Friday, August 22nd, 2014 MST

Palladium Coins and Bullion Bars

Palladium bullion bar and coin investors have several palladium investment choices today. However, that was not always the case.

When palladium spiked to $1100 in late 2000, most palladium investors sold their bullion coins and bars into that rise and exited the market. During the ensuing years, the demand for palladium coins and bars was small, and most producers quit producing palladium coins and bars for the physicals market.

Because it was industrial buying that sent palladium soaring–and not palladium investors–nearly all palladium bars and coins sold in 2000 ended up being melted. Now, though, palladium bullion bars and coins are being produced to meet renewed demand for palladium products.

Popular forms of palladium are 1-oz bars, with PAMP being the most active refinery.  In late 2005, the Royal Canadian Mint began striking 1-oz Palladium Maple Leaf coins, and they are usually available today.  Although  PAMP is a respected name in precious metals refining, many investors prefer coins produced by government mints.  However, PAMP bullion bars carry smaller premiums than Maple Leafs.

Palladium Bars

Palladium, the metal

Palladium is one of six metals that form a group of elements referred to as the platinum group metals (PGM). Palladium has a resistance to oxidation, one reason palladium is growing in popularity for jewelry, especially in Asia. Still, the primary use for palladium is in autocatalytic converters, where palladium reacts similarly to platinum in combating pollutants.

Palladium, the market

From time to time, it seems about every five to seven years, some major auto maker and its catalytic converter manufacturer announce that they are switching from platinum to palladium, or vice versa, in the manufacture of converters. This causes the metal being dropped to fall in price and the metal doing the replacing to rise in price.

However, in recent years bigger impacts on volatility are the frequent production and supply problems in South Africa and Russia, the two major sources of platinum and palladium.

Only rarely does CMIGS make recommendations on palladium or platinum because it is difficult–if not impossible–to anticipate the next bombshell to be dropped on the palladium or platinum market. However, from time to time precious metals analytical firms present bullion scenarios for palladium (and platinum).

Palladium coins as money

Despite numerous government mints having produced palladium coins in recent years, palladium does not have a history of being used as money. The mints turned out palladium coins solely to take advantage of the excitement surrounding palladium as it was heralded as platinum’s replacement. As it turned out, palladium and platinum have taken turns replacing each other and causing volatile price swings in both metals.

If you want to discuss investing in palladium bullion bars or coins, give us a call.  We take calls 7:00 am to 5:00 pm MST, Mondays through Fridays.