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The Prestige of Precious Metals

For centuries, precious metals have been associated with prestige. Precious metal prestige has been wide reaching, from the queen with her golden crown, to the man with the platinum account at his bank.

Typically, a precious metal’s prestige is directly linked to its worth. Just a glance at historical precious metal prices, or even at the current London fixing will tell you that the order of prestige typically goes: silver, gold, platinum.

There are a few notable things about this concept of precious metal prestige. For example, platinum is not used very often as the most prestigious level in a series of awards. For example, there is no platinum medal at the Olympics and most achievement awards, like an Oscar or Nobel Prize, are gold colored or plated. However, this rarity of use only emphasizes the importance of the prestige of platinum. A case in point would be when a musical album reaches “platinum” status, or 1,000,000 sales compared to “gold status, which is only 500,000 sales.

Ironically, diamond (a gem) tends to trump precious metals in terms of prestige for awards. A famous example can be found, again, in the music industry: a diamond level album is one which has sold 10,000,000 copies.

Interestingly, palladium is not usually associated with any prestigious awards or achievements – which may explain why the metal is not well known. However, the J.P. Morgan Palladium Card is also not well known – mostly because it is an invitation-only credit card reserved only for the financial elite. The card itself is made of pure palladium, with the cardholder’s signature laser-etched into the surface – a prestigious presentation of credit indeed!

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