Osmium in general
- What is osmium?
Osmium is a transition metal and belongs to the Group 8 elements (iron, ruthenium, osmium, hassium) of the Periodic Table. The symbol for osmium is Os and its atomic number is 76. Osmium is a primordial chemical element, i.e., it has existed in its current form since before the earth was formed—unlike hassium, for example, which can only be synthesized since 1984.
Osmium is one of the rarest metals on earth. Before its crystallization became possible, it was only available in its non-crystalline, toxic form. The crystallization process was established only in 2013, after 40 years of laboratory work. This finally allowed traders to deal with osmium.
- Why is the crystalline structure of osmium called a “fingerprint”?
Crystalline osmium has a special micro-geometry. Every line of the edge of any single crystal in the structure has a specific angle in relation to the next adjacent crystal. And, in comparison to human fingerprints, which are biological, osmium does not change at all over time. This means that for all practical purposes, the structure will last forever. Therefore, the security for identification purposes can be compared to but is actually even higher than for a biological fingerprint.
- What is the annual production of osmium?
The annual production since 2019 is about 1000 kg. A significant amount is used for crystallization, the remaining amount in the form of osmium compounds is used internationally in industry and academic research.
At the moment, production is steadily increasing as more and more contracted mines are separating the osmium. Thus, more osmium will be available to produce the approximately two cubic meters that are expected to be mineable.
Despite its toxicity, osmium tetroxide continues to be used for various purposes, including medical applications, in addition to jewelry production.
The Osmium-Institute has access to the entire extractable osmium, which can then be crystallized. In addition, the Osmium Institute has options on Osmium which was found in the past.
Osmium is not to be bought from private sources!
- Since when has it been possible to crystallize osmium?
Since 2013, when a group of Swiss and Russian scientists demonstrated this process for the first time.
- How does trading with raw osmium work?
There is no traditional trade for raw osmium, also referred to as osmium sponge, through investors. Osmium-Institutes buy solely from mines and not from speculators. In addition, raw osmium is toxic and therefore not sold to private individuals or investors.
Osmium-Institutes would not purchase raw osmium for any other reason. The process of ensuring the authenticity of osmium sponge is expensive and very time-consuming.
Therefore, mainly crystalline osmium is traded.
- What if I wish to order osmium and there is none in stock?
First, there exist not only the Osmium-Institutes but also private and institutional sellers with osmium in stock. Through Osmium retailers you can be pre-order if certain pieces of osmium are currently out of stock and therefore not available.
In the moment of fixing the purchase order the price is considered. However, the actual quantity delivered depends on the price on the day of delivery.
Although it may take some time to crystallize a special piece, you can rest assured that you will receive the specified product, at the price agreed. Payment must always be made in advance.
A key reason why investors buy osmium is, in fact, that osmium may become difficult to obtain and therefore they may be approached by interested buyers in the future.
- Is there a warranty for your osmium shapes?
If a shape once existed, then there is a high probability that it can be reproduced. If a product is removed from the assortment, it can still be ordered individually.
However, there are forms, such as the Osmium round bar without titanium coating, which are sensitive in handling. For this reason, these shapes are no longer produced extensively and are only produced individually for specific collectors.
- What is the delivery time for 2D bespoke designs (from order to delivery)?
Depending on the number of orders, standard delivery time for a new model can be seen between one and three months. If osmium ingots are already available and the model has already been generated in CAD, delivery is also possible after a few weeks. As with a sculpture where the stonemason already owns the stone before he starts his work, it is wise regarding short delivery times to already own the osmium for new figures and thus only have to give the order for the wire eroding process.
- Does it make sense to simply purchase Osmium Squares instead of small Medium Edged Bars?
Squares and Medium Edged Bars are fundamentally different product categories. When a Disk is cut into Bars, there is less offcut and material loss on the erosion wire than when Squares are cut. This is because Squares (i.e. Q1 to Q9) with an edge length of 1.5 to 9 mm are on average much smaller than Bars, so the distance that the wire has to cover is much greater. For this reason, a cut surcharge is added to the price of Squares, which is not applicable for Bars. However, the smallest Bars can be smaller than the largest Squares. In this case, it makes sense for the investor to buy Medium Edged Bars, as he/she gets more Osmium for the same price. Squares are primarily to be seen as prefabricated forms for direct installation in jewelry, often combined with Osmium Triangles.
- What are the characteristics of osmium?
- Osmium is hard, brittle and has a whitish-silvery-bluish luster.
- Density: One of the densest naturally occurring stable elements (22.61 g/cm3), having a density approximately twice as high as lead (11.34 g/cm3). This means that osmium cannot be counterfeited since every metal core would have less density.
- Crystal structure: Hexagonal close-packed.
- Bulk modulus: Between 395 and 462 GPa, which rivals that of diamond (443 GPa). Correspondingly, the compressibility is very low.
- Is osmium brittle?
A diamond has a Mohs scale hardness of 10 (defining mineral). Osmium only reaches 7, plus it is brittle. Doesn’t that mean that diamonds are much more robust and stable compared to osmium?
No, they are not. The stability is similar inside the crystal structure of both elements. Abrasion resistance is the magic word. Osmium is not as hard as a diamond but has a higher abrasion resistance compared to diamond; osmium wins the game again.
- Does osmium require metal seed crystals for crystallization?
Osmium bars, including osmium diamonds and osmium stars, do not require a specific substrate. As part of the crystallization process, these basic shapes are directly grown on sapphire glass substrates, which are separated from the grown crystals once the crystallization process is completed.
Note that the osmium crystals closer to the original glass substrate have a finer structure than those crystals further away. They look almost flat, but their structure can be seen under a microscope.
- Is osmium substitutable?
