historic Lighthouses of the Apostles are in place across six of the Islands. The oldest, Old Michigan Island Lighthouse, was built in 1856, and although it was retired in 1929, guided tours are available. Six of the eight are still in service. The protection of the pristine natural beauty of these islands is certainly the primary reason for establishing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.
Voyageurs National Park was named for the historic French-Canadian fur traders, that navigated these interconnected waterways. Voyageur in French actually means “traveler,” which these early traders and settlers definitely were. The waterways of Voyageurs were a vital part of the fur trade route into the Northwest Territories. The history of Voyageurs preceding its establishment as a National Park in 1975 is fascinating. Looking back 250 years, we see the trade routes becoming more established. These navigable natural waterways clearly made way for a rich history to evolve throughout the region.
Cumberland Island National Seashore was established as a National Seashore in 1972. It is the largest of the group of four barrier islands known as the Golden Isles of Georgia. Cumberland can be reached only by boat, and the main entry is through St. Marys waterfront Ferry service. The Cumberland Island National Seashore Museum is also located in St. Marys, along with the fascinating Ice House Museum. Visitors coming to the island are there to enjoy its natural beauty in its primitive, undeveloped state. As far as its natural setting, Cumberland has the most diverse ecosystems of the four barrier islands.
Block Island National Wildlife Refuge is named after Dutch trader and navigator, Adriaen Block, who in the early 1600’s conducted extensive coastal explorations. Located 12 miles off the coast of Rhode Island, there are two historic lighthouses in place at opposite ends of the island. Both lighthouses are still in active service, with hosted tours. There are also beautiful recreational beaches and parks open to visitors. Block Island was established as a Natural Wildlife Refuge in 1973, in recognition of its strategic position in the migratory path in the Atlantic flyway. Consisting of only 134 acres, the Refuge nonetheless provides a vital environment for over 70 confirmed species of migratory songbirds. The island is recognized worldwide for its protected wildlife habitat, and the refuge it provides.
The BOLD Benefits of Using eChecks
We at BOLD are often asked by our new customers, “What are the benefits to using the eCheck payment option?” There are actually quite a few very positive benefits. Before getting into them, let’s briefly explore what eChecks are, and how they function within the world of Electronic Funds Transfer.
Of course, we are all quite familiar with the use of paper checks in our regular payment of debts and purchases. Very simply, a check is a written order to your bank, directing them to transfer some of your funds to someone else’s account.
Time is Money
One of the key problems with relying on paper checks is that before the transaction process can begin, the check must be physically presented as payment. Even that is not an issue if you happen to be standing in the store. You simply hand the cashier your check. There is no delay between checking out, presenting your payment, and leaving with your purchase.
Online sellers have almost completely eliminated the use of paper checks as a payment option. They have narrowed options entirely to various forms of electronic funds transfer payments. Although, this has greatly streamlined the payment process, it has also introduced some negative factors. One of which is the exponential increase of credit card fraud.
Not only is there a massive cost associated with fraud, but also, the expansive electronic banking infrastructure requires added costs associated with each transaction. These costs are charged against the seller in the form of fees. The resulting effect is a direct hit to their profit margin. Yes, these fees are part of the cost of doing business. However, as with every other direct cost, there must also be an adjustment to the sales prices of their inventory or services. Otherwise, their business’ would eventually fail.
Generally speaking, sellers who accept only cash or paper checks for purchases do not have to deal with these fees. However, those days are pretty much gone. There are, however, some online business sectors that have continued to support paper checks, including many Precious Metals dealers. This is a bit problematic, as essentially, they are accepting the purchaser’s promise to mail their checks in quickly for payment. This results in a portion of the Seller’s active inventory being put on hold without payment, often longer than a week.
Online sellers, such as BOLD, who do allow payment by paper check are doing so as an extra service to their customers. There really is no direct benefit to these merchants to hold inventory on the promise of future payment.
There are Real Benefits
Electronic checks, however, benefit both sides of the transaction. eChecks may be understood using the very same terms as that of a paper check. As noted above, a check is very simply, “a written order to your bank, directing them to transfer some of your funds to someone else’s account.” In this case, the writing is done electronically. The same information is collected as if you were writing out a paper check.
Also, due to the added layers of fraud protection employed by BOLD’s processing service, eChecks are considered to be one of the most secure online payment methods available. This is good for everyone involved. As the likelihood of fraudulent transactions decrease, the cost of doing business also decreases. It also provides a greater level of confidence to consumers, in that their bank transactions are more secure.
