There are many precious metals out there, each with different historical and financial merit. From the intrinsic value of gold to the dense and striking iridium. We’re going to take a look at the five most expensive precious metals and what makes them so valuable.
Rhodium is the most expensive metal in the world, and it is also extremely rare. With an extremely high melting point and its non-corrosive makeup, it is produced mainly by Russia, Canada and South Africa.
Rhodium is used in jewellery making to scratch-resistant, reflective surface. Rhodium plating is most commonly seen on white gold. Although it is not a monetary precious metal, it still has some value due to its rarity and many uses.
Platinum is one of the most widely-used precious metals because of its sheer versatility. From jewellery to dentistry to aeronautics, it is very resistant and highly malleable. South Africa and Canada are some of the largest exporters of this expensive metal.
It weighs almost double that of a gold karat making it the heaviest precious metal around. The name itself comes from the Spanish world platino which translates to ‘little silver’.
We are of course a bit biased, but gold is our favourite of the bunch. It’s historical, emotional and financial value makes it one of the most sought-after precious metals in the world. Of course, we know just how many ways it can be used and that its monetary value helps it continue to have value during times of political or economic instability.
It is also the easiest to recognise in terms of aesthetics, with the unmistakable yellow shimmer that many have come to love. Jewellery, coins, bars, and many more things can be created from gold due to its malleability and conductivity.
Gold can be found all over the world, but the highest producers are countries like South Africa, the USA, China, Russia and Australia.
This particular precious metal is part of the platinum categories of metal. It is widely used in electronics because it is a good material to use for playing. Hard and strong, it can also be used to harden other metals.
Ruthenium compounds are actually classified as toxic materials as it is a carcinogen, however most people will never come into contact with it. It can be used for jewellery but not in its purest form and it is rare in itself to be used at all for this purpose.
This unusual metal is one of the densest in the world, with a very high melting point and a strong resistance to corrosion. South Africa is the largest producer of this metal and it can be used in various products from watches and compasses to electronic and the automotive industry.
It is actually a by-product of nickel mining and its processed from platinum ore.