Let's start with the term substitutability. The term does not just refer to whether a metal needs to be used in a particular process to achieve a desired result. So, for example, it might concern the question of whether it will be possible to use iron instead of platinum in catalysts. Platinum would then be substitutable and it would no longer be needed. In an important and huge industry this would of course have an influence on the price and thus on the entire market.
However, substitutability also applies if the entire process can be replaced. For example, it is no longer necessary to use special metals for piston rings if the entire car is simply powered by electricity instead of gasoline. Or even worse, if public transport suddenly becomes so well-developed, inexpensive and fast that we practically don't need cars anymore.
This would apply to osmium in many ways, but the question does not arise. Of course, one could build the hull of a submarine with osmium, so that it can dive into the Mariana Trench thanks to its incredibly huge compression module. Or you could build an effective gamma radiation shield for a spaceship to Mars. Osmium can also be used as a superconductor at low temperatures to conduct electricity without any resistance. But all these applications are simply not feasible because of the small amounts of osmium available. And vice versa, osmium would always be replaced and substituted, because a conventional submarine can also dive very deep and because any nail file cannot reach the abrasion resistance of osmium, but also lasts very long.
But where osmium cannot be replaced now or ever in the future, is its myth. Osmium is simply the rarest and, in its crystalline form, undoubtedly the most beautiful of all metals. There is no doubt that in the future it will partially substitute diamonds on the diamond market, but it will never be able to be substituted itself. But the dissemination of osmium will probably bring with it a special form of substitution. Thanks to the impossibility to counterfeit osmium, it will replace cash for many wealthy people if value is to be preserved or handed over.
- How far does the Osmium sparkle reach and what is the story behind the Osmium sparkle?
A physicist knows that there are actually only two ways to generate parallel light. Either a laser is used here on earth, or a very distant lamp is used as the light source. One such lamp, for example, is our sun. The sun's rays travel so far to us on earth that the light only has a minimal beam widening when it reaches the earth, which the human eye is unable to perceive.
Parallel light cannot be emitted by a light bulb on earth because it is spherical and we are very close to it. When we hold an object close to such a light source, we will always have a core shadow and a half shadow. We are all aware of that.
But if you want to be seen at a distance, you need parallel light. (In Karl May's novels, for example, Old Shatterhand used a mirror on a mountain to warn his blood brother Winnetou of his enemies. We all still remember that...) The reason is that parallel light still has enough brightness even at a distance so that it can still be detected by the retina of the eye. Especially when it hits the eye directly, the brain decides that the incoming signal from the optic nerve could be important, since a sudden brightening has occurred.
The so-called Osmium sparkle works quite similar. When you are e.g. standing in the sun at a cocktail party and the sun's light shines onto the osmium you are wearing as jewellery, the many small crystal surfaces act like hundreds of tiny mirrors that keep the sun's light parallel and are perceived as a sparkle by the eye. With that, the brain puts attention on the line of sight and you will be seen. How does this compare to diamonds, which also sparkle quite nicely?
Well, the diamond has on its surface only a semi-permeable surface that can reflect, as the special thing about the diamond is precisely its refraction in the inner primers. If the surface did not let light through, then it would not be able to diffract the light. The amount of directly reflected light is inevitably very low because the diamond lets in a lot of light. Since the speed of light within diamonds is different from the diamond’s speed of light on air, the light is diffracted into its components, in other words, its wavelengths.
Although this refraction is very colorful, the energy of each color is of course lower than that of the entire beam of mixed, so-called white light. So, if a ray of a diamond hits the eye, it will have a certain color, but almost no energy left to be perceived. Especially not at a distance, as each wavelength now falls out of the diamond in a different direction. Therefore, one can observe the colorful reflections of diamonds only in immediate vicinity. So to be really noticed at a party in the future, you will choose osmium and no longer diamonds that are only suitable to impress people in near proximity.
- How does osmium react to acids and bases?
At room temperature, noble metals do not react with any chemical reagents, including strong acids and bases. What about osmium?
Crystalline osmium is extremely durable and resistant against strong acids and caustic solutions.
- Can osmium be produced?
If osmium could be "produced" this would devalue the metal and its price!
Osmium cannot be synthesized from other materials for a very simple reason: It is a chemical element, which, by definition, cannot be broken down any further. In addition, osmium is extremely rare.
On the other hand, diamonds can be synthesized by simulating high pressure and high temperature conditions in the earth’s mantle, thus forcing carbon atoms to arrange in a diamond crystal structure. In fact, carbon is the fourth most abundant chemical element in the universe, very much unlike osmium.
- Can osmium tarnish (just like silver)?
No, it can't. The tarnishing of surfaces is always a chemical reaction, often with oxygen, whose reaction products are deposited on the surface and change colour and reflection properties there. Under standard conditions, however, osmium does not react with oxygen or any other substances. Even at very high temperatures and with the formation of osmium tetraoxide, tarnishing cannot occur, as the oxide is gaseous and volatile.
All colour differences are exclusively deposits of other metals from the cut or the reaction vessel. Hydrochloric acid removes the differences. Condensation of moisture in the crystal structure can also cause optical effects that change the lustre. Furthermore, crystallization can result in a precise alignment of the crystals, which has visual effects that could look like sediments.
- Is OsO4 produced when using the wire eroding process?
Yes, in tiny quantities. However, it is immediately reduced back to metal on the non-precious wire. The individual osmium atoms are drawn electrically onto the wire and sedimented here. The continuous wire has room temperature and cools the osmium immediately. The process is so fast that osmium tetroxide production is out of the question. Only a few atoms manage to escape reduction and escape as osmium tetraoxide. The odour of osmium tetroxide is therefore also not perceived in the wire EDM process, even from a short distance.
