Kanye West recently posted a picture of himself on Instagram sporting titanium dentures.
In the pose, Ye (as Kanye now refers to himself) referenced Jaws, the iconic James Bond nemesis featured in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker.
According to the Daily Mail, the titanium mouth-wear cost Ye a cool $850,000.
An unidentified source told Today, “They are, as the name suggests, fixed and permanent. This goes way beyond veneers or grills. His particular implant is quite unlike anything that has been done before.”
But the source said West did not have his teeth removed.
So, why did Ye choose titanium for his new look? He didn’t say. One would assume it was for the aesthetic. But he could have picked another metal.
This got me thinking, what metal would likely offer Kanye the best return on his investment?
PRECIOUS METAL RETURNS IN THE 21st CENTURY
To figure this out, I looked at the historical data in this century for five different metals. I chose January 2000 as the start date and the spot price on Jan. 19, 2024, as the end date. That will give us a good sense of the long-term performance of each metal during this century.
Of course, past performance does not guarantee future results.
The average gold tooth weighs 3 grams. I multiplied this weight by 28 teeth and calculated that a full set of dentures would use about 3 ounces of gold – give or take.
Of course, metals have different densities, so the weight of titanium dentures might be slightly different than that of a gold set. But I figure these numbers will let us at least ballpark the cost of the metal.
Here’s what we came up with.
2000 price per ounce Current price per ounce Percent Change
Gold $282.05 $2,040.45 623.4%
Silver $5.30 $22.82 330.6%
Platinum $414.00 $914.70 120.94%
Titanium 26 cents 16 cents -38.5%
Copper 5 cents 24 cents 380%
So, based on the metals’ performance titanium was the worst choice if Kanye was looking for a return on his investment. The price of titanium is very stable, and it is an abundant element.
Gold would have been the best choice for a good long-term return, based on the metals’ performance during the 21st century. Copper offered the second-best return, followed by silver and platinum.
One thing is clear – precious metals historically chart solid returns in the long run. This makes sense when you consider the Federal Reserve and the U.S. government are constantly depreciating the value of the currency. Increasing commodity prices reflect this monetary inflation – particularly monetary metals such as silver and gold.
About the Author:
Mike Maharrey is a journalist and market analyst for MoneyMetals.com with over a decade of experience in precious metals. He holds a BS in accounting from the University of Kentucky and a BA in journalism from the University of South Florida.