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How to buy platinum online in the UK

Platinum lacks the glamour of gold and silver, but if you’re looking for a precious metal to invest in, it certainly holds its own. Platinum’s value owes a lot to its scarcity and persistent uncertainty over its future supply.  Consequently, it’s in high demand as both an investment asset and an industrial material. 

Curious?  Read on to explore the ins and outs of platinum investment. Or, if you’re ready to buy platinum online, check out the links below.

Compare the best platinum brokers

Platinum has traditionally traded at a large premium to gold, so it’s a strong investment candidate when its prices are depressed. To buy physical platinum, research the best platinum dealers for your specific goals and needs. We’ve reviewed the top online dealers of platinum coins and platinum bars.

Trade platinum online, right now

Trading platinum could be an attractive alternative to a buy-and-hold strategy. It might be preferable for traders with larger budgets, though, given that transaction costs can add up if you’re a frequent trader. You’ll find reviews of the best online platinum brokers on this page.

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How to buy platinum online in 6 simple steps

When buying platinum online, you should devise and follow a well thought out plan. Here are six steps you should take when making a purchase.

  1. Choose your broker or seller. Platinum brokers and sellers should offer physical platinum in many different forms and sizes. Make sure you also choose a broker or seller that charges reasonable transaction fees. If you don’t want to store platinum in your own home, you’ll want to find a seller that stores platinum bars and platinum coins for you, alternatively you can look into buying platinum stocks. 
  2. Choose your platinum type. Platinum bullion can be made into platinum bars and platinum coins. Bars come in many different sizes. One ounce is the most popular weight. Coins are also often sold in one-ounce weights. They come in many different varieties and are produced in mints around the world. 
  3. Select your storage preference. If you want to outsource your platinum storage, a bank or your broker/seller can store it for you. If you prefer to handle storage yourself, you can opt to have the platinum delivered to you, then pay for your own platinum storage and insurance. Platinum storage fees can be as low as £10 per month, though they often cost more. That’s especially true if the dollar value of the platinum coins and bars you’re storing is substantial (over £100,000, let’s say). 
  4. Lock-in the price and confirm. Platinum prices, like the prices of other precious metals, can and do fluctuate. That means you’ll need to lock in your buy price before making an actual purchase of platinum. You will likely have to pay a slight premium above platinum’s spot price on the day you make your purchase.
  5. Select a payment method. Bank transfers, debit cards, and credit cards have long been accepted methods of payment for platinum bars and platinum coins. Some sellers also accept PayPal. More recently, some of the most forward-thinking sellers have started accepting cryptocurrency as a payment method. Whichever platinum seller you choose, make sure it accepts your preferred payment method.
  6. Buy platinum. With all your due diligence done, you’re now ready to jump in. Click Buy Platinum and you’ll own the platinum bars or coins you want. 

Types of platinum you can buy

You can buy platinum in several different forms. Here are the most common examples:

Bars (bullion)

When buying platinum bars, take note of the following factors:

  • Pros: Buying platinum bars is the least expensive way to invest in platinum on a per-ounce basis. Platinum bars also take up the least storage room of any form on platinum. Platinum bars retain long-term value, making them a useful hedging tool against economic downturns and stock market crashes. 
  • Cons: If you store platinum bars in your own home, you run the risk of theft. Larger platinum bars can be harder to sell than one-ounce platinum bars, due to their elevated price. Because they’re susceptible to counterfeiting attempts, you’ll probably need to conduct an official assay before selling bigger bars.

Coins & collector coins

Platinum coins are minted in numerous different countries, and come in many different designs. Here are a few things to consider before buying Platinum:

  • Pros: Platinum coins are easy to store, portable, and can be sold anywhere in the world. Platinum coins are impossible to hack, something that can’t be said of digital assets. They’re a great hedge against stock market volatility, and often perform best during bear markets for stocks.
  • Cons: Platinum coins are more expensive than bars to produce and to buy on a per-ounce basis, due to production costs and markups resulting from their various designs. Platinum coins are light and portable, which makes them more vulnerable to theft than larger bars. 

Contracts

A platinum futures contract is an agreement between a buyer and a seller. The buyer agrees to buy platinum from the seller at a given price, on a specific future date.

  • Pros: When buying a platinum contract, you are only required to fork out a fraction of the cost up front, with the rest due on the trade’s closing date. Platinum futures save you the hassle of arranging storage.
  • Cons: The platinum futures market is often volatile, making significant losses a distinct possibility. You’ll likely have to pay a bit more than the spot price of platinum when making your purchase.

Where to buy and store platinum – physical vs digital

There are multiple methods you can use to buy, sell and store platinum.

Physical – online storage

Many online platinum sellers also offer storage services. But you need to do some calculations first. If your total platinum investing budget is, say, £1,000, a significant chunk of that amount (at least £100 per year) will be spent paying the seller to store the platinum for you. 

Physical – home delivery

You can opt for home delivery of platinum and install a vault for storage in your home, meaning you don’t have to pay storage fees to a third party. That said, the risk of theft goes up if you store platinum in your home. You’ll also need to buy insurance to protect your investment, adding to the total cost.

