What Are Precious Metals?
Precious metals are metals that are scarce, hard to acquire, and beautiful. These metals are often used to make jewelry, which requires an investment in both materials and labor. Precious metals also often have practical uses. For example, people use gold in electronic devices such as televisions and computers because it's an excellent conductor of electricity. Because they are relatively rare and valuable, precious metals also make good investments.
What Is the Periodic Table?
The periodic table is like a map of all of the chemical elements based on their atomic properties and how they work together. You'll find precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum in the middle of the periodic table, in a block called the transition metals.
- What Is the Periodic Table?
- The Periodic Table: An Overview
- Learning How to Read the Periodic Tablee
- Understanding the Patterns in the Periodic Table
- The IUPAC Periodic Table: Elements