Platinum Coins have been minted due to a collectors demand for this very rare metal. Platinum is principally used in catalytic converters in automobiles and other industrial uses. So, the market is literally driven up because of carbon emissions from gasoline powered automobiles. With the increase in gasoline fuel and the push toward clean energy fuel cars, it is possible to see the bottom drop out of the platinum market if there is a major breakthrough in the production of an alternative energy automobile. Until then, the only other type of metal that can be substituted for platinum is its sister metal palladium. Palladium is discussed on another page but it is also a very rare metal.Both of these metals are also used in the jewelry industry and often listed as white gold.
The first platinum coins were minted in the mid 1800ís by the Russian government but this was short lived. Russia later minted bullion coins, but again abandoned the production in short order. The main reason that the rare metal lacked investor or consumer interest was due to the fact that it possessed a grayish hue resembling a lessor value metal called nickel. People just couldn't tell the difference between the two metals, thus it became quickly unpopular. Russia is still the major mining operations of platinum and palladium with South Africa in second place.
The United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia produced platinum bullion coins due to collector demand when the price was at a much lower value. Today, the price exceeds most peoples interest in buying the coin. These types of bullion coins are:
American Platinum Eagle minted in one ounce, half ounce, one-quarter ounce, and one-tenth ounce denominations by the U.S. Mint and are currently in production;
Canadian Platinum Maple Leaf also minted in the same denominations, however, there have also been one-fifteenth and one-twentieth ounce denominations minted. The production of these coins halted in 2002, but are still available through dealers;
Isle of Mann minted the Platinum Noble in the same denomination as the American Platinum Eagle, but it is no longer being minted and not often available;
Australian Platinum Koala was also minted in the same denomination as those from the United States. They are available from dealers but not in production;
Englehard, Johnson Matthey, and Credit Suisse still produce one ounce or smaller bars available through dealers.
The United States Mint still produces and sells this bullion coin. There are times when it is not available, but it can be ordered directly from the mint when it is available.
The Platinum bars and coins made principally for industrial and testing purposes are made by American Elements, Inc. These can also be purchased at Metallium, Inc., a distributor:
American Elements, Inc.