Platinum was first discovered by Spanish explorers in the 18th century in South America, but they didn’t see much value in it at the time. It was often considered a nuisance by miners because it interfered with their gold mining operations. As a result, platinum was not commonly used in coinage. Platinum bullion coins have a relatively short but interesting history compared to other precious metals like gold and silver. The first platinum bullion coins were introduced in the latter half of the 20th century.
In 2020, the South African Mint and Rand Refinery introduced the Big Five Series platinum bullion coins. The platinum offering built on the popularity of the gold and silver coins in the series. The Big Five Series is so-called because of the animals featured in the obverse and reverse designs. Historically, the lure of big game hunting on the African continent was based on the desire to try and capture the continent’s most dangerous creatures. The Big Five consists of the African bush elephant, the African lion, the Leopard, the Rhino, and the Water Buffalo.
One of the world’s longest-running collections of wildlife-themed coinage, the Rwandan Wildlife Series debuted in 2008 with a depiction of the Silverback gorilla. Among the creatures from the African continent to feature in this collection are the African bush elephant, Lion, Zebra, Cheetah, Hippo, Giraffe, and the Nile Crocodile.
Historically, the Chinese Panda Series has been limited to gold and silver coins. The program debuted in 1982 with gold coins and expanded to silver in 1983, with the silver program becoming a BU series in 1989. In 2022, the Chinese Mint honored the 40th anniversary of the Chinese Panda with the introduction of a 1 oz platinum coin showcasing a 40th-anniversary privy mark.
The Isle of Man Noble series of platinum coins was first introduced in 1983 by the Isle of Man government. The Isle of Man is a self-governing British Crown Dependency located in the Irish Sea. The series was introduced as a way to market platinum coins to collectors and investors. The design of the Isle of Man Noble platinum coins has remained relatively consistent over the years. The obverse typically features a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, as is common on coins from British Crown Dependencies. The reverse side of the coin features an image of a Viking longship, which is a historical nod to the island’s Norse heritage.
In 2010, the modern East India Company and the Issuing Authority of St. Helena renewed a coining collaboration that dates back to the 18th century. Modern bullion coins from the East India Company are issued with unique designs backed by the Issuing Authority of St. Helena. Many of the coin collections from St. Helena feature 1 oz and 1/10 oz platinum options that come with limited mintages.
As of 2023, St. Helena coins now feature the effigy of King Charles III. This new design is created by Glyn Davies. St. Helena coins prior to 2023 will feature the image of Queen Elizabeth II.
In addition to platinum bullion coins, private mints from around the globe refine platinum for use in minted ingots and cast bars. Among the offering of platinum bullion bars, you’ll find options from some of the most well-known brands in the world: PAMP Suisse, Valcambi Suisse, Argor-Heraeus, and Credit Suisse.
If you have any questions about platinum bullion, please feel free to ask. Provident Metals’ customer service is available to you at 800-313-3315, online using our web chat, and via our email address.