Of all the precious elements humans dig and unearth under the surface of this planet, metals deserve a place of importance. In ancient ages, tribes used to engage in warfare activities for acquiring precious metals. Nowadays, owning costly metals is deemed as a status symbol and for many it is a means of security too. The wealthy lot seeks pricey metals for adorning on bloody and uses these as assets and investment. Some of costly metals are used in specific industrial areas nowadays.
Below listed are top 10 pricey metals:
This costly metal is produced by zinc-ore dispensation. It was used a lot in the years of WWII. The metal was used to coat bearings of the aircrafts used in WWII. Nowadays, this metal is being used extensively to coat high-speed engine bearings. It is now produced in large quantities in Asian countries such as China, South Korea and Japan. It can also be used to make semiconductors and corrosive-resistant mirrors. In its pure form, Indium is white and shiny.
Palladium, used widely to make catalytic converters in vehicles belongs to the platinum group. It is also used extensive by watchmakers to make variety of wrist watches. Canada and Russia are two countries where it is made in abundance. It remains stable even at high temperature. It is also known for its efficacy to soak in hydrogen. In its natural form, the metal is grayish-white. The metal is also used as alloy to produce white gold in some countries. William Hyde Wollaston was the person who invented this metal in 1803.
Rhenium is one rare and pricey metal. It is known for very high melting temperature. It is used in turbine engines for usefulness in increasing temperature strength. This is also used in making electrical equipments that generate a lot of heat. This metal is silvery white in color. This precious metal got its name from Europe’s Rhine river. It is now used a lot in military warfare equipments. In its pure from, the metal can resist a number of acids in diluted and pure form.
Gold is one precious metal that hardly requires any introduction. It is yellow shiny metal that is widely used in making ornaments for both genders, across the globe. It has an image associated class and aristocracy. Gold is also used a lot as means of alternative investment. Gold loan industry has flourished in the recent years, as a result. Gold has also been used to make coins by several countries since the ancient times. However, post the 1930s its use in currency making came to a halt. The metal is not very hard and often alloys are used to harden it. It is non reactive to both air and water. Its high conductivity makes it suited for use in quality electronics. Its purity is measured in karats.
Iridium also belongs to Platinum group. This is also known for having very high melting point. It is used a lot in making watches as well as pens. The metal is also used widely in automobile sector all over the world. It is required in situations when high decomposition resistance in high temperature is necessary. It is used in specific type of industrial areas.
The most widespread use of silver is in making ornaments and both men and women wear silver ornaments. Its mining began in Turkey in 3000 BC and later it became popular in other parts of the world. It is very lightweight among the precious metals. It has been a tradition of many countries to war silver jewelry for daily usage or on special events. Silver also has association with ancient folklores and tales of mythology. As per mythological tales, only a silver bullet can be used to kill supernatural beings like werewolves. It is relatively cheaper than gold and countreis like Mexico and China are among large producers of Silver, as per available data. Apart from use in making jewelry, Silver is also used a lot for making batteries and coins. Technologies have been invented to use silver to control growth of bacteria as well.
Platinum is one of the popular pricey metals and it is used a lot for making ornaments. More specifically, Platinum rings are used a lot by the people with deep pockets for giving gifts to loved ones. Countries like Canada, South Africa and Russia produce this metal in huge amounts per year. It is non corrosive in nature and has good tolerance to high temperature as well. Another reason Platinum is popular is because it does not react much when exposed to other chemicals. It is used in a lot of industries such as weapon manufacturing, dentistry and aeronautics apart from used in jewelry making. Platinum was used earlier as catalyst but later its use spread in other areas too, making it more popular.
Osmium is a dense and thick metal. The metal has blue and silver hue. The metal is also known for very high melting point. This property makes it extremely well suited for using in filaments of bulbs. Russia and some states of America are known for producing it in high amounts. Smithson Tennant, a British chemist discovered this pricey metal way back in 1803. It is made as nickel refining by product. It is also used to make fountain pain tips after being mixed with iridium. Osmium tetroxide is often used in detecting fingerprints.
Ruthenium belonging to platinum group of metals is one of the rarest metals found in this planet. It is very hard in nature and so is used as alloy with popular metals such as platinum and palladium for enhancing hardness by several degrees. This is one metal which is widely used in the electronics sector. It is also used as an adaptable catalyst. Across the world, 12 tonnes of ruthenium get produced per year. While extensive studies are yet to be carried on. Some experiments with this metal have shown positive impacts on patients afflicted with some types of cancer so far.
Rhodium is said to be the rarest variant among all precious metals. This metal with unique silvery white hue is often found in alliance with other metals belong to platinum group, as it is. This leads to trouble in the extraction process eventually. Its non-corrosive nature and high melting point has made it much sought after. Its reflective property has made it suitable for use in jewelry and making mirrors. Rhodium is also used a lot in making catalytic converters as well. The metal is used as alloying agent for improving corrosion resistance of palladium and platinum. In jewelry sector it is used for a process called rhodium flashing. This basically leads to creation of a reflective white surface atop white gold and platinum which gets worn off later.