Team USA was victorious at the inaugural Athletics World Cup in London this summer, taking home the first-ever sporting Platinum Trophy as the world’s premier precious metal assumes a new role at the pinnacle of global sport.
The ceremonial gifting of precious metals to athletes is one of the oldest rituals in world sport; the more outstanding the sporting achievement, the rarer and more beautiful the metal. However, gold is neither the rarest nor the most prestigious precious metal. Now, the Platinum Trophy has taken its place at the top of the awards table for athletic achievement.
Believed to be the most expensive sporting trophy ever made, USA team captain Queen Harrison lifted The Platinum Trophy in front of more than 20,000 fans on the last day of the tournament at the London Stadium. Ms Harrison said, “It is fantastic to be the first winners of The Platinum Trophy. We really want to come back and win it again.”
The introduction of The Platinum Trophy, and individual platinum medals for the winning team, has raised the bar for athletics awards everywhere, with the precedent set for prizes to extend beyond gold.
Thirty times rarer than gold, with a melting point of 1768 °C, platinum’s unique properties meant that many hurdles had to be overcome even before the tournament began. This included finding a trophy maker with the skills and expertise to take on the challenge.
Mark Soley, creator of the trophy, said, “No other metal is quite like platinum. When you see it in the flesh, it has a brilliance that you can’t achieve with any other metal. What certainly stands out is its density; and when the athletes pick it up, it’s noticeable that it’s something pretty special.”
Given its density, resistance to corrosion, catalytic properties and its beauty, platinum has long been widely used in medicine, industry and jewellery. However, one of the most compelling uses of platinum is as an investment asset. In a private pension or portfolio, the metal can function as a long-term store of value, in much the same way as gold, but with upside benefits associated with growth in industrial use.
Investing in platinum is easy: you may choose from the many bars and coins available, opt for allocated ownership through an online account, or buy a listed platinum exchange-traded fund (ETF) through a broker or bank. Most platinum ETFs are physically backed by vaulted platinum.