- Why is the identification accuracy 10,000 times higher than with a fingerprint?
Impossibility to counterfeit:
Osmium is entirely dimensionally stable in its crystalline appearance and cannot be changed reversibly. This characteristic distinguishes it among other properties of easily malleable gold. A significant advantage arising from this property is the fact that osmium is practically impossible to counterfeit.
Its crystalline surface is recognized with extreme reliability similar to a fingerprint.
The unique structure of the friction ridges of a human finger is used for the recognition of a fingerprint.
For osmium, the edge of any single crystal is the analogue to the friction ridges. Every single such edge is inclined in three-dimensional space, forms a specific angle with the level metal bottom surface and also has a clearly defined surface. Also, each crystal sticks out of the base material with an identifiable length.
Even a standard 3 mm osmium diamond contains already more than 1,000 such macroscopic features. At the microscopic level, there are millions of features. For a larger surface area of an osmium structure, the number of variables multiplies accordingly.
For this reason, while 10,000-fold higher security in comparison to a fingerprint is often mentioned, the actual security is many times higher. Exact numbers cannot be given as, in case of doubt, ever smaller structures could be considered.
With the additional security through the density, therefore one can justifiably claim that osmium cannot be forged.
When gold is forged, a piece of metal of comparable density is often covered with a more or less thick coating. Alternatively, a gold ingot is filled with another metal.
For osmium, only one metal is known that differs from osmium in density by just a hundredth of a gram. This metal is iridium. However, no forgery can be carried out with iridium either, since not only have both metals high melting points but coating them at these temperatures also means that the other metal would lose its shape. However, this case is just hypothetical, because osmium is delivered in very thin structures as bars so that a real "interior" does not even exist.
Attempts to crystallize iridium ingots must also fail because iridium has a different crystallization structure so that it is clear and visible to the naked eye whether it is ruthenium, iridium or osmium bars.
- Is the crystallization process patented?
No, it's not patented. A patent explains processes very precisely to be recognized as one. A patent is always obtained if there is a risk that discovery will soon be made and marketed by a second inventor. With osmium, there is more of a risk from a patent itself, because the instructions in the patent explain the process to a possible imitator very profoundly. This increases the risk of imitation. This plagiarizing of the process is then forbidden, but it cannot be controlled and combated throughout the world. In addition, patent procedures take a long time to apply for and enforce. The best thing when dealing with osmium is to leave the process in the black box and not publish it. This way there can be no imitators. Many coincidences and dangerous moments had occurred in the laboratory during the discovery of crystallization, which cannot by chance lead again in the same way to an insight that explains the process of crystallization.
- What are osmium arc melted beads?
In its raw form osmium is a toxic metal. Raw osmium is rendered non-toxic, beautiful and tradable only through crystallization. Unfortunately, there is an increasing number of suppliers on the Internet who sell so-called melting beads (German: Schmelzperlen) made of “osmium”.
We are therefore required to issue the following warning:
- The harmlessness of osmium melting beads cannot be confirmed. It can be assumed that osmium melting beads form osmium tetroxide on their surface. Osmium tetraoxide is a hazardous chemical with an acute toxicity (inhalation, dermal, oral) and which can cause skin corrosion effects.
- Most online offers are not osmium, but other metals with a high density and a shiny silvery surface.
- The Osmium-Institutes do not issue certificates of authenticity for melting beads.
The purchase and possession of osmium melting beads and generally any type of osmium which has not undergone a change of crystal structure through the process of crystallization may require special licenses and permits and should be avoided.
If you have any questions, please contact your local Osmium-Institute. You can find the contact details on the website www.osmium-institute.com.
- What is a precious metal?
A precious metal is a rare, naturally occurring metallic element of high economic value. Chemically, precious metals tend to be less reactive than most elements. They are usually ductile and have a high luster.
The following eight precious metals exist:
- Coinage metals: Gold, silver.
- Platinum group metals: Ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium, and platinum. They have similar physical and chemical properties and tend to occur together in the same mineral deposits. However, they can be further subdivided based on their behavior in geological systems:
- Iridium-group platinum-group elements: Osmium, iridium, ruthenium
- Palladium-group platinum-group elements: Rhodium, platinum, palladium
- Is osmium as safe as gold in time of crisis?
Yes, that's the way it is and how it stays. This is a standard answer. However, it is never wise to follow a statement without further verification for thousands of years because the world is changing constantly. First of all, it is certainly true that gold is traded in a very liquid market. This means that it is possible to sell gold quickly in almost any denomination. Prices are moderate to low, but they move sideways because of the incredibly high quantities of gold that can still be mined despite high demand.
At first glance, this is a good characteristic, because gold serves the purpose of maintaining value, and this strategy does not have as its primary objective an increase in value. Nevertheless, it is always wise to balance risks and provide for an increase in value in the metal portfolio.
Let's take a closer look at the scenario of a crisis. In case a war actually breaks out in a country or when one of the major internationally accepted currencies collapses, physical metals gain in value. There are two different winners. One is industrial metals such as copper, which can no longer be mined in a war region or which simply cannot leave the country. This situation has occurred time and again in recent years, when terrorists were causing problems in a country.
On the other hand, there are the precious metals, which generally have no industrial significance. In any case, industries do depend on a defined amount of gold that they need in constant supply. In fact, in an emergency, for example for the production of computer chips, sufficient quantities are always directly available. It is rather questionable whether in a case of war in a country, the production of such chips can be continued regardless of the crisis.
Therefore, there exist precious metals with their special use as currency substitutes. In contrast to all fiat currencies in the world, they can never and under no circumstances be subject to inflation, especially because of their physical nature. The amount you can mine is available and nothing beyond that. Reprinting simply fails in the precious metals market!
