Precious metals are those with intrinsic value, including gold, silver, platinum and palladium. Precious metals are rare, lustrous, do not oxidize or corrode, and are softer than base metals.
A metal is precious if it is highly valued or rare. Gold, silver, platinum and palladium, which have long histories as coinage, clearly fit the description. Nickel and copper, while valued and used in coinage and in production, are comparatively common and belong to the base metals.
Precious metals are traded physically or via futures and options contracts, mining company stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or other financial instrument.
- ↑ Precious Metals. The Free Dictionary.