U.S. Mint Platinum Coins Bypassed in Rush for Gold

(Bloomberg) – Five months after the U.S. Mint began producing coins made with platinum, sales have all but collapsed as investors continue to favor gold and silver.

Gold and silver have been treasured by kings and merchants for millennia, and the metals are still popular today among retail investors who hold precious metals as a store of value. Platinum is even rarer and wasn’t widely known until the 18th century. Now, it’s used mostly in catalytic converters to reduce auto emissions.

“It’s not considered a currency,” said Jason Carstensen, a medical-sales representative in Ventura, California, who spends about $2,000 a month on coins. Gold and silver have value as hedges against a devaluation of the dollar, while platinum is viewed as an industrial commodity, he said.

While demand for platinum coins has been muted, investors aren’t completely shunning the metal.