Rhodium is the most underestimated precious metal. It is rare and it is hard to replicate or substitute it since it has unique properties. The mineral is part of a group of metals widely known as PGE group of elements (Platinum Group of Elements). The other precious metals belonging to this category include platinum, iridium, palladium, ruthenium, and osmium.
However, it is the scarcest metal in the PGE group. In the past few years, Rhodium was widely regarded as the world’s most valued metal with its price per ounce hitting $10,000 in 2008. The metal is 120 times scarcer than gold and 200 times rarer than silver. The primary use of the metal in the society is in catalytic motor converters since it is very resistant to corrosion. It also plays a significant role in Solar Energy storage.
The World Rhodium Market
Currently, there are no any mineral deposits globally that specifically mine Rhodium from underground. Most of the metal that is presently mined come as an excess of extracting other precious metals especially platinum. The metal is mined as a bright white neutral metal whenever platinum and nickel ores are extracted from the ground.
At least 80% of its annual production is channelled towards manufacturing catalytic converters whose primary purpose is to convert harmful exhaust fumes to less toxic and polluting substances.
It is impossible to increase or decrease its supply to correspond to the global demand since it is utterly dependent on the production of other metal ores. Most of the metal ores that extract a high quantity of Rhodium are situated in western parts of South Africa which causes the high volatility of its market prices. Its rareness also adds to the price volatility. For instance, the average annual production of gold stands at 2,400 tons while only 25 tons of Rhodium was mined.
However, for those people who are looking forward to investing in Rhodium need to understand that it does not come cheap. The stability being experienced in the motor vehicle industry has increased the demand for the metal, and its price has been on the rise.
It is not for the novice investors but is a good investment for the merchants are after a long-term hedge. You should only consider investing in it if you have attained self-sufficiency and will not be bothered by the volatility of its market prices.
Investing in Rhodium
Over the past few years, investing in Rhodium was virtually impossible since Rhodium could not be bought using EFTs, futures or related derivatives. Even the physical metal was unavailable, and only a small number of companies offered rhodium dust. Today, you can walk into your local coin store and purchase one or more 1-ounce Rhodium bars and walk away. You can also get your bars from trustworthy precious metal dealers such as Indigo Precious Metals.