“Here’s an updated analysis of physical gold, silver, platinum and copper regarding their respective versatility of use, durability, fungibility, store of value, liquidity and aesthetics.”
Prepared by Lorimer Wilson, editor of munKNEE.com – Your KEY To Making Money! [This article of edited excerpts* from the original article by Krassen Ratchev provides you with a 27% FASTER – and easier – read.]
“Physical Properties Comparison
Table 1 below shows the physical properties of gold, silver, platinum and copper:
|Electrical Conductivity (S/m)||4.1×107||6.30×107||9.43×106||5.96×107|
|Reactivity Series (no units)||#2||#3||#1||#5|
|Thermal Conductivity (W.m-1.K-1)||318||429||71.6||401|
|Young’s Modulus (GPa)||79||83||168||110-128|
|Hardness (Mohs scale)||2.5||2.5||4.25||3.0|
If you didn’t graduate with honors in chemistry you needn’t worry – I have described each of the physical properties below:
- Density –
- Platinum has the highest density of the four metals which means that you can fit more mass of platinum in the same amount of volume than gold, silver or copper.
- Electrical Conductivity–
- Silver possesses the greatest ability to conduct an electric current through its structure.
- Reactivity Series –
- Platinum is the least reactive, followed by gold, silver, mercury and copper. This is why gold artifacts that have been buried for thousands of years have little to no tarnish on them – and why that long-lost silver vase of yours will need some polishing before it looks presentable for the mantelpiece.
- Thermal Conductivity–
- Silver has the greatest ability to transfer heat through its structure than any of the other metals.
- Young’s Modulus–
- Gold has the greatest ability to be hammered and stretched into long and flat shapes before losing its structural integrity.
- Hardness –
- Platinum is the hardest of the four precious metals. This means that you will have more success in scratching a bar of gold with a platinum coin than the other way around.
It is now not very difficult to imagine how the physical properties of these metals have influenced their evolution over the centuries from jewelry to money to a presently ever-growing list of industrial and scientific applications but how do they stack up on a price-to-physical-property value scale?
Ratio of Prices of Each Per Unit of Physical Property
In Table 2 below I have presented the current prices (USD/oz as of September 26, 2022) of these metals and the corresponding ratios of prices-per-unit-of-physical-property from Table 1.
|Sept. 26, 2022 Price (USD/ozt)||$1632||$18.60||$853||$0.21|
|RATIO||PRICE DIVIDED BY PHYSICAL PROPERTY IN FIGURE 1|
**[Editor’s Note: Higher mathematics is not my forte so I was not able to do the required calculations.]
As can be clearly seen from Table 2, if you want to get decent bang for your electrical buck – or any other buck for that matter – copper stands out as being the best value-for-money. Of course, everyone already knows this.
What useful information is…[ to be had] from the above figures in Tables 1 and 2?…
Despite silver’s better electrical and thermal conductivity and similar Young’s Modulus to gold, its price ratio in these three physical properties makes it appear to be extremely cheaper than gold. As such, one may conclude that currently silver is a much better investment than gold.
What about platinum and its unusually low price relative to gold today? Historically platinum has traded at a premium to gold. While today you will get a better bang for your buck if you use gold for electrical and thermal conductivity applications rather than platinum, copper trumps both of these metals in that regard so the price difference between gold and platinum must be coming from a different use of the metals.
…Clearly a coin or bar made from platinum will be a better store of value – at current prices – than gold. Why? Simply because platinum:
- is harder (won’t scratch),
- less reactive (won’t tarnish) and
- occupies a smaller volume (easier to store) than gold.
- central banks simply can’t get enough platinum bullion (due to its rarity in the earth) to make it worth their while to replace their gold bullion or perhaps that
- platinum has been unable to (in its short existence) shake off gold as the true form of money.
Whatever the case may be for you, I believe that an analysis of precious metals from a physical property perspective not only raises interesting questions but may also yield some valuable insights….”
(*The author’s views and conclusions are unaltered and no personal comments have been included to maintain the integrity of the original article. Furthermore, the views, conclusions and any recommendations offered in this article are not to be construed as an endorsement of such by the editor.)
Scroll to very bottom of page & add your comments on this article. We want to share what you have to say!
1. Are You a Gold Guru? Take This Quiz & Find Out
You know it’s shiny, it’s rare and it’s the standard against which all good things are measured but how much do you really know about gold? Take the 2.0 edition of our interactive quiz to test your knowledge of gold history, geography and politics….
2. Where in the World Does All the Gold Come From? Look at This Infographic
Gold-producing countries are found on nearly all continents, and represent the gamut of economies from developed super-powers to small, emerging market countries. With gold’s spectacular rise in price and related demand, it’s worth your time to know a little bit about where all the gold comes from.
3. This Infographic on Gold Shows/Tells It All
The Gold Tree Infographic below visualizes above-ground stock, sources and uses of gold and pictures the different forms of gold investments – ranging from physical gold in the form of bullion gold to securities not backed by gold.
4. Vaulted Gold: What Is It and How Does It Compare With Other Gold Investments?
The infographic below on vaulted gold explains what vaulted gold is and visualizes key facts relating to investments in gold that is stored on behalf of investors in high-security vaults.
5. Take a Look: This Interactive Infographic Shows Gold’s Ongoing Interaction With World Events
As long as there have been people, there’s been an attraction to gold. From pharaohs to hedge funds, gold has been an important tool of building and protecting wealth. Take a look at the interactive gold timeline below which carries you through gold’s enduring path as a universal symbol of wealth.