Precious metals are defined as those metallic chemical elements considered of high value compared to other metallic chemical elements by virtue of their comparative rarity. Examples include gold, platinum, silver and palladium among others. They are also chemically less reactive and have a higher luster. They tend to be softer metals yet have higher melting points.
Precious metals, such as gold and silver, has been historically used mainly for currency, but these days precious metal investing is much more prevalent. In fact gold, silver, platinum and palladium, each have their own ISO 4217 currency code (ISO 4217 is the international standard describing three letter codes, also known as the currency code, to define the names of currencies established by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
So the demand for precious metals is driven not just by their industrial, practical or decorative use but also by their investment potential and the stability of stored value. Some of the advantages, people see, of buying and selling precious metals include them holding their value even in times of economic uncertainty, as well as they also do not deteriorate and are relatively easy to store and transport
Precious metal prices vary of course and this is dependent on a number of factors including, the demand both industrial and commercial, the possibility of manipulation and the discovery of new sources of the metal affecting its supply and perhaps even rarity.
You can buy and even sell, precious metals in a number of ways.
Actual metal such as gold, silver, palladium in the form of coins and bars. Investments in the form of precious metal funds such as EFTs, certificates and direct investment in stocks or shares of metal producers and processors. Also just trading in precious metals on a daily or regular basis.
How you do so will depend upon your circumstances and your needs and wants in this area.
It is an excellent idea to 'know before you go'. This means deciding what you want in terms of precious metals. Do you just want to be a collector? Or are you interesting in preserving your assets or just making money trading precious metals on a daily or even hourly basis? Your purpose, when dealing with precious metals, needs to be clearly defined.
Then you will find it easy to decide what you want to do in the precious metals market.
You would then need to find for yourself a reliable and secure precious metals dealer. This could be a dealer who sells precious metals in the form of bullion or jewelry, or a market dealer who specializes in investment vehicles such as precious metal funds or EFTs for example. The usual rules of due diligence would apply here. Who is the dealer? Are they a member of the better business bureau in the country in which they are situate, etc.
In short, you will need to make a serious study of the area you want to participate in and understand how that area works and how it can help you achieve your goals with these rare metallic elements. Doing that will go a long way to you satisfying your desire with regard to precious metals.