Posted on June 23, 2022
Platinum coins may not be as mainstream as gold and silver coins, but that doesn’t mean they’re any less valuable as investments in your precious metals portfolio. As a lesser-known option in bullion investing, there are certain things you’ll want to be aware of before buying platinum coins. This article breaks down everything you need to know about platinum coins to help you decide which is best to buy.
Platinum bullion coins are an excellent choice because platinum is in demand for both jewelry and manufacturing/industrial applications. In addition, because government mints make platinum coins, they always maintain high standards of quality and have a face value guaranteed by the government of the issuing country. Platinum is generally less expensive than gold per ounce but far more valuable than silver, putting an ounce of platinum within the budget of many who can’t afford an ounce of gold. Platinum is also more durable than both gold and silver.
In terms of form, platinum coins have one significant advantage. Compared to platinum bars, platinum coins are more instantly-recognizable and generally easier to sell if you ever need to liquidate them. Finally, there’s the possibility of aftermarket appreciation based on the year of mintage, design, and other factors that might increase collector demand even for bullion-grade platinum coins.
You should consider several factors when choosing which platinum coins to buy.
Only official government mints make platinum coins, but certain mints are more highly regarded than others. Aim to buy platinum coins produced by the most reputable mints, like the U.S. Mint, Royal Canadian Mint, Perth Mint, and Royal Mint (UK). These four sovereign mints are all globally-recognized as leaders in the field.
Platinum coins come in different sizes (measured by weight). As with other precious metals, 1 troy oz is the “standard,” most common weight for platinum coins. They can also be found in “fractional” 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz weights. In some cases, you may find smaller fractional sizes like 1/15 oz, 1/20 oz or even 1 gram platinum coins, but these are relatively unusual.
Choosing the right size for you comes down to whether you prefer different weights for bartering or selling, or if your goal is to get the lowest price per ounce.
In general, a heavier platinum coin will have a lower markup over platinum’s spot price than a lighter-weight coin. For example, a 1/10 oz platinum coin may cost 50% over the spot price, and a 1 oz version might command only a 15% premium (note: these percentages are approximations for example purposes only).
This difference is because it takes about the same amount of labor and overhead to produce a platinum coin regardless of its weight.
Platinum coins can come in varying degrees of purity. Many platinum coins are 0.9995 fineness, which is considered a high purity level.
While on the topic of fineness, if you intend on investing your platinum coins in a self-directed IRA, only platinum coins consisting of 99.95% (0.9995 fine) platinum produced by a sovereign mint are IRA eligible, per IRS guidelines.
You can’t buy a platinum coin that isn’t available – and they’re typically produced in much smaller mintages than gold or silver coins. Before buying platinum coins, make sure that the coins you’re thinking about buying are in stock and available for you to purchase.
Here are the most popular platinum coins among precious metals-savvy BullionMax shoppers.
Today, platinum American eagles only come in a 1 oz size. These coins carry a face value of $100 and consist of 0.9995 fine platinum. The design of the platinum bullion American eagle features Lady Liberty’s face as depicted in the Statue of Liberty and the flying eagle with an olive branch on the reverse. Historically, platinum American eagles were minted in the standard fractional weights of 1/2, 1/4, and 1/10 oz.
The platinum Canadian maple leaf coin – like the platinum American eagle – has a fineness of 0.9995. The platinum maple leaf was first released in 1988 when it came in multiple denominations. Since 2009, the platinum maple leaf has only been minted as a 1 oz coin. The platinum Canadian maple leaf design includes Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse and a single Canadian maple leaf on the reverse.
The Royal Mint (UK) Queen’s beasts coins are 1 oz coins with a face value of £100. These coins feature the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse; on the reverse, these coins bear various images depending on the year. Examples include the white lion, bull, dragon, griffin, and white horse platinum coins.
Platinum Australian kangaroos are available exclusively in a 1 oz size consisting of 0.9995 fine platinum. With a face value of $100, these coins have a striking design that’s micro-laser engraved for authentication. On the obverse, Queen Elizabeth II’s effigy is pictured, while the reverse shows the classic jumping red kangaroo, as depicted by Stuart Devlin.
Platinum Chinese pandas are 30 g (just under 1 troy oz) coins featuring a design that changes by the year. These coins are minted in limited quantities of 10,000 and are made of 99.9% platinum. The obverse of the Chinese pandas shows the image of Beijing’s Temple of Heaven, while the 2022 reverse of the coin has a pair of playful panda cubs frolicking in the snow. Chinese pandas have a face value of 1,000 yuan.
You can buy platinum coins in person from coin shops, pawnshops, or at coin shows. However, nowadays, most people prefer to buy platinum coins online from trusted online bullion dealers. For those looking for rare products and who can tolerate a higher level of risk, eBay and other online auction sites may be a viable option (but also pose a risk of encountering fraudulent third-party sellers).
Other considerations you should take into account when buying platinum coins include:
You should always insure your platinum coins to make sure you’re protected against the unexpected. Insurance coverage should be maintained on platinum coins for the duration of the time you own them, including when they’re in transit. If you’re storing your precious metals at home, you may be able to insure them under an umbrella policy, but check with your insurance agent for their recommendation.
Make sure you have a safe place for secure storage of your platinum coins, whether by your bedside in a home safe, at a bank vault or safe deposit box or with a precious metals depository.
You’ll have to make a key decision whether you want to store your platinum coins in an IRA or elsewhere. If you opt to invest your platinum coins in a tax-deferred SDIRA, familiarize yourself with IRS guidelines on bullion coins, including storing them with a bank or approved non-bank trustee (note: storing platinum coins invested in an IRA at home is prohibited).
When you’re ready to take the next step, visit BullionMax to browse our curated selection of platinum coins and choose which platinum coins are best for you.