With osmium one is particularly well endowed nowadays for many reasons:
Osmium is very limited, with only 44,000 kg in the earth's crust. Osmium has to face extreme increases in value. Osmium is the new ‘safe haven’ currency of the super rich. Osmium can never be forged because the crystal structure of each piece cannot be reproduced. This is ten thousand times safer than a fingerprint. The Osmium Identification Code database is stored in a decentralised manner and cannot be hacked. Osmium can be transferred to another person anywhere in the world in seconds with the Owner Change Code.
Osmium for investors
- What are the most important facts about osmium for investors?
- Osmium has one of the highest value densities of all metals.
- To date, osmium has had a stable price development.
- Osmium is impossible to forge.
- Can be traded across the globe.
- Only a few people possess osmium.
- What makes osmium a viable alternative to gold?
- Compared to osmium, there is a lot of gold; new gold mines constantly open. The gold price is relatively unstable and subject to fluctuations. Gold is already traded on the stock exchanges, but osmium is expected to be listed soon, too.
- Osmium has an extremely high value density. An average sports car is worth as much as only 4 cubic centimeters of osmium.
- Unlike gold, osmium cannot be counterfeited. Because of its characteristic of having one of the highest densities of all materials, it cannot contain a core made from another equally dense material.
- Compared to osmium, gold is not rare and traded by a very large number of people. Currently, it can be assumed that gold will not run out any time soon. However, osmium may no longer be mined in 20 years and will then become extremely difficult to acquire.
- Investment security is another important factor. Even if a piece of osmium is stolen, chances are high that it can be tracked down in the osmium database.
- Osmium has a unique crystal structure that allows any sample to be identified even without a certificate.
- For how long does the Osmium-Institute in Germany have the worldwide Osmium license?
For how long does the Osmium-Institut zur Inverkehrbringung und Zertifizierung von Osmium GmbH (Osmium-Institute Germany) have the worldwide license from the Swiss crystallizer to certify and distribute osmium? In other words, how big is the risk that there will suddenly be a different channel that is in competition with the market structure that we plan to establish?
There is no limitation in time, as long as the Osmium-Institute Germany complies with the law. In this case, the contract is transferred directly to the Swiss crystallization company. However, this is very unlikely since all parties involved have made it their declared goal to build a structure that is equally secure for manufacturers, retailers and customers.
- How difficult is it to copy the crystallization process?
It is currently not possible to copy the complicated and delicate process. What’s more, the process is dangerous in laboratory. Temperatures and pressures are extremely high and hard to control.
In fact, more than 160 individual production process steps would have to be identified and copied. First, every step takes more than 3 months, given that one knows what needs to be done and how. And second, it takes at least 40 years to master the entire process chain with almost no option to speed things up.
- What is the current crystallization capacity for crystalline osmium?
The current production rate is high enough for the existing market and can be doubled every three months if necessary. Adjustment of the production capacity will be managed as the demand increases. The bottom line is that every delivery can be arranged if the material is prepaid; in the worst case, delivery times are up to six months.
All available shapes and products can be seen at http://www.buy-osmium.com. So the piece you love can be delivered to you in almost no time.
- What are the main markets for crystalline osmium?
There exist two main markets into which osmium may be sold: Jewelry and investment.
If osmium is used for jewelry, such as an expensive ring or an exclusive watch, this osmium will be permanently taken out of the market.
This means that only osmium stemming from investments can be bought back in the future when production rates will eventually go down. This may lead to price increases, as there is less osmium available with constant or increased demand. This scenario is also referred to as the “Osmium Big Bang.”
- What does the world of finance understand by the term Osmium Big Bang?
The term Big Bang is used to describe a scenario in which prices increase very quickly. In the osmium business, this is the day when osmium can no longer be bought from mines in the future to satisfy demand. Mines have only limited osmium available.
Then, prices may increase if osmium can only be repurchased from investors. Investors may then have an opportunity to have their osmium paid at higher prices. Since from this point on no other sources are available, and since not everyone will want to sell, an extreme price rally may start.
The osmium Big Bang should not be confused with a speculative bubble (as in real estate markets, for example), as the shortage will be real at this moment and cannot be compensated.
- Which osmium products are expected to increase most in terms of value over the next couple of years?
There exist osmium 1g medium edged bars, osmium small curved bars (rings), 0.1g osmium diamonds and osmium stars, 30g osmium discs (wafers) and some other shapes. The most exclusive product will be the extremely rare osmium pearl.
Osmium diamonds and stars are suitable for small investments, whereas clients planning to invest more will generally buy disks. These clients have the option to let the disk be cut and then resell the resulting shapes, including 2D shapes such as osmium diamonds and stars, to customers including but not limited to jewelers.
Although it is impossible to make reliable predictions about future price developments, osmium pearls with a diameter ranging from 11 to 15 mm, may increase a lot more in price than other osmium products. The reason is that the production yield for osmium pearls decreases with increasing production rate due to the employed crystallization process.
The total number of osmium pearls on the world market is expected to be only a couple of thousand.
- Is there a price guarantee for osmium?
Since Osmium Institutes are not trading, but certification institutes, there is no buy-back. The repurchase is even prohibited by law for the institutes.
The owner must sell to a jeweler or other investor in the future. As these emerging markets grow very rapidly there are opportunities to sell later for a good price.
In addition, a trading platform is under preparation for future selling and buying of osmium between private parties. Private parties can use the site www.osmium-preis.com to set a price between seller and buyer in a transaction.
- What is the osmium bet?
The “osmium bet” describes a scenario where osmium investors are speculating that osmium will become even rarer, that its value will increase, and at the same time the secondary market for osmium, in which osmium is used for the manufacture of jewelry, will grow.
