Can Iridium Be Traded?

October 18, 2010 | By | Reply More

Readers have recently shown  interest in trading Iridium, a Platinum Group Metal (PGM) and one of the rarest metals to be found on our planet. Annual production is around only three tons per annum (circa 100,000 troy ounces) and is primarily a by-product of nickel and copper mining.

It is four times rarer than gold and ten times rarer than Platinum.

It is an extremely hard metal, only fractionally softer than Osmium, the hardest metal of all, and is the most corrosion resistant metal known.

Although having a number a number of important commercial uses, trading is, to all intents and purposes, confined to its industrial users and there is no active futures market available.

As such Iridium cannot be considered a commodity that is actively traded by either professional and private investors or speculators.

Among Iridium uses are the production of radioisotopes, crucibles, spark plugs and electrodes where very high temperatures are the norm, also as a catalyst and a hardening alloy.

The spot price today (W/B 18th October 2010) is $690 an ounce bid, $720 an ounce offered with an average mid spot price for the last thirty days of $721.42.
Johnson Matthey sets these prices twice a day.

It is important to bear in mind that these prices are only a guide, and a very rough one at that. Big buyers are likely to negotiate a lower price where small buyers may pay up to a 200% premium.

Unlike Gold, Platinum and other widely traded metals where the physical trade is in ingots, dealers in Iridium buy and sell “sponge” which are crystals of the refined metal interspersed with tiny pockets of gas.

The average buyer may well be surprised that there is a reluctance of any producer to trade but if you are determined to own some Iridium you will eventually find a source, perhaps even on eBay.

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Category: Platinum Group Metals

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