Sixty times rarer than gold and softer than silver, platinum is a metal used sparingly in coins throughout the world. The Russians were the first to strike coins from platinum, according to popular sources. They issued the 3-ruble coin from 1828 through 1845. Some collectors also mention a platinum coin from Spain, dating around 1866, although official records are a bit sketchy. It is believed that no other countries issued a platinum coin until the 1970s, when platinum coins were issued by Israel, Russia and Panama.
Today, there are a range of platinum coins you should consider adding to your collection. Because most of the platinum coins are from contemporary minting, they're offered more as a source of investment than for collecting as antiques.
A sampling of available platinum coins is listed below:
American Eagle Platinum Bullion Coin - This $100 coin is made from one ounce of .9995-pure platinum. It has the distinction of having the highest face value of any coin in the United States. It was first struck in 1997, and is still legal tender today. Also available in 1/10 ounce coins, it is the official platinum bullion coin of the United States.
Canadian Maple Leaf - Introduced in 1988, the same year as the Silver Maple Leaf, this coin is 99.95% pure platinum. Struck by the Royal Canadian Mint.
Platinum Panda - First struck in 1987 in China, this coin is made of one ounce of .9995-pure platinum. It's somewhat rare, and also comes in 1/2, 1/4, 1/10, and 1/20 ounce coins.
Isle of Man Noble - Originated in 1983, these coins range from 1/10 of an ounce all the way up to ten ounces. The last one-ounce coin was minted in 1997.
Some of the online dealers offering platinum coins include:
Monex Deposit Company Founded in 1967, Monex was originally known as the Pacific Coast Coin Exchange. They offer a wide range of coins in gold, silver and platinum. Platinum varieties include maple leafs, American Eagles, and bullion bars.
Goldline International Inc. Offering the platinum American Eagle, this firm has been trading in precious metals since 1960.
Northwest Territorial Mint (NTW) A private mint, they are authorized dealers of the US Mint and offer customized minting as well as retain coin trading.
Swiss America Trading Company Offering private investors the opportunity to purchase precious metal coins, they also provide a link to other coin collecting resources.