Moreover, these investors expect the market to be much more accessible in the future than it was a few years ago, when osmium was mostly unknown.
- Which products are recommended for which investor?
The decision as to which osmium piece to purchase, which semimanufactured osmium shapes to store for the next generation or which osmium jewelry to buy, should take into consideration one important factor: The shape of the semi-manufactuerd product!
When osmium is used in the jewelry industry, by a larger manufacturer or just a small jewelry business, it must be possible to cut the desired shape from an osmium disk or an osmium bar. When cutting, the osmium shapes are positioned in a way that minimizes offcuts, i.e. the osmium which can no longer be used after cutting. The reason is that the offcuts need to undergo once again the complete crystallization cycle, thus involving considerable effort.
For this reason, pure investors should rather buy finished products like Osmium Diamonds and Osmium Stars or Star Rows, because these can be resold more easily to jewelers. People who associate investment with jewelry may also purchase all other shapes. In any case, when purchasing bars or discs, it should be clear that these products are semimanufactured products which can be further cut into almost any shape. The larger their surface area, the easier it is to realize shapes without significant offcuts. These products may also be sold to other investors or banks.
In general, all investors should aim for an investment period of 10 to 15 years for the purchase of the metal. Osmium is certainly not a product for short-term and speculative trading.
- What is the significance of offcuts in an osmium bar?
The area adjacent to the outermost edge of an osmium bar inevitably turns into offcuts because this area is very difficult and often impossible to process. It is for this reason that shapes are preferably cut out from the center section of a bar. As a result, the area of the center section should be as large as possible in relation to the circumference.
This means that larger bars and disks imply less offcuts and are therefore more suitable for investors. It is therefore recommended to purchase the largest possible shape with the funds available rather than purchasing two or more smaller bars.
An exception to this are pre-cut shapes such as small animal shapes, inlays, Osmium Diamonds or Star Rows. These shapes are already finished products and can be resold in that shape.
- Why is it assumed that the value of osmium will rise?
Whether a metal rises or falls in price depends solely on demand and supply. Or to put it more precisely, it depends on whether a buyer is found who is ready to pay the price you want to achieve for your metal.
This principle applies both in daily life and in macroeconomics. It is a little odd, however, that the principle is not always respected when it comes to one's own assets.
So what will probably happen to the price of osmium in different scenarios?
1. The crystallization of osmium is ceased because raw osmium is no longer available. In this case the price will surely rise, as no additional osmium can be delivered.
2. A crisis occurs and people have to leave their country. In this case an owner will take the osmium with him or her. People may buy osmium as an escape currency early enough to leave the country with the metal. The advantage of osmium is that it has the highest value density of all metals and for this reason the value of a huge villa can easily be transported in the pocket.
3. No crisis breaks out and crystallization continues. In this case, osmium will simply continue to be traded and processed into jewellery. Over time, however, two aspects will inevitably change the market. On the one hand, there will soon be no more raw osmium, so it will no longer be possible to crystallize as soon as the supply of raw osmium reaches zero. On the other hand, people lose goods and process osmium into jewellery. These pieces will never return to the market for investors. Thus, inevitably, the amount of goods asymptotically also decreases towards zero. Osmium will therefore rise in value and price in these cases.
Surely there could also be scenarios which could lead to falling osmium prices in special situations. However, the market seems to reflect this in such a way that only temporary sales of a significant amount of osmium can be thought of.
- What are diamonds worth, anyways?
Diamonds are forever. This was once upon a time the main slogan of the Dutch company DeBeers, which has been controlling the diamond market for decades with a huge market share.
Of course, this is not true, because diamonds burn in fire just like a piece of wood. On the other hand, they are subject to the myth of being incredibly rare. That is why people believe that diamonds have value. However, to be honest, they are absolutely beautiful.
If one can believe undefined sources, the blood diamond issue was also thrown into the market by a company in order to undermine competitors. This is absolutely conceivable, because companies of this size can be incredibly brutal in the marke. They can, after all, to a large extent control an entire market, precisely because they have foresight. And also because they can finance campaigns to achieve their goals with a lot of money, perseverance and good marketing. Only in this way, and for the sake of visibility, CocaCola has invented Santa Claus and spread it around the world. After all, we are all buying a brown soft drink now, even in the cold season. Ingenious.
However, the diamond market has changed dramatically. With the introduction of artificial diamonds to the market, DeBeers was confronted with competition. Therefore, the company has put the technology of diamond growing, which they have mastered for decades, in the right light and now sell man made diamonds with moderate success. It was even achieved by the lobbyists of the company that the diamonds do not have to be given an identifier. This is particularly perfidious sine if you own diamonds in your family heritage, they are suddenly worth nothing, because they have the same value as synthetic diamonds. Nobody can hardly see the difference.
It is also interesting that DeBeers offers a machine that can find a miniature difference in the layering of the crystals. The funny thing is that the intention is to detect a worse quality with natural diamonds. So, the new marketing strategy is: Hello clients, please purchase the new synthetic diamonds for less money, but please buy more individual pieces. This enables them to argue that they do not need to dig any more holes in the earth for the sake of the conservation of nature. On the other hand, they are attacking all companies like Swarovski, which sell cheap trinkets as expensive stones. Now the diamond has suddenly become so cheap that it can be used in costume jewellery.
It is interesting to take a closer look at the raw materials market, because carbon is one of the cheapest materials ever, considering that it can be used to produce diamonds atom by atom. In fact, the raw material is so cheap that people produce it themselves. With each breath, a human being produces 80 micrograms of carbon dioxide from the food he ingests by processing it in his body. The mass fraction in carbon dioxide is 12u to 32u between carbon and the two oxygen atoms involved. So in relation to the whole molecule with 12u to 44u (this is the so-called molar mass) about a quarter. Thus our lungs exhale a quantity of about 20 micrograms of carbon per breath.
