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Sunday, 29 July 2012

World's Most Expensive Precious Metal

Spark buzz  |  at  23:20  |   |  No comments

Rarity alone isn’t enough to qualify a metal as precious. It must also be naturally occurring, lustrous and ductile, possess a high melting point and low reactivity and, most important to anyone wishing to wear jewelry made from the metal, it must not be radioactive. Natural, radioactive metals like polonium and radium need not apply.
Gold, silver and platinum are undoubtedly the most well known precious metals, but they fall short of being the most expensive precious metals in the world. As of this writing, platinum (around US $1,500/ounce) and gold (around US $1,200 per ounce) take second and third place, respectively. Silver, in the low double digits, doesn’t even rate.The real money is in rhodium.
A member of the platinum group of metals which, unsurprisingly, includes platinum, rhodium is most commonly found mixed with other platinum group metals. This makes it difficult to extract, which can only increase its value. The silvery white metal is primarily mined in South Africa, North America and Russia’s Ural Mountains.
Rhodium has a variety of applications. It is used in the process of “rhodium flashing” white gold and platinum in order to give jewelry made from those metals a whiter, more reflective surface. It is also particularly suited to the production of catalytic converters. In 1979, Paul McCartney was presented with a rhodium-plated disc in honor of his status as the Guinness Book of World Records’s all-time bestselling songwriter and recording artist.
So how much is rhodium worth? It’s currently valued at twice the price of gold—around US $2,400 per ounce!

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