Periodic Table -> Precious Metals

Precious Metals

Precious metals are metals that are very valuable to us, due to their rarity and special chemical properties. There are several characteristics that make precious metals special. Precious metals are usually less reactive compared to the rest of the periodic table elements. Another typical property of precious metals is their luster, which makes them a perfect choice for jewelry. Precious metals are usually softer compared to other chemical elements, and have relatively higher melting point in comparison with the rest of the metals.

The most popular precious metals are Gold, Silver, Platinum and Palladium. The undisputed king of precious metals is Gold, due to several factors including its limited industrial usage, and its rarity. Gold is very dense, while soft, and is the most malleable and ductile pure metal known to mankind. Another chemical property that makes Gold special is its resistance to oxidation and corrosion. Silver on the other hand has a heavy industrial usage, due to its chemical and physical properties including very high electrical and thermal conductivity. Thee platinum group metals include Platinum, Palladium, Ruthenium, Rhodium, Osmium, and Iridium, with Palladium and Platinum being the most popular and widely used.

Silver and Gold has been used as money for several thousand years, and only recently the link between paper money (fiat currencies) and gold/solver has been severed. There are several reasons why gold was and is still used as a medium of exchange (money) and store of value. Gold is durable making it resistant to wear and tear. Gold is portable, in fact you can hold 10s of thousands USD worth in one hand (with the current Gold price flirting with $1,000 per troy ounce a kilo of pure Gold costs about $30,000) without a significant effort. Gold is easily divisible, which makes it a perfect candidate for money. In contrast with paper money, which are easy and cheap to produce in virtually unlimited quantities, Gold has intrinsic value because is rare and expensive to mine.

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