If we assume that we need 0.2 grams for one carat, this would take us 10,000 breaths. We breath every four seconds. This gives us a number of 40,000 seconds to exhale one carat. After 11 hours the diamond is ready. If we now estimate the costs that will presumably be used in plasma for crystal growing, then in addition to our zero euros for carbon, there are also a few euros for electricity and the machine. That's how the poor company DeBeers still earns a a lot.
For this reason, it is simply better to buy the unforgeable and unmistakable osmium diamonds.
- Is osmium sold in a pyramid scheme or Ponzi scheme?
The answer is a clear no. Revenues are generated only by selling osmium; there are no “joining fees” or financial investments other than the cost of conducting business. There exist two different ways to place osmium on the market: You can either sell osmium as a wholesaler or a retail seller, or engage in intermediary sales by establishing relationships with end customers and receiving a commission.
Stakeholders in the sale of osmium, including but not limited to state institute partners, wholesalers, retail sellers and partners engaging in intermediary sales, are rewarded for their efforts given that each have different roles to play in the import and sale of osmium to the end user. This commission model is divided into four levels, so that every partner can enjoy commissions.
- How rare is osmium compared to other metals?
Osmium is not only the rarest precious metal on earth but also the rarest metal in general. Gold occurs 1,500 times as often as the sunshine element osmium.
Another example is the comparison with platinum. In 250 single 40 ton truckloads filled to the brim with platinum ore, you will only find one ounce, i.e., about 30 g osmium.
Since osmium is mined together with platinum, this is the best comparison, because there is no other source for associated mining with platinum or nickel.
- Does osmium have a "memory"? What about hysteresis?
Hysteresis occurs when a process moves to the state where it can regulate itself. They occur in measurement and control systems due to time delays and prolonged effects after a change in regulation. In metallurgy, there are memory effects, such as memory metals, which can regain their former form through temperature changes. Also, a tension can arise in a metal, which is generated by mechanical work, which can lead to cracks in the metal. So you can bend a metal several times, and at some point, it will break. This applies to any metal in any form of use, even very good spring steels. Also, it is said in esotericism that metals and liquids can remember effects and then have an influence on humans based on them. All esoteric statements about osmium are nonsense and must under no circumstances be equated with scientific research.
- Why do the two different numbers 1,300 kg and 120 kg for mining output exist?
The amount of Osmium in the earth’s crust is estimated at 9 m³, of which 2 m³ can be effectively mined. So much for the theory, because verified facts are hard to come by. However, there are historical data and numbers that Osmium-Institutes receive from partnering companies.
Nevertheless, determining the exact numbers still remains complex.
However, one difference lies at hand. At some points in literature, the amount of mined Osmium is stated at 1,300 kg. This number results from the addition of several international sources. Yet usually, the Osmium is not separated from the metal mix.
A simple example is the purity of platinum at 99.99 percent. Should other metals like Osmium be contained in the remaining 0.01 percent, the Osmium doesn’t necessarily have to be separated, so long as no buyer shows an interest in purchasing and paying for the Osmium a long time in advance. The Osmium is only separated if it is sold or can be sold.
What effect does this have?
This means that every year the deposits of Osmium in the earth’s crust become smaller. No matter if the Osmium is crystallized or not. Therewith, Osmium becomes more and more rare, even without crystallization. In fact, this happens automatically. If now only a part of the Osmium that was mined is separated, one half could e.g. go to medical use and the other half could be crystallized. Thereby, 120 kg of Osmium would be on the market within one year. The number is perfectly realistic, even if valid numbers can’t be obtained in this case either. There are simply no statistics. The only thing that is certain, is that the scale of the numbers is correct and that they are very small.
Mobility will also change in the future. This will have an impact on platinum mining and especially palladium mining. If the metals find further applications, then Osmium will also continue to be mined. If not, the market will vanish, because small amounts are not worth the effort.
And this is one of the big opportunities with Osmium
- What do carbon-based diamonds cost in comparison to Osmium-Diamonds?
Currently, osmium diamonds cost approximately one tenth of traditional diamonds. Some experts expect that this may completely change in the future. Compared to osmium, diamonds are not rare.
- What does the term "harvest rate" mean when referring to osmium?
The most important aspect of daily pricing is the harvest rate. The harvest rate is the amount of osmium that actually can be used after growing the crystals and does not have to be returned to the process. The resulting reject of unusable crystals must be re-distilled several times and recrystallized with great technical and monetary effort.
- Why was crystalline osmium once comparatively cheap?
With the first crystallization of osmium, the market developed very quickly and osmium was purchased by many investors and customers who wanted to be the first in the market.
Although crystallization was born, the quality of the first pieces was still lacking. For example, osmium round bars with individual elevations of up to 3mm were created.
Not knowing which qualities would be possible in the future, these pieces were sold.
Today, the granularity, which corresponds to the grain size of the crystals of a surface, is much better. However, this is only partly due to the improved crystallization process. Primarily, the current high quality is due to the improved quality control and the return of pieces with deviating crystallization quality to the process. This recycling necessitates expensive and complex processing. The goods cannot be delivered and it may occur that osmium enters a furnace up to five times until the quality for delivery according to current standards is possible.
During the first year of crystalline osmium sales this was particularly noticeable. The reason was that customers wanted better surfaces and the watch industry needed better surfaces so that the watch-hand could move over an osmium dial without scratching. In addition, jewellery containing osmium was not supposed to pull threads from clothing or cause people to injure themselves on individual crystals.
