Precious metals are vital in the development of advanced technologies today, such as smartphones and automobiles. Consumers are quick to categorize silver bars, gold bullion and platinum coins as pure indicators of wealth. However, these metals are all highly influential, when broken down, in the construction of most vehicles and portable electronics.

In 2010, silver became the most in-demand precious metal in the United States, surpassing both gold and platinum. Silver was such a popular commodity that supplies dipped far below average and took months to build back up. This trend, in part, could have come from the increased use of silver in electronic devices and cars. Silver-zinc batteries are often used to power smartphones and electric motors. In fact, experts project that a widespread adoption of silver-zinc batteries may create further demand for silver supplies for years to come.

However, along with an increased demand for silver, many auto manufacturing companies have begun to use platinum and gold to increase the lifespan of their products. In petroleum-reliant vehicles, catalytic converters use precious metals to eliminate a lot of toxic emissions that otherwise would be released into the environment from car exhausts. Due to the temperature these catalytic converters exist in, the metals used need to be highly durable and capable of handling various degrees of heat.

As automobiles and smartphones become more advanced, manufacturers will begin to purchase larger amounts of these precious metals in order to create efficient products. Other metallic items are unable to withstand constant use in the most popular electronics and cars people use today. Consumers have come to expect that each product they purchase will last throughout the foreseeable future.

Machines using silver, gold or platinum have a higher likelihood of remaining operative for years to come. This means that investing in them now could prove to be a smart move for the future.