The most precious metals in the world
Do you want to know the value of the most expensive precious metals you can buy?
Precious metals come in different shapes and sizes; Gold and silver are the most common. However, there are plenty of precious metals that are considered more valuable and are highly rated afterwards. So, before you set out to buy all the gold and silver on the planet, read this list of precious metals and find out if you can get yourself a bargain!
Rhodium recently hit a new high, comfortably trading above $13,000 an ounce. But what does the future hold for rhodium? Rhodium is relatively unknown to ordinary people, and is quietly one of the most popular deals at the moment, after prices have risen more than 30% this year. Rhodium previously peaked – and soon collapsed – in 2008 at more than $10,000 an ounce, but the metal is now trading above its 2008 high on the back of inflated demand from the auto industry.
Rhodium is used in part of vehicle exhaust systems that reduce emissions of toxic gases and pollutants. Nearly 80% of the demand for rhodium and palladium comes from the global auto industry. Fortunately for South Africa at least, about 80% of rhodium is mined within its borders.
Part of the reason for the metal’s price jump is its rarity. Annual production of rhodium is about 30 tons – to put this in context, annually gold miners excavate between 2,500 and 3,000 tons of the precious metal. Rhodium has also benefited from the Volkswagen emissions scandal, or the 2015 diesel emissions scandal that rocked the auto industry. With major economies including China and India tightening emissions rules, platinum group (PGM) miners expect good times ahead for rhodium.
Rhodium’s younger brother Palladium has also done a fine job of getting out of the DieselJet scandal. After sales of diesel cars fell and alternatives to gasoline returned to fashion, platinum – which is mainly used in the exhaust systems of diesel vehicles – declined while palladium rose, which is friendly to gasoline.
Palladium is the most expensive of the four precious metals – gold, silver and platinum being the other metals. It is rarer than platinum, and is used in larger quantities. In the near term, the demand for metals used in the exhaust regulators is expected to be flat, supported by the growth in auto sales in Asia.
However, the growing appetite for battery electric cars – which do not use inverters – could dampen demand for palladium. Russian miner Nornickel is the world’s largest producer of palladium, withdrawing 86 metric tons of the metal in 2019.
Acceptable durability, and part of the tradition, gold is among the most versatile of commodities. It is primarily used in jewelry, but it also has important applications across electronics and aerospace due to its durability and conductivity, and gold, simply put, is everywhere.
Of course, the stereotype of gold as a precious and prestigious metal did not come out of nowhere. When Spanish explorers first traveled to the “New World” – the Americas – they met an indigenous culture who lived completely different lives and spoke different languages. But both cultures have one thing in common; Both hold gold in a high rank. Almost every society has used gold as a currency and symbol of wealth, status or power, and the modern world is no different. Whether it’s wedding rings, awards or even money, few materials occupy as much space in our lives as gold.
Until the 1970s, South Africa was the dominant producer of gold, but production has since declined. At its peak in 1970, South Africa produced 32 million ounces of gold, which is two-thirds of the world’s gold production. Today, China, Australia and Russia are the three largest gold producing countries.
Iridium is one of the rarest metals in the Earth’s crust, with an annual production of only three tons. Iridium is almost as dense as the denser metal osmium and is the most corrosion-resistant of the metal, resistant to air, water, salts, and acids.
Because of its hardness, iridium is difficult to manufacture into usable parts, but the same properties that make it difficult to work with also make it a valuable additive to hardening alloys. Although it is also a catalytic metal, due to its high melting point and resistance to corrosion, iridium is the material of choice for crucibles. Iridium is mined as a by-product of nickel, with the largest iridium deposits in South Africa and Russia. Due to their rarity in the Earth’s crust, they tend to make up a small portion of each mineral’s portfolio.
The namesake Platinum Group Metals is the worst performer on the market, having taken a huge hit from the Volkswagen emissions scandal. Prior to that, 45% of platinum sold in 2014 went to the automobile industry. Consumers and manufacturers have also moved away from diesel in the wake of the Diesel Jet. Platinum lost to palladium, which performs better in gasoline-powered vehicles.
Platinum has traditionally been traded at a higher price than gold and in addition to the scarcity of platinum compared to gold, “platinum” has come to be regarded as an adjective associated with a higher level of prestige than gold. Despite the problems with platinum and gold being highly traded, that blemished reputation remained.
Platinum deposits are largely concentrated in South Africa, where the country supplies about three-quarters of global demand. Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum and Lonmin are the world’s largest producers of platinum.
Ruthenium is a chemical element identified with the symbol Ru and atomic number 44.
belongs to the platinum group; Ruthenium is a rare transition metal discovered by the Russian-born scientist, Karl Ernst Claus, in 1844 at Kazan State University.
The element Ruthenium was named in honor of Russia, as Ruthenia is a Latin word for Rus. Ruthenium is commonly found in ores with other platinum group metals in the mountains of North and South America. It is widely used in many electronic devices and equipment. Ruthenium costs about $260 an ounce.
Osmium is a solid, bluish transition metal in the platinum group and can be found as a trace element in platinum alloys and ores.
It is the densest element that forms naturally and is most commonly used to make fountain pen nibs and electrical connectors.
It is also one of the rarest items on the planet, which is why it commands such a high price. Per ounce, you’re looking to pay around $400, which has been pretty much the same since the ’90s, but can fluctuate quite a bit depending on the market.
Shock, isn’t it? We didn’t even hear about some of them before we put this list together. However, we were quickly surprised by how many of these precious metals are used in so many everyday products. But with that said, the $260.42 per gram average is a bit exaggerated, so we’ll stick with the good old gold and silver for now.
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