With the selection of pieces now improving almost on a monthly basis, the production price also increased.
In our modern times, however, many other factors are involved in pricing.
- Do I lose VAT when I buy Osmium?
At first glance, this seems to be the case. In the real world however, things are a little different. Because yes, Osmium by law succumbs to the payment of VAT. This tax must be paid by every private person at the point of purchase. Companies are exceptions, because they can claim back the tax as input tax. Companies based within the EU that have a VAT identification number for foreign payment transactions are also exempt. And of course, companies based further abroad are obliged to pay the tax of their country as import sales tax when crossing the border.
The large exemption is the storage of Osmium in a duty-free warehouse when crossing the border into a non-EU country. In such a warehouse, Osmium is considered as not yet imported. For this reason, the import duties and tax are not yet paid. If the metal is to be be withdrawn one day, then it becomes mandatory to pay customs duties and tax.
In any case, someone will one day pay the tax and will then be the owner of his/her Osmium. Thereby, the tax is seemingly lost at first. But this changes at the day of sale, because the following numbers now compare to each other. A buyer who wants to buy Osmium at a dealer or institute must also pay the tax there. So, it makes sense for him to buy several percentage points below the gross price from a private person. The cash value of the tax is thereby basically paid to the private person. This is not tax evasion, but the seller now has to pay tax on the resulting profit. This refers only to the actual profit and not the VAT. In addition to this, the sale of real assets is tax free after one year, so long as the seller does not act in a commercial way.
This way, the seller receives back his money almost entirely, even if the Osmium price did not change in the meantime. Of course, many people still speculate on a generally higher selling price that promises a profit, in addition to the store of value a tangible asset offers.
- How does osmium pricing work?
The osmium price is a spot price that is determined daily.
It is based on a server system, which is fed with daily data from Switzerland.
The algorithm calculates the price in the morning. It updates every to the new price every 24 hours.
In the past, there have always been adjustments and improvements to the algorithm in order to incorporate as much and neuralgic data as possible into the pricing.
1.) The main influencing factor is the so-called harvest rate, which is determined daily. The harvest rate is the percentage of crystallized osmium that can be used according to the current quality criteria. All material that cannot be because the material has imperfections, spikes or surface irregularities must be returned for recycling.
2.) The recycling process and the amount of returned osmium is included in the pricing, because only material that could not be used when it was harvested from the ovens and osmium that is left as offcut after cutting is recycled. Unfortunately, the process is costly, complex and in the laboratory it also involves risks.
3.) The raw osmium stocks in the crystallization, the stocks at the mines and the processing companies are included in the price, as far as they are known in each case. An unusable because unknown number is the amount of osmium that is not extracted from nickel or platinum and remains as an impurity during the further processing of the two metals. Unfortunately, these quantities are permanently lost to the osmium market. They can only be estimated and not validly stated.
4.) Orders, pre-orders, stock levels and the quantity of certified goods are also processed in the algorithm. Inquiries from the osmium marketplace play a minor role in pricing, but are still considered in lower scores.
5.) The known amount of osmium, which is certified and available on the market, has a much greater influence. The number is determined and made available via the Osmium World Database. The uncertainty factor in this figure is the amount of osmium that was already in circulation before the database was introduced. These goods will be recertified over time by the institutes if the owners so wish. This makes the database of total stocks more accurate and also more meaningful from year to year.
Osmium is a tangible asset that is not traded on a stock exchange. Efforts are underway to achieve this, but are not subject to the control or influence of an osmium institute.
Osmium World Council
- In which way is the precious metals industry involved in the market introduction of osmium?
The purpose of the Osmium World Council is to be a discussion board for other market players encountering osmium. These include jewellers, other associations, mining companies and politicians.
It is part of the German Osmium-Institute.
- What is an Institute?
Approval to use this word is only given to fully functioning established organisations that are already functioning as an institut. The range of activities may vary, but institutes are organisations that typically undertake research at the highest level, or are professional bodies of the highest standing.
The factors that are taken into account include:
- whether there is a good reason for establishing the institute.
- whether the activities are regulated or unregulated.
- whether the organisation already exists in some form.
- the nature of any work it provides for other organisations.
- the relevance and nature of support from existing organisations.
- whether the institute offers training leading to its own qualifications.
- whether the institute provides training or activities that support qualifications provided by other bodies such as universities or colleges.
- whether the institute’s activities are supported by or associated with activities undertaken by a government body, an independent organisation established in the field or a funding organisation.
- Can I resell osmium that I have purchased?
This always depends on the market demand. A good strategy may be to have osmium products that are versatile in their use. An osmium diamond, for example, can fit into nearly any kind of jewelry without having to alter its form.
Osmium is sold mainly to the manufacturing industry and the producing jewelers, as well as directly to other investors or collectors.
Each party can be certain that osmium cannot be counterfeited. If an osmium piece has been allocated an Osmium Identification Code, then it is genuine, has its individual certificate of authenticity and can thus be securely sold between private persons. If necessary, local Osmium-Institutes can issue a new, personalized certificate to the buyer.
A sales guarantee does not exist.
- Who is willing and able to buy osmium from investors?
Private sales transactions can be organized by buyers and sellers at any time. In addition, jewelers all over the world are likely to be the future buyers. If in the coming years the demand rises, then private individuals and investors may have the opportunity to sell directly to jewelers.
The Osmium Database is used to facilitate transactions that do not involve an Osmium-Institute to ensure that the two interacting parties have certainty that the specific product is genuine and is sold at the correct price.
- Can I resell the osmium?
The osmium once purchased should first be stored for a while. However, it is still a great opportunity to use money and invest in material assets.
The jewellery market with osmium has just started, but it is growing fast.