Physical – highstreet brokers

If you want to get someone else to store your platinum but prefer face-to-face interaction over online transactions, go to your local high street broker and explain your storage needs. High street brokers will process your purchase and store your platinum for you. This approach eliminates the security risk that comes with stashing platinum in your home. 

Platinum stocks

If you don’t want to invest directly in physical platinum, you can instead invest in publicly traded platinum stocks. There’s significant upside here: If you buy the right platinum mining stock right before that company makes a big discovery, you could make a much bigger gain than you would by buying platinum bars or platinum coins. Just know that a spike in platinum prices doesn’t guarantee the same spike in platinum mining stock prices. 

Platinum mutual funds and ETFs

Buying a platinum mutual fund or platinum exchange-traded fund enables you to have a stake in a multitude of platinum mining stocks at once. This can cancel out a lot of the risk you’d take on by only investing in one one or two platinum stocks. The downside? Owning a wide assortment of platinum mining stocks might result in lesser gains than simply investing in physical platinum.

ETC – platinum contract

An exchange-traded commodity (ETC) is traded like shares of a stock. If you buy an ETC platinum contract, its price will fluctuate in value based on the price changes in platinum. While a platinum ETF invests directly in physical platinum (or in futures contracts for platinum), an ETC is a debt note backed by an underwriter.

Banks

Banks offer one of the least complicated methods to buy, sell, and store platinum – you can simply use a bank’s vault to take care of storage. Just note that some banks might charge more to sell you platinum than an online broker is likely to. You’ll need to check with your local banks.

Read our educational guides and courses to learn more about various investment and storage methods. If you’re ready to invest, click on the links above.

How to sell your platinum

When selling platinum, consider the following factors:

  1. Is the platinum seller/dealer reputable? To gauge a platinum seller’s reputation, check out its online reviews, media coverage and look out for any awards it may have won.
  2. Is the platinum seller/dealer’s commission competitive? A typical fee to purchase platinum is around 0.5%. That fee can go up a bit if you want to place a limit order instead of a market order. If it’s much higher than that, shop elsewhere.
  3. Where is the demand coming from? Platinum has multiple practical uses that extend beyond its value as a collector’s item. The chemicals industry uses it as a catalyst for the production of nitric acid, benzene, and silicone. It’s also used as a catalyst to improve the efficiency of fuel cells. These additional factors have the potential to further enhance platinum’s value.
  4. What’s your timeframe for selling? Is your goal to make a quick profit? Or do you want to hold onto your platinum bars and platinum coins well into the future? Whatever your objective, it pays to have a plan. And stick to it.
  5. What is the current price of physical platinum? If it’s near an all-time high, you’ll need to decide if you think it’s overextended and due for a pullback, or ready to blast off. If it’s well short of  its recent high it could bounce back…or keep falling.
  6. What is your hedging strategy? Like gold and silver, platinum can be used as a hedge against bear markets for stocks. If the price of platinum rises during that bear market, you can either sell high or just hold your platinum for years to come, regardless of how stocks behave.

Our top tips for investing in platinum

Here’s a quick tip sheet to check out before you start investing in platinum:

  1. Select the type of platinum you want. Platinum is typically priced per ounce, making one-ounce platinum bars and platinum coins a popular choice. Larger platinum bars and platinum coins can also be purchased.
  2. Have a sound plan for when you want to sell. Trading platinum to land a quick gain can work out well. Buying and holding platinum can work out well. But whatever you do, know your investment goals before you invest. 
  3. Select your storage options & location. Outsourcing the hassle and worry of storing platinum could be worth it for many people. You can also opt to find a secure storage space in your home, buy insurance, then store the platinum yourself.
  4. Assess the quality of the platinum. The typical standard for platinum purity is 95%. To denote that number, a high-content platinum alloy will be marked as 950Pt, 950, plat, or simply platinum.  
  5. Keep an eye on supply. Platinum is mined in numerous countries, including the USA, Canada, Russia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Australia. Those multiple sources make it a little less susceptible to supply crunches than some other metals can be. That said, labour disputes and other disruptions can, in some cases, affect supply and thus the price of platinum. 
  6. Know how much you’re paying in premiums and commissions. Different platinum brokers offer different commission structures. If you’re buying platinum futures, check how much of a premium the seller charges on top of the platinum spot price. 
  7. Don’t let emotions cloud your judgement. Fear and greed should never dictate how and when you buy and sell platinum. 

Try some of our investment courses for beginners

Still not ready to invest in platinum? That’s OK. You can learn how to buy, sell, and store platinum with our easy-to-understand educational courses and become a better platinum investor or trader.

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By Harry Atkins
Harry joined us in 2019 to lead our Editorial Team. Drawing on more than a decade writing, editing and managing high-profile content for blue chip companies, Harry’s considerable experience in the finance sector encompasses work for high street and investment banks, insurance companies and trading platforms.
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