Precious Metals

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Precious Metals'

A classification of metals that are considered to be rare and/or have a high economic value. The higher relative values of these metals are driven by various factors including their rarity, uses in industrial processes and use as an investment commodity.

Precious metals include, but are not limited to: gold, silver, platinum, iridium, rhodium and palladium.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Precious Metals'

Investing in precious metals can be done either by purchasing the physical asset, or by purchasing futures contracts for the particular metal. Another way to gain investment exposure to precious metals is to purchase shares in publicly traded companies that deal in the exploration or production of precious metals, such as a gold mining company.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Base Metals

    Metals that oxidize, tarnish or corrode relatively easily when ...
  2. Palladium

    A metal used in many types of manufacturing processes and is ...
  3. Iridium

    One of the transition metals on the periodic table. Iridium appears ...
  4. Ingot

    A material that has been cast into a shape in order to be transported ...
  5. Fool's Gold

    Also known as iron pyrite, fool's gold is a gold-colored mineral ...
  6. Futures Contract

    A contractual agreement, generally made on the trading floor ...
Related Articles
  1. Economics

    What Is Wrong With Gold?

    Despite its historic and symbolic appeal, this metal is simply a commodity. Here we explore its meaning as an investment.
  2. Investing Basics

    Precious Metals Funds: A Golden Opportunity?

    Used intelligently, precious metals can help an investor obtain decent returns in a terrible market.
  3. Investing Basics

    A Beginner's Guide To Mining Stocks

    Here's a look at mining stocks and what they can bring to your portfolio.
  4. Options & Futures

    A Beginner's Guide To Precious Metals

    All that glitters isn't gold. Find out how to get started on your treasure hunt.
  5. Budgeting

    The Gold Standard Revisited

    Think the value of gold is unshakable? Read this chronicle of its rise and fall.
  6. Options & Futures

    Trading Gold And Silver Futures Contracts

    If you are a hedger or a speculator, gold and silver futures contracts offer a world of profit-making opportunities.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Investing In The Metals Markets

    Learn the many options available for investing in the earth's chemical elements, such as gold, silver and rare-earth metals.
  8. Investing

    Understanding Rare Earth Metals

    Rare earth metals are quickly becoming a sought-after global commodity. Find out what they are and how you can invest.
  9. Fundamental Analysis

    Using Base Metals As An Economic Indicator

    Base metals may not glitter like gold, but they can still guide an investor to a conclusion about overall economic health.
  10. Investing

    Using Technical Analysis In The Gold Markets

    The quest for this shiny commodity has made millionaires of paupers and, on the flip side, ruined many an investor.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Commercial Paper

    An unsecured, short-term debt instrument issued by a corporation, typically for the financing of accounts receivable, inventories ...
  2. Federal Funds Rate

    The interest rate at which a depository institution lends funds maintained at the Federal Reserve to another depository institution ...
  3. Fixed Asset

    A long-term tangible piece of property that a firm owns and uses in the production of its income and is not expected to be ...
  4. Break-Even Analysis

    An analysis to determine the point at which revenue received equals the costs associated with receiving the revenue. Break-even ...
  5. Key Performance Indicators - KPI

    A set of quantifiable measures that a company or industry uses to gauge or compare performance in terms of meeting their ...
  6. Bank Guarantee

    A guarantee from a lending institution ensuring that the liabilities of a debtor will be met. In other words, if the debtor ...
Trading Center