Top 5 Platinum Coins for Investors
When discussing precious metal coins, the focus is usually on gold and silver bullion. And quite understandably, since the two precious metals are popular and have proven their mettle as investment assets. Although less popular than silver and gold, other precious metals are also getting discussed in the same vein, particularly platinum.
Platinum is an industrial metal. Even though platinum appears in ads for wedding and engagement rings and other jewelry, the precious metal’s primary application is manufacturing. It’s employed in multiple industries, particularly the automotive industry. The shiny white metal is mainly used to make catalytic converters.
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Despite its industrial applications, platinum is valuable outside the industry, especially in the investing and jewelry space. It’s common to see many investors buying platinum bullion coins. The metal is becoming increasingly popular among investors keen on diversifying their precious metals portfolio and safeguarding their wealth against market volatility. If you’re one of them, read on to learn more about investing in platinum.
Read more: Is Platinum More Valuable Than Gold?
In this article, we’ll pore over the following topics:
- Reasons to invest in platinum bullion
- Best platinum coins for investing
- Why invest in coins and not platinum bullion bars
- Answers to some common questions and more
If you’ve had no issues adding gold or silver to your precious metals portfolio but were always skeptical of platinum, this article will most likely change your perspective.
Reasons to Invest in Platinum Coins
There are several reasons investing in platinum makes perfect sense. The following are the most common of them:
- Purity: Platinum bullion coins are highly pure. The platinum coins discussed later in this article have a millesimal fineness of at least .9995, which is as pure as it gets.
- Official: Bullion coins are government-issued or minted at a state-recognized mint. That indicates the coins are made to the highest quality, and their face values are guaranteed.
- Less expensive: A platinum coin is less expensive than gold per ounce.
- Collectability: Based on the coin’s design, year of mintage, and other aspects that may boost the coin’s collectability quotient, a platinum coin could dramatically increase in value and sell for a premium.
Reasons to Invest in Platinum
The following are reasons platinum is worth investing in general:
- Rarity: Platinum is a rare metal. It’s, in fact, rarer than gold and silver. The metal’s sparseness is evident in the relatively fewer physical platinum bullion floating on the market than items made from other valuable metals.
- Intrinsically valuable: Platinum is a tangible asset with inherent value. A government or separate entity doesn’t support or guarantee its value or worth. In other words, the platinum value will never be zero, unlike fiat money, which is just a glorified piece of paper.
- Global market: Platinum is a globally recognized precious metal. Its liquidity may not be as high as gold or silver, but you’ll never be stuck with a platinum coin you want to sell. It may take longer, but you should be able to sell the precious metal for a reasonable price eventually.
- Futuristic: Platinum prices may not be the all-time highs. However, the increasing demand for the metal will cause a rise in the price of platinum and boost the value of your platinum coin investments.
Top 5 Platinum Coins for Investing
The following are the best platinum coins you can buy from an investment perspective currently (as of 2023):
American Platinum Eagle
The American Platinum Eagle coin is a platinum bullion coin authorized by the state. The United States Mint issued the 99.95 percent fine coin for the first time in 1997 in four sizes: 1 oz, ½ oz, ¼ oz, and 1/10 oz with face values of $100, $50, $25, and $10, respectively. The $100 value is the highest labeled value for any U.S. coin. The fractional denominations were discontinued in 2008, leaving just the 1 oz coin behind. The U.S. Mint backs the Platinum Eagle's weight, purity, and content.
The coin has the same design as the gold American Eagle, regardless of size. The coin’s front features the head of the Statue of Liberty. The rear showcases a flying bald American eagle, with the rising half sun in the background. Proof American Eagles have had to change designs for themed series, such as The Vistas of Liberty (1998-2002), The Foundations of Democracy (2006 to 2008), The Torches of Liberty (2015 to 2016), etc.
In November 2007, the U.S. Mint came up with a 10th-anniversary celebration set for the coin, which contained a couple of $50 or half-ounce Platinum Eagles. The gold and silver versions of the coin have also had their anniversary issues. These coins come with an authenticity certificate and in an arched mahogany box. If you want to buy the anniversary versions, ensure they arrive with that essential paraphernalia.
Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf
The Canadian Maple Leaf coins are popular bullion coins—the gold Maple Leaf coin is particularly well-known and highly regarded in the investing space. The Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf is its platinum version. The Royal Canadian Mint has made the platinum Canadian Maple Leaf since 1988 from .9995 pure platinum. It stopped production around 2002 and reintroduced the coin in 2009 in a purer .9999 fine avatar. The coin is legal tender in Canada and also the country’s official platinum bullion.
In 1988, Canada was the world's third-largest producer of platinum. The first set of platinum Maple Leafs came in four sizes bearing different denominations: 1 oz, ½ oz, ¼ oz, and 1/10 oz. The labeled value started at C$5 and peaked at C$50, with C$10 and C$20 being the remaining two values. The face values are unsurprisingly symbolic and not representative of the coin’s actual worth. It’s the case with all other platinum coins on this list and coins made of other precious metals such as palladium.
The coin is identical to its gold sibling in design. The coin’s front bears the engraved picture of Queen Elizabeth II. The rear showcases Canada's cultural or national symbol, the maple leaf. Note that the coins reintroduced in 2009 featured a newer image of the Queen. And 2014 onwards, the top-selling coin incorporated a security measure in its design to dissuade fakes. The coin was the best-selling platinum coin in the world in 2012.
Austrian Vienna Philharmonic Platinum
The Austrian Platinum Vienna Philharmonic coin is arguably the most famous European bullion coin. Although it’s popular in the West and parts of Asia, it’s coveted the most in mainland Europe. The rich and culturally significant design makes it one of the most sought-after platinum bullion coins. Produced by the Austrian Mint, the 999.5 pure platinum coin has the same award-winning design as its silver and gold counterparts.
The namesake Vienna Philharmonic orchestra is the inspiration for the designs on both sides of the coin. The coin’s obverse or front features the Vienna Golden Hall. The reverse showcases the Vienna Philharmonic’s instruments, which include the bassoon, horn, violins, harp, and cello. The front and rear designs are courtesy of Thomas Pesendorfer, the Austrian Mint’s chief engraver. Like the gold coin, the platinum Philharmonic coin’s design remains unchanged, with only the issue year changing.
Note that the coin is relatively new, initially released as recently as 2016. But because the gold coin version is extremely popular, it wasn’t hard for the platinum variant to gain traction quickly. The platinum coin’s face value is denoted in euros, similar to its silver and gold cousins. After the euro entered circulation officially in 2002, the Philharmonic coin adopted the euro too, changing 2,000 Austrian schilling value to 100 euros. The platinum coin also bears a 100-euro face value.
Britannia Platinum Bullion
The Britannia Platinum bullion coin is less famous than the above three but is unique. The 999.5 fine platinum British coin encapsulates quality, beauty, and purity. Like other bullion on this list, Britannia coins have been made in gold, silver, and platinum. The gold and silver coins have been around for some time, since 1987 and 2007, respectively. The platinum coin was first issued in 2018. The Royal Mint makes all three versions, and the Britannia Platinum isn’t its first platinum coin. It released the proof version of the Platinum Britannia way back in 2007.
The coin has a face value of £100 and is a legal currency in Britain. And because it is legal tender, the coin is exempted from capital gains tax (CGT) for British residents. The coin features a Jody Clark-designed image of Queen Elizabeth II. The reverse showcases the namesake Britannia, Britain’s female personification, and some cool visual trickery. The latent picture shifts to the famous Britannia trident from a padlock, lending movement to the wave pattern in the background.
Recent versions of the coin have four modern security features, making the coin highly secure visually. And the Britannia is the first British coin to feature such high-tech security features. The Royal Canadian Mint was the first to mint coins globally with enhanced security details. Note that the 2021 Britannia Platinum coins don’t have the new security feature. Only those made in 2022 and after that have the aspect added.
Australian Kangaroo Platinum Bullion
The Kangaroo Platinum is a popular bullion coin trusted by investors worldwide. Initially introduced in 2018, the Australian Kangaroo Platinum bullion coin aptly represents the country’s wildlife symbol, the kangaroo. The 99.95 percent fine platinum coin is backed by the government of Australia, which guarantees the bullion’s weight and purity. The coin with a face value of AUD100 is legal tender in Australia per the 1965 Australian Currency Act.
The front of the coin shows the right profile of Queen Elizabeth II donning the George IV State Diadem crown. The reverse has the picture of the beloved marsupial doing its characteristic hop with its extended hind legs. The image is inspired from Stuart Devlin’s classic red kangaroo, which is center-positioned in the coin and encircled by stylized sunlight rays. The coin’s purity, weight, and year of production details are also engraved on the back.
