The precious metal Gold was first smelted in the stone age. Today, only a tenth of Gold consumption comes from industry. The remainder is divided mainly into jewellery and investment. The price stability behind gold and its use in consumer good production, makes it a metal for the future.
The precious metal Silver has been known since ancient times. It has significant electrical and thermal conductivity, along with other key properties. Current demand is concentrated around manufacturing. Due to the proliferation of renewables energy and electric cars in particular, Silver is a metal for the future.
The precious metal Palladium has a wide range of applications independently, as well as in alloys. 75% of global output is currently used in exhaust gas treatment systems in motor vehicles, commonly known as catalytic converters. It is also used industrial catalysts, medicine, electronics and as an investment tool. Future demand will continue to rise as emissions standards are tightened globally, as well as from the nascent Hydrogen Fuel Cell industry.
The precious metal platinum is an inert chemical, which can also be used as an active catalyst for many chemical reactions. Around half of platinum's output is used in catalytic converters in diesel engines. The development of Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology means platinum will be the metal of the future green economy.
The noble metal Copper is one of the first metals that man learnt to smelt. It has strong thermal and electrical conductivity properties and is flexible, making it indispensable in Electrical Engineering. Infrastructure spending in developing countries and surge in demand from the industrial sector makes Copper a metal for the future.
The transition metal Nickel is an inherent component of numerous alloys and coatings. Nickel is considered to be corrosion-resistant, durable and ferromagnetic. It is widely used in construction, engineering and electronics. Demand for Nickel will remain high in the future as a result of low environmental measures and the need for efficiency and precision, especially given its use in the manufacture of batteries for Electric Vehicles.
The history, properties and investment case behind the precious metal Gold. The earliest records of Gold stretch all the way back to 6000BC, and by the 16th Century gold mining intensified. Now in the 20th century, Gold is equalising the cash balance due to its uses in investment, jewellery and industry.
The history, properties and investment case behind the noble metal Copper. Examples of copper date back to 10,000 BC where it was used in weaponry, tools and jewellery. The discovery of the copper and tin alloy, called bronze, allowed for significant development of human civilisation and is still widely used today in production and manufacturing.