A small addendum to the last gold entry.
A performance graph of gold versus the similarly scarce, but more industrial demanded (particularly since 2000), platinum is below.
Similar overall performances but, on this tiny sample, more than double the price dispersion for platinum.
This reflects platinum's growing exposure to the industrial economy since 2000. Before then something like half of production was met by industrial demand. Forecast data for 2008 shows this share up to nearly three quarters of the total.
Which, then, is the more surprising? That platinum remained so closely correlated to gold as a safe haven product for so long? Or that it fell out of the matrimonial bed so disastrously this year?
Without the long history of gold it appears that platinum does not, scarcity and all, enjoy similar caché as a hedge/haven. For this producers can thank their exposure to catalytic converters and media coverage of Detroit Goes to Washington.
But, with flat and problem-riddled supply and industrial demand that has grown over the last 6 years at the direct expense of jewelery, platinum's crash this year still looks mighty odd.