The buyers in this special market are the future jewellers. Osmium should be held in private hands for at least 10 years in order to achieve the best possible investment.
- What is the osmium secondary market?
In a secondary market, a group of customers can only purchase a product from members of a primary market. For osmium, the primary market refers to the investor market and the secondary market refers to the jewelry market, because only in the latter the “sunshine element” is used and consumed.
For the secondary market to offer returns which investors may deem acceptable, osmium needs to be used and processed as jewelry. However, osmium stocks should not deplete too soon to ensure availability for investors at affordable prices for some time in the primary market. Therefore, a profitable secondary market from an investor’s perspective requires a balancing act between supply and demand:
Initially, larger quantities of osmium should be owned by investors whilst the jewelry market is relatively small. At the point when investors begin to resell on a larger scale, the secondary market needs to be ready to take up the increased supply without the price falling. So the bet which investors are making also has a time component; when will what happen? If the secondary market is established too late, the osmium price may plummet and then strongly increase. However, a more predictable behavior of the osmium price would naturally be healthier for the markets.
In this context, resaleability decreases at the beginning of the market launch for investors with a short term horizon. If, in time, as supplies deplete, the osmium price increases whilst in the hands of investors, not fabricators, investors with a long-term perspective will benefit from this development. In the transition of the osmium market away from pure marketing towards trading, osmium will inevitably have to find its way first and prices are expected to be very volatile.
Experts therefore generally assume that osmium has the potential to perform well in the first few years. Then, after a consolidation phase in which buyers may be able to purchase osmium at competitive prices, total shortage of osmium may occur, a scenario which is referred to as the osmium Big Bang. At this stage, it is impossible to predict the development of the osmium price because the fact that a metal can no longer be supplied except via investors is new for metal markets and is likely to have a tremendous impact.
- Why are Osmium-Institutes generally not allowed to purchase crystalline osmium or buy it from the free market?
As Osmium-Institutes represent the interests of mines and manufacturers, they are primarily concerned with introducing new products to the market. Recycling and trading are therefore not part of the institutes' area of responsibility.
Osmium-Institutes are basically scientific organisations with tasks in the field of knowledge acquisition, knowledge verification, knowledge mediation and they are the international certification body. As such, they must remain neutral.
In addition, Osmium-Institutes organise the initial introduction to the market. Hence the name "Osmium Institut zur Inverkehrbrigungn und Zertifizierung von Osmium" - translating to "Osmium-Institute to introduce and certify osmium".
It is not their function to trade in osmium, which is even prohibited by the Osmium World Council. The Osmium-Institutes would gain a competitive advantage through the in-house identification of the osmium and their publicity, thereby becoming international competition for the affiliated retailers.
The establishment of a trading platform for osmium in physical form or as a certificate will therefore never be operated by an Osmium-Institute, but by companies that have expertise in this type of trade. The most successful and sensible selling option are other investors and the commencing jewellery market. Osmium is by no means suitable for short-term speculation.
Osmium Identificaiton Code (OIC)
- Can a private person sell to another private person?
Yes, this is possible. The buyer will get the original certificate from the seller and compare the specific osmium product against the certificate by means of visual inspection. This is sufficient to confirm that the certificate matches the specific osmium product. Recertification via an Osmium-Institute is another option (a service fee of €70 applies).
Osmium products can easily be identified via the Internet by means of the OIC (Osmium Identification Code) for a particular osmium piece.
Private individuals can verify the price for every certified osmium piece via the Internet.
- OIC, QR and OCC
Every piece of crystalline Osmium is scanned and measured in high-resolution by the German Osmium-Institute using Keyence microscopes. It is also weighed by analytic balances and the resulting data is stored in a database. Because the crystalline structure on the surface of every piece is unique and not reproducible, it is also referred to as the “crystalline fingerprint” in specialist circles.
The high-resolution data of the scans in the Osmium-World-Database is linked to its assigned Osmium Identification Code (short OIC) and a QR code. The code concept was created for the international use by customs authorities. The background being the fast accessibility of the surface scans in order to compare them with the actually present piece of Osmium at the border crossing. For customs clearance, the Osmium-Institute can also actively confirm the owner based on the database.
The stated price always matches the current daily price which would be charged for a comparable new piece.
The Osmium-World-Database can be accessed on the site www.osmium-identification-code.com. When entering the OIC, the master data of the own Osmium can be found here. OIC and QR are printed onto the black foil box in which the Osmium is delivered.
It is obligatory to state an email address when buying Osmium. The email address is necessary for receiving the own new Owner-Change-Code (OCC) of a newly acquired piece. Every buyer can be invisibly listed in the database if he/she wishes this.
In order to use the Owner-Change Code, enter your own OIC on the website www.osmium-identification-code.com or use the QR code to open the website. The menu leads you to the fields for changing the listed owner or possessor of the piece.
When entering the Owner-Change-Code, three options arise:
1) If you temporarily give out your Osmium from your own possession, but want to remain the rightful owner, then the piece can be repeatedly reassigned to different possessors. This makes sense if you e.g. store the Osmium in a bank vault, lend it out or give it to a processing company.
2) Only once, a piece can be transferred to a new owner. This applies to a sale, gift or inheritance. Along with the piece, the rights to perform a new ownership transfer are passed on to the new owner, who receives a new OCC for this.
3) The intention to sell a piece at a desired price can be expressed in the market place. This information is passed on to wholesalers in the Osmium market place. For data protection reasons, the offer takes place anonymously. Market place agents carry out the match and mediate sales if supply and demand meet each other. There are no guarantees for matches. Osmium generally succumbs to long holding periods. It is not a speculative object or financial product, but rather a precious metal and hard asset.