OSMIUM, an investment metal with great potential
- March 30, 2022
OSMIUM is a metal that has recently been introduced to the investment metal market. According to Virginie GRONDIN, the director of the OSMIUM Institute FRANCE, this metal is the eighth precious metal. It joins gold, silver, rodhium and irridium.
OSMIUM comes from the transformation of platinum. The process to obtain OSMIUM consists of 160 different operations. At the end of the transformation process, the metal is obtained in a crystalline form. In its raw state, OSMIUM is indeed a poison for human beings.
This metal was discovered in the 19th century, but its commercial exploitation could only be initiated in 2013, when the crystallization process was perfected.
OSMIUM is produced in a laboratory in Switzerland and is then marketed by the OSMIUM Institute and its international network of 30 partner operators, including France. This network has a monopoly on the marketing of OSMIUM.
The total stock of OSMIUM available in the earth’s crust is estimated at 22,000 kilos. To date, 1,000 kilos have been extracted. A small part of this metal has been used for research and the rest has been crystallized. This crystallized OSMIUM is used in jewelry (3% of the production) and as investment metal (97% of the production).
Watch from the brand HUBLOT in crystallized OSMIUM
Jewelry items made of crystallized OSMIUM
Virginie GRONDIN estimates that the total annual turnover from OSMIUM sales is around 10 million euros per year. Of this amount, 8 million are realized in Germany and Austria.
In France, the market is in a development phase with a turnover of 350 000€ in 2021.
OSMIUM as an investment product is mainly bought by professional investors such as banks or asset managers. However, the interest of private individuals for this investment product seems to be growing.
For the moment no coin has been struck in OSMIUM. However, although very dense, it can be machined and could be used in numismatics.
It is currently marketed as a blank. Each blank is individualized with a QR code and an identification number.
OSMIUM has several advantages:
- Considering its price (about 1 800€ per gram), it concentrates a high value in a rather low weight. One gram of OSMIUM takes 32 times more than one gram of gold.
- It is a stable metal. It does not corrode.
- It is dense and therefore not easily deformed.
- It is not the support of derivative products (unlike gold). Its market price is therefore not affected by the issue of “paper OSIMUM” by specialized financial institutions.
- The particular crystalline structure of each OSMIUM blank makes it an individualized product. The OSMIUM Institute has a database where each commercialized blank is listed.
In short, all these considerations suggest that OSMIUM has a bright future in the bullion market and perhaps one day in the numismatic market.
Virginie GRONDIN, Director of the OSMIUM Institute France
Sources: OSMIUM Institute France and NUMISMAG.