High density platinum group metals for bullion
- Published: May 17, 2017, 6 AM
Technology has been perfected to permit the production of collector and bullion rounds composed of one of two platinum group metals — osmium and iridium, according to Dr. Eric Thorsgard, chief executive officer of Cutting Edge Opportunities, doing business in Minnesota as Osmiridium Coin.
Osmiridium is the name given to a metal that is a combination of the two elements osmium and iridium, which are located side by side on the periodic chart of elements.
In June, Thorsgard plans to introduce 15,000 limited-edition rounds manufactured on blanks cut from bars composed of .999 fine osmium. Thorsgard said he also plans to eventually offer bullion rounds of either osmium or iridium, depending on which metal at the time is least expensive.
We have plenty on the off-metal 1943 Lincoln Cents and on the origin of Q. David Bowers’ column: A reader wonders how much his 1943 cent struck on a dime planchet is worth, while a long-time numismatist wonders why the origins of two new bronze 1943 cents were revealed.
Development of the high-density rounds has been assisted through an Indiegogo account.
Each of the 15,000 osmium collector pieces from the Osmiridium brand will be 20 millimeters in diameter, 4.5 millimeters thick, with a weight of at least 31.1 grams. The metal’s density is 22 grams per cubic centimeter.
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Thorsgard said the pieces are cut from the osmium bar to the desired thickness, then polished to remove rough edges. Desired details on the obverse and reverse, and the serial number on the edge, are laser-etched.
Thorsgard believes that the first possible consequence of producing extreme density osmium coins will be to push the price of osmium up to the price of iridium, from $400 per ounce to more than $900 per ounce. Iridium has increased over the past nine months to $945 per ounce from $520.
Here is a link to daily prices.
The 15,000 limited-edition pieces will be numbered and registered and bought and sold through a registry on the OsmiriduumCoin.com website. According to Thorsgard, this will allow tracking of ownership of each of those pieces.
“Except for the first 15,000 limited edition collectors coins that will be numbered and registered, Osmiridium coins will be bullion coins,” according to Thorsgard. “They will have no numismatic value only intrinsic value. Regardless of who makes them, they will have to be made of pure osmium and or iridium. Because of the density of osmium and iridium if a osmiridium bullion coin is contaminated with anything in the universe it will either be too large for its weight or to light for its size.”
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