Precious metals are counted among the most valuable commodities worldwide. The most well known such metals are gold,silver and the platinum group metals. A precious metal can be used as an industrial commodity or as an investment. The major areas of application include the following sectors: technology, car-making, industrial manufacturing and jewelry making. Furthermore, gold and silver are used as coinage metals, and gold reserves are held by the central banks of many countries worldwide in order to store value or for use as a redemption medium. The idea behind this procedure is that gold reserves will help secure and stabilize the countries’ respective currencies. At 8,100 tons, the United States is the country with the most extensive stock of gold. It is kept in an underground vault at the New York Federal Reserve Bank.
Russia, the United States, Canada, South Africa and China are the main producers of precious metals. Silver is the most abundant of the metals, followed by gold and palladium. Barrick Gold is the world’s largest gold mining company. The Toronto-based firm produced some five million ounces of gold in 2020. The leading silver producers include Mexico-based Fresnillo, Poland’s KGHM Polska Miedž and the mining giant Glencore. Anglo Platinum and Impala are the key mining companies to produce platinum group metals.
In 2023, Silver prices are expected to settle at around 23.5 U.S. dollars per troy ounce. It is expected to remain the precious metal with the lowest value per ounce. The price of gold is forecast to drop to around 1,663 U.S. dollars per ounce, making it the most expensive precious metal in 2023.