Qualities that render a metal precious are its natural existence, rarity, luster, malleability and ductility. In addition to that, it needs to be very non-reactive and have a high melting point to be used sustainably in its carvings. Radioactive metals, for obvious reasons, do not make the cut despite owning all these qualities. But many others do, and a high cost per gram doesn’t quite define their value. These top ten metals are the most valuable metals on the preciousness scale:
Compared to the most precious of metals, Indium is pretty cheap but makes No. 10 on the list nonetheless. Zinc-ore dispensation produces this white metal, found rarely in the Earth’s crust. It is used widely in the industry, its uses reaching back to the time of World War II, when it was used as a coating for bearings in aircraft engines. Its uses include corrosive-resistant mirrors, semiconductors, alloys and electrical conductivity in flat-panel devices.
Silver is a popular metal for jewelry and easy on the pocket compared to gold, but considered 9 on the top most valuable metals. Silver possesses great electrical and thermal conductivity. Jewelry isn’t its only use; it’s used in coinage, photography, circuitry, dentistry and making of batteries. Wood industry employs it in treated wood, where it hinders molding of wood.
Rhenium has the third highest melting point among metals and is considered one of the densest. Copper mining by-produces molybdenum, which produces Rhenium as a by-product. Its use essentially occurs in making of super-alloys that are used to make jet engine parts.
Palladium is a rare metal, very stable under high temperatures and malleable. It’s a hydrogen absorber, by virtue of which it has found its place in automobile industry as an emission reducer. It is also used widely as a multi-layer ceramic capacitors in electronics industry, and as a component of white-gold.
Osmium is a bluish-silver metal and one of the densest found in the nature. It is brittle, extremely hard and possesses a high melting point, which is why it is used to harden platinum alloys for electrical contacts and filaments etc.
Iridium backs the title of the most corrosion-resistant metal and.. is pretty badass! It has a very high melting point, more than 2400 degree Celsius! It is processed from platinum ore and is a by-product of Nickel mining. Iridium is used in medicine, electronics, automobiles etc but also finds its use in everyday items such as watches and pens.
Also a member of Platinum metals, it is similar in its characteristics of hardness and reactivity. Ruthenium is used to make alloys with platinum and palladium to increase hardness and resistance of the final product. It is used widely in the field of electronics to plate electric contacts.
The header of the group itself – Platinum is a non-corrosive metal of exceptional malleability and resistance to hydrogen. Apart from its popular use is jewelry, it is used in dentistry, weaponry and aeronautics. Platinum is highly expensive, currently priced at $1275 per ounce.
No. 2 on the list is Rhodium, which exists in nature with Platinum group metals and is harder to extract, which makes it rare and valuable. Rhodium is used to plate white gold, giving it its characteristic lustre. It is also used in the production of catalytic converters.
Predictably, gold is the most valuable metal to the human race. Its popularity has existed far before the modern civilization emerged. Today, it is worn and invested in widely. Gold has seen its usage in coinage, but that tradition has long stopped existing. Today, it is used in electronics and other industries. Its durability and malleability make gold desirable for jewelry and its conductivity helps other industries.