One of the greatest benefits to customers using eChecks at BOLD is that it eliminates the mail time-delay of your paper check getting to us. BOLD immediately receives notification that the electronic transaction process has begun. This means that the ACH Network, which runs a background review of the account, has allowed the transaction to proceed.
The eCheck process takes essentially the same amount of time for the funds to be processed from your bank to ours. And so, we still must hold your order until those funds are credited to our account and clear the bounce window. However, by opting to use eChecks, you have shaved up to 5 days from the time you placed your order to the time we ship.
And, remember, like paper checks, eChecks are considered a cash transaction, and both are eligible for the cash discount price.
Yes, Time is Money…
Let’s say, you just so happen to have a little more money than you have time. What’s the best payment option for your purchase? Orders placed at BOLD using a Credit or Debit Card move directly into our Processing department as soon as the Card Service approves the transaction.
Depending on the time and day the order is placed and approved, it generally is pulled, packed, and shipped within 1 business days. This, of course applies to active inventory in stock at the time of the order.
Credit and Debit Card purchases are not eligible for cash discount pricing. So, in this case, time really is money. Most of our credit customers consider the positive benefits offered by their Card’s Rewards Program. They also plan to pay their full balances monthly to avoid interest charges. And, of course, there is the added benefit of receiving their purchases more quickly.
To view our payment option details, click HERE.
We are very excited to announce that we have launched a completely updated website! We have worked hard to take into account all the great suggestions that our customers have sent us and we feel that the updated menus and filters will make it much easier to browse our great inventory of products.
We are continually seeking ways to make the site run faster so we hope that each time you come back to visit you’ll notice it load faster.
We are also working on new features and functionality that will make the site more useful as your go-to source for the best prices on Silver, Gold, Platinum and Palladium products. We thank our customers for making 2017 a great year for BOLD and we look forward to 2018 with much excitement and anticipation!
As with most collectible items, there are two ways of looking at your coin collection – as a hobby or an investment. However, due to their precious metal content, a great advantage of gold and silver coins is that they carry intrinsic value.
As a collector, your primary interest may be the coin’s unique design. Perhaps you have a personal connection to the theme of a particular series. Whatever your reason for the purchase, these coins become part of your collection. However, even as a collector, you are also an investor. You are in fact, trading your dollars for an investment into precious metal.
NUMISMATIC AND BULLION
There are two broad categories of precious metal coins, and two broad categories of people who buy them. Numismatic coins are those, which are worth more (often much more) than their metal content. Collectors primarily seek after these. Bullion coins are those, which are valued at or near their metal content. Investors primarily purchased these.
There is, however, a third category that straddles the other two called “semi-numismatics.“ That topic is explored in another blog post HERE. Because of the significant price differences, it is worth considering which category will best fit your goals when selecting coins to buy.
WIDELY DIVERSE THEMES AND DESIGNS
The major world mints are offering more and more releases every year for buyers to consider. Some releases are specialty coins with very limited mintages (total coins produced). Some have higher mintage totals but still display special designs or themes for each release. Others have similar designs from year to year with no imposed production limits. These are minted at whatever volume the market demands.
While the variety is great, it can also be somewhat overwhelming. There is also a very active secondary market for old coins (in all possible conditions). The options for precious metal coin buyers are seemingly endless. But as long as you purchase from reputable dealers at competitive prices, there is no wrong approach to buying gold, silver and other precious metal products.
STACKERS AND COLLECTORS
Stackers are investors who are singularly focused on accumulating as many ounces of metal their budget can afford. There is usually little regard to the design or series they are buying. In addition to coins and rounds, many also purchase bars. Bars are generally the most efficient form factor in which to store larger volumes of gold, silver, and platinum.
Collectors are more selective and willing to pay higher premiums to buy coins that specifically interest them. They also target coins and series that have higher potential for appreciation over time as collectible items. Collectors are often interested in both old and modern coins.
Most precious metal buyers fall somewhere between Stackers and Collectors. They look for good deals on items that feature themes or designs that interest them. Honing in on popular series from quality mints is a fun and rewarding for most buyers in building their collections. This, in turn, builds their precious metal portfolios. Looking for coins that have the potential to appreciate in value (above the spot price) can really be rewarding.
In the end, both collectors and investors alike can rest assured that the gold, silver, and platinum they buy are a tangible investment in their financial security.
At BOLD Precious Metals, we place high priority on delivering a broad inventory that appeals to the full spectrum of buyers. We are also committed to providing our customers the very best prices possible. We are uncompromising when it comes to customer service, ensuring your satisfaction with every #BuyBOLD experience.
Through our BOLD Thoughts blog, newsletters, and product descriptions we will inform and educate you as you peruse our site to decide what to buy. Contact us anytime with questions about the products we carry or for recommendations concerning items or series that fit your specific goals.
The question often surfaces, “What are the leading factors influencing spot price volatility in the Precious Metals Market?” Of course, the short answer that goes to the heart of the matter is, “Supply and demand.” However, such a simplistic response would result in a very short blog post! So, let’s dive beyond the simple answer, shall we?
By its very term, “Precious Metals,” it is clear that this sector is dealing with a commodity known for its limited available abundance. Throughout history these metals have been considered rare, and highly valued because of that rarity.
SUPPLY AND DEMAND
Consider, what if tomorrow a vast and seemingly endless supply of gold, silver, or platinum was discovered? Not just discovered, but could also be mined at a much more reasonable cost than traditional methods. We would expect that the spot price would eventually fall due to the abundant supply.
Conversely, if new technologies and Industrial processes began to require increasing supplies of precious metals, spot prices would likely increase with the strengthening demand. Of course, the first scenario of dramatically increased supply is highly unlikely. However, the second scenario of increased demand is not only likely, but also actually occurring.
For thousands of years, gold and silver have been used to store, display, and transfer wealth. Now, with the global rise of high tech Industrial processes, a shift is quickly coming into play. The unique physical properties of precious metals have opened the door to new demands for these metals. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this growing trend is that it is completely unrelated to these metals’ monetary uses.
Countless electronic devices, medical/hygiene products, solar electric technology and fuel cells are constantly upgrading. This is driving industrial demand for gold, silver and the platinum group metals (platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, ruthenium and osmium). Just consider a few examples of the unique physical characteristics of these metals.
- One cubic centimeter of palladium is capable of absorbing 900 cc of hydrogen
- Silver has the highest electrical conductivity of any metal
- Gold is the most ductile metal and one gram of it can be drawn into a wire 2,300 meters long
- Iridium is the most corrosion resistant of all elements
- Osmium is the heaviest metal
- The platinum group, in general, contains the hardest metals.
Increasingly, machines utilized in the manufacturing process are becoming dependent upon components made from precious metals. Demand is also continuing to increase in the metals use as raw materials in the actual manufactured products themselves. This use of precious metals as raw materials is inherently expensive relative to other materials in the final product. For this reason, they are included in product design based solely upon the performance only they can provide. Nevertheless, increased sophistication of manufacturing processes and products being produced is expected to be a continual driver of Industrial demand.
The “computerization” of common household devices (refrigerators, toasters, coffee makers, thermostats, etc.) is fueling the coming “Internet of Things” (IoT). Some estimates(1) project by 2021 the number of connected IoT devices will increase from 2016’s 6.6 billion to 22.5 billion. The infrastructure to support this massive growth will also be forced to keep pace. Estimates on the increased spend during this time frame push far beyond 4 trillion dollars. All of this equates to increased dependence upon precious metals. It also results in more of those metals finding their way into “disposable” electronics, which will likely never be recovered.
New research into the medical/pharmaceutical applications for precious metals is burgeoning as well. For example, the anti-bacterial properties of silver are extremely powerful. This application is showing up in everything from endotracheal tubes, to catheters, to hygienic coatings for toilets.
INDIRECT MARKET INFLUENCERS
As this growing list of products and applications suggests, global Industrial demand for precious metals will continue as a significant, tangible factor affecting the Market. Interestingly, this is not only by their need of these metals, but less directly, how that growing trend informs investors. Investors are actively using those numbers to plot their involvement in the metal-as-asset, the mining/processing infrastructure, and Market speculation.
Clearly, the Industrial sector will continue to impact the Precious Metals Market. In turn, that impact contributes to the overall effect of other Market influencers. As Industrial demand grows, it is expected to continue to support upward movement of spot prices and the supporting infrastructure.
In future BOLD Thoughts posts, we will examine the industrial demand for Gold, Silver and the Platinum Group Metals individually. We will dive into the numbers and statistics in more detail. The combination of interrelated Market influencers demonstrates that these special, rare metals are even more than a non-fiat alternative to modern currency. They also constitute an invaluable and irreplaceable input into our global industrial processes.
As always, BOLD Precious Metals stands ready to supply you with your own stockpile of these amazing metals!
As a side note, BOLD has a very handy Charts page that allows you to dynamically view the historical spot prices of Silver, Gold, Platinum and Palladium as well as overlay other key financial and market data – click HERE to check it out.
(1) See for example – BI Intelligence Report: The Internet of Things 2017