A precious metal is a rare, naturally occurring metallic chemical element of high economic value. Chemically, the precious metals are less reactive than most elements, have high luster, are softer or more ductile, and have higher melting points than other metals. Historically, precious metals were important as currency but are now regarded mainly as investment and industrial commodities. Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium each have an ISO 4217 currency code.
The best-known precious metals are the coinage metals gold and silver. While both have industrial uses, they are better known for their uses in art, jewelry and coinage.
The demand for precious metals is driven not only by their practical use but also by their role as investments and a store of value. Historically, precious metals have commanded much higher prices than common industrial metals.
Gold and silver, and sometimes other precious metals, are often seen as hedges against both inflation and economic downturn. Silver coins have become popular with collectors due to their relative affordability, and, unlike most gold and platinum issues which are valued based upon the markets, silver issues are more often valued as collectables, far higher than their actual bullion value.
PLEASE NOTE: As a client of Horizon Trust, Inc., or any other self-directed custodian, it is completely your responsibility to investigate each and every investment that you make. Horizon Trust cannot and does not provide any protection from a poor or improper investment. Make sure you know what you are investing in, with whom you are investing, and what investments may constitute a violation of IRS code with regard to Individual Retirement Accounts.