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Tuesday, February 28, 2012


You know a lot about gold.  I report on this precious metal every weekday, and summarized everything you might want to know about it as a lead-in to my Book 2 chapter on religion.  But we know so little about platinum.

I have valued this element because it remains essential to the future of fuel cells.  Bet you didn't know that:

  -  There is so little of what is known as "Rich Man's Gold."  Roughly, industry refines 1 pound of platinum to 17 pounds of gold to more than 100 pounds of silver.

  -  All the platinum ever produced would fit in an average home, approximately a cube 20 feet on each side.  All the gold mined would fill about a third of the Washington Monument.  Still not much if think about it.

  -  Gold is heavy, but platinum is 11% denser.  Thus, imagine a cube only six inches on each side.  The weight in platinum would be that of an average man.

  -  You get one pound of platinum for every 20,000 pounds of ore, and the extraction process takes as long as six months.

  -  50% of the platinum annually produced is destroyed by industrial use.  Almost all the gold is kept.

 -  One-fifth of everything we have has platinum or was manufactured by a process requiring platinum.    This metal is used in catalysts, fuel cells, hard disks and jewelry.

  -  About 10 million pounds of gold is stored in Fort Knox (left).

PLATINUM IS NOT STORED.  Thus, if "something" happens, the price of this precious metal will skyrocket.

Considering all the above, you would think platinum would cost a lot, lot more than gold.  Nope.  Here is the historical comparison:

How many of you knew that their selling prices have been very similar.  Since 2009, gold has been slightly  more valuable than platinum, and prices today were (per ounce):

  -  silver      $    37
  -  platinum $1721
  -  gold       $1786

There is a punchline to all this.  HAVE YOU CONSIDERED INVESTING IN PLATINUM?

Now, about arugula.  First, there is no relationship among gold, platinum and arugula.  I picked ten leaves from my roof garden today, and, save for a couple of standard ones from another pot, my giant arugula were all longer than 10 inches:

This is a yardstick, and the longest leaf had a length a tad over 15 inches.  Compared to a "normal" arugula, the giant width (6-inch ruler) borders on scary:

They taste the same.

While on the roof I took a photo of my plumeria:

and one of six blooming water lilies:

The Dow Jones Industrials rose 24 to, tada....13,005, finally a close above 13,000 since 19May2008.   The first time was in April of 2007, and the Dow went on to hit an all-time high of 14,165 in October of that year, dropping to a recent low of 6547 in March of 2009.  World markets were also almost all up.  The WTI Cushing dropped two bucks to $107/barrel, while the Brent Spot went up to $123/barrel.

A storm popped up just west of Madagascar, will strengthen to hurricane force and head towards South Africa.


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