The coin employs a micro-laser engraved letter, an authentication feature that you can detect only under a magnifying lens. The engraving is supposed to make counterfeiting more difficult. Unlike kookaburra and koala coins, the rear kangaroo image doesn’t change annually. The reverse side also features the “P” Perth Mint mintmark and the “AUSTRALIAN KANGAROO” inscription, besides other details about the coin.
Besides those mentioned above, there are a few other platinum coins that are worth taking another look at.
- Made by the South African Mint, this Big Five Elephant is the platinum coin in the Big Five series. The coins in the series are known for their beautiful motifs, excellent minting standards, and limited mintage. The elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard, and rhino are nearing extinction. South Africa wants to direct the world’s attention to the status quo through these bullion offerings.
- The Australian Platinum Koala is another Perth Mint product. Originally made in 1988, the coin was in production until 2000. The currency is not particularly popular in the U.S. If you don’t live in Australia, you can easily buy the coin. Still, you may have difficulty finding a buyer who truly appreciates the piece in your region. The coin’s production was stopped due to insufficient demand, making it one of the rare coins and giving it a chance to sell for a higher price if there’s more appreciation for the coin.
- The RCM War of 1812 platinum coin is a solid coin to begin your platinum investment journey. The Canadian currency is an attainable piece with historicity and a beautiful design. The images of an eagle and a lion on the coin’s rear represent America and Britain, respectively. The picture of the Queen, a custom with bullion coins from Canada or any other Commonwealth nation, adorns the front.
Why Buy Platinum Coins Instead of Platinum Bars?
There are several reasons why we recommend buying platinum coins and not bars. First, a platinum coin is easier to sell than a platinum bar, especially the coins mentioned above, because the former has a recognized face value or familiarity among buyers.
Second, platinum coins are more attainable or come in various sizes, from 1/10 oz to smaller ones. Platinum bars tend to be larger and require more money to buy. Although bars in much smaller sizes are made, those are much fewer in number and usually not in stock.
Third, coins have unique designs and histories that bullion bars do not have. Platinum bars usually look the same, irrespective of their make and series. The bars have their amazing logos embossed on the back. But even those are standard, except for a few, such as PAMP and Valcambi platinum bars. The unique designs, as a result, increase the value or collectability of coins.
However, it’s worth noting that platinum coins sell at a premium. In other words, they cost more to make than platinum bullion bars. The costs of designing the coin and artisanry majorly drive the minting expenditure. But then those designs lend uniqueness, which could pay off the costs or generate capital gains in the future.
Read more: Gold vs Platinum Investments
Investing in platinum is a safe bet. The prices of platinum may not be as steady as gold, but those would also not fluctuate as vehemently as stocks. Currently, platinum is trading lower than gold. And considering the rarity and inherent value platinum provides, prices would likely increase. There will be stumbling blocks. But, in the long run, we expect your investments in platinum to rise in value. So rest easy. And what better way to add platinum to your investment portfolio other than the beautiful coins mentioned above? We recommend talking to a financial advisor for solid and personalized investment advice.
How do gold ETFs stack upWhy is the platinum price not particularly steady? against gold mutual funds?
Compared to gold, the prices of platinum are a lot more volatile, thanks to the industrial demand for the precious metal. As stated before, platinum is used in the automotive industry, meaning rumbles in the sector will impact platinum’s market value.
Another reason is the rarity or availability of the physical metal in a few regions, such as Russia and South Africa. The concentrated availability and issues plaguing those regions (political instability, government regulation changes, labor disputes, etc.) impact platinum mining and cause price instability. New and more advanced mining techniques, platinum recycling, pressure on mining firms and governments to regulate or reduce platinum production, etc., are other causes for fluctuating platinum prices.
Is platinum allowed in a precious metals IRA?
Yes, platinum can be invested under an IRA arrangement. Do note that the platinum you buy should be in the proper form, size, shape, etc., to be eligible for inclusion. In other words, they must meet IRS requirements to allow precious metals in an IRA. You can buy the coins mentioned above through an IRA.
Should I invest in platinum or gold?
Start with gold if it is your first time investing in precious metals. It’s a proven metal with a pedigree. Purchase the yellow metal to fund a gold IRA, preferably. After that, invest in platinum, silver, and other valuable metals.