Precious Metals – What are They and How to Invest

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Precious metals are defined as metals that are rare and have a high economic value. This value can be due to various factors, including scarcity, hedging against inflation, and each type of metal’s role and value over time. The most popular precious metals to invest in are gold, platinum, and silver.

Are you looking to sell your precious metal investment? Call us today for a free consultation.

What They Are

Precious metals chemically tend to be less reactive than other elements. They usually have a high luster and are somewhat pliable. Historically, these metals were important as currency but are now mainly used as investments and to create industrial materials.

Precious metals are often used as an investment tool to diversify portfolios and maintain value, primarily as a hedge against inflation and during times of market uncertainty. They may also be an essential component for products such as jewelry and electronics for commercial buyers.

How to Invest

When it comes to precious metals, inflation is a common word to watch for among investors. Buying them now at their current prices protects their value against future inflation, which makes them ideal investments.

There are several different ways for investors to begin in precious metals markets. Those wishing to purchase and hold the metals directly can purchase physical bullion. These can then be stored in a safety deposit box.

Read more about Westlake Gold’s guide on how to sell gold here.

Other popular methods of investing in precious metals include buying futures contracts for a certain metal. Purchasing shares in publicly traded companies in metal markets is another option. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds also offer a variety of strategies, including funds backed by bullion, portfolios of mining companies, and leveraged exposure.

More About Precious Metals

There are eight metals that are considered precious. They are gold, silver, palladium, platinum, ruthenium, rhodium, osmium, and iridium.  There are two metrics commonly used to determine the most precious metal, price, and rarity.

The best-known precious metals are coinage metals, consisting of gold and silver. These consistently generate lots of attention from the financial media, as well as market participants.

Read Westlake Gold’s article about gold coins here to learn more.

How Precious Metals are Valued

The level of purity varies based on the item. “Three nines” (99.9%) purity is common. The most mass-produced bullion coins of this purity are in the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf series, which go up to 99.99%. The Krugerrand is an example “pure gold”: it must contain at least 12/11 ounces of at least 11/12 pure gold. Other bullion coins like the British Sovereign show neither the purity nor the fine-gold weight on the coin but are recognized and consistent in composition and purity.

Other precious metals include the platinum group: ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium, and platinum, of which platinum is the most widely traded and rhodium is the most expensive.

Want a free consultation to see how much your investment is worth? Contact Westlake Gold today.

Photo by Scottsdale Mint on Unsplash

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Lynne A.

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Met with Joel to see if the silver and gold coins I found were worth anything. He was very nice and only one coin was worth a few bucks. He suggested just...

Lynne A. September 29, 2023

Joel took time and patiently explained the value of my jewelry and how he calculated it. I believe I got a good, honest deal and I would highly recommend him.

Anne Andrews C. September 28, 2023

I could not have been more pleased and satisfied with Joel at Westlake Gold. If you have spare jewelry and gold that you want to get top dollar for, this is the only place that you need to go. Do not go to downtown LA. Do not go to any jewelry store and especially do not go to a pawn shop! Joel is the only man that you need to see. He is professional, kind, and as sincere and honest as they come. He has a low overhead for his business and he is without question going to give you the best possible price for your valuables. I didn’t even know that some pieces that I had were worth more than I had expected… but Joel being as honest and sincere as they come made sure that I had what I needed and did with a gracious understanding and very friendly demeanor. After leaving this place, I was both impressed and so happy to see that there are still people out there that do care about others. Do not waste your time and go anywhere else… this is the man to see!!!

Steve Benezra September 20, 2023

Very professional and detailed in their evaluation. I felt very comfortable.

Ali Farboud August 9, 2023

The team at Westlake Gold was both kind and professional. Joel is very knowledgeable and fair - and I really enjoyed working with him on the sale of some estate jewelry. I highly recommend!

Dana Barrett July 10, 2023

*Respectful, surprisingly great appraisal, very safe and honest.* Joel meets his customers in a clean and neat office inside of an office building, instead of many others in the area. This allows me to feel more comfortable to start with. He was very respectful, friendly, and courteous. The best part comes with the pricing. This was not my first time releasing old gold and jewelry, and I received way more than I thought I would have given my past experience with other jewelry buyers. Thank you, Joel. Wish I had met you in the past, but sure am happy I do now.

Birgitte Tan June 30, 2023

I was very happy with the transaction and the money that he offered to us when I sold gold jewelry. He was very knowledgeable and kind to me and my...

Mithila U. June 2, 2023

Great experience selling gold silver and jewelry. Joel is very skilled and explains the transaction.

Mike Kale May 19, 2023

What a hidden treasure, pun intended. Overwhelmed with a large collection that I wasn't sure was costume or the real deal. impressed with how each piece was tested even the ones marked for authentication. professional and honest.

janie ahlberg May 14, 2023

If you are looking for an honest appraisal and fair deal, this is the place to go! I walked in with what I thought was seven 1oz Canadian silver dollars worth $25 each, turns out they were 1oz Canadian platinum coins with worth $1,000+ each!! He operated with 100% integrity and patience with me. He took the time to educate me on coins. I will defiantly return!

John Strote May 12, 2023

Highly recommend Westlake Gold. I had a bunch of estate jewelry to liquidate and I feel like I got a very fair price for my items. I definitely will return. Thank you!

Rana Mohr May 12, 2023

I highly recommend Westlake Gold - Joel is very knowledgable about gold and diamonds and I loved his authenticity when giving me the information I needed. He’s very professional, and courteous. I’ll definitely be back in future!

hannah de boisblanc December 16, 2022

Joel, thank you for your help with the silver we brought into your shop. You were very helpful and pleasant to work with.

Robin Johnson December 5, 2022

Just met with Joel while taking care of selling my father's gold (after his passing). Joel was honest, fair, and professional. Highly recommend Westlake Gold.

Cathy Anderson August 2, 2022

I highly recommend Westlake Village Gold! I took my Jewelry to several places,I receive the best price from Joel his customer service, Attention extremely detail. I knew the first few minutes of meeting him that you can trust this man, Definitely will be back.

Rebecca de la Torre September 14, 2020

Joel always provide incredible customer service. Joel is very knowledgeable about gold and diamonds and is also very polite and I always enjoy my conversations with him when trying to sell him gold. I highly recommend working with Westlake Gold.

Patrick rohn September 10, 2020

I bought two rings from Joel and was blown away by the experience. He is extremely honest, professional, and knowledgeable. He normally doesn't make jewelry sales to walk in customers, but just so happened to have exactly what we were looking for. And he even arranged to have our rings resized and polished. They are beautiful and exactly what we wanted.

Stephanie Bland March 30, 2020

Very professional, knowledgeable and honest. More than fair, highly recommend.

Doug Weil January 9, 2020

Joel is great at what he does. He helped me with valuing some coins I needed. If you need to find the value on any jewelry you must go here. Thank you so much for your help!

Probate Services Inc. November 2, 2017

Joel was extremely knowledgable, professional, informative and expeditious in the overall process. I will be coming back if/when I have a need to sell silver, gold and/or jewelry!

Scott O'Malley July 14, 2016