UK Accounting Glossary
Precious metals are those scarce metallic elements with enough economic significance to support an organized financial market. The most commonly mentioned precious metals are gold and silver. Platinum and palladium are also major precious metals. Less well-known precious metals include rhodium, iridium, ruthenium, osmium, and rhenium. Precious metals markets generally have at least a spot market. For anyone of the precious metals, if the market has enough depth, there may also be futures and options contracts. Each of the precious metals has its own unique set of applications and therefore associated market fundamentals. With the exception of silver, over 50% of the annual production of each of the precious metals comes from deposits in Russia and South Africa. Out of all the precious metals, gold is a special case, being linked closely to money at various times, such as during the gold standard.
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This glossary post was last updated: 6th February 2020.