Rhodium is now being offered as a precious metals investment option. Baird & Co. and PAMP Suisse are packaging and offering the metal in 1-ounce .9999 fine bullion bars.
Baird & Co. also offers rhodium in half-ounce, quarter-ounce and tenth-ounce bars.
One of the platinum group metals, which also comprise platinum, palladium, ruthenium, iridium, and osmium, rhodium is an extremely rare element with anti-corrosion properties similar to platinum and palladium, and is used in catalyst applications with palladium and platinum to reduce auto emissions.
Rhodium hit its peak in 2007 when it reached $10,000 an ounce in U.S. dollars after starting out at $500 an ounce late in 2006. Rhodium is currently trading in the range of of $2,425 an ounce. In contrast, platinum is trading at $780+ per ounce, palladium at $1,403, and gold at $1,312.
The annual rhodium production globally is 1 million troy ounces, with 80 percent of that total coming from South Africa and 12 percent from Russia.
Nearly 80 percent of the annual rhodium output is employed in the manufacture of automobile catalytic converters.
Rhodium bullion demand is currently a fraction of a percent of the overall demand for the metal.
Depending on the distributor, the 1-ounce PAMP Suisse Lady Fortuna bars may retail for $2,650, the Baird & Co. bars for $2,635, 5-ounce Baird & Co. bars for $13,100, and a 1-ounce Tuvalu South Sea Dragon 1-ounce rhodium coin for $2,750.