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Platinum and Gold: When Metals Collide

Although platinum is 30 times rarer than gold, the two metals’ prices collided throughout the day and finally closed with gold at $822 per ounce and platinum at $823! Today’s $1 spread was nothing short of historical for precious metals; the last time platinum and gold met at such close quarters  was 1996!

Platinum has plummeted 65% for the year; gold has dropped 21%–making platinum next year’s bargain.

Metals had already seen a decline due to decreased consumer demand as a result of the economic downturn.  Adding to the ailment, platinum prices dropped further after the U.S. senate rejected a “bail out” for automakers today–deepening platinum’s fall from grace because of decreased demand for platinum in automobiles who use platinum for catalytic converters.

(Bloomberg) — According to London based metals refiner, John Matthey Plc, automakers make up about half of the world’s platinum and palladium demand. In 2006, North American automakers used 905,000 ounces of platinum.

According to Derek Engelbrecht of Impala Platinum Holdings, “the agony will continue in 2010”, if platinum miners in South Africa, who account for almost 80% of the world’s platinum supply, do not cut production. Without it platinum will, at best, stay at equilibrium or continue to decline.

2009-2010 will be the year of platinum jewelry as a direct result of decreased platinum jewelry prices. Perhaps now is the time to trade in your gold coins and buy that high-end platinum and 18k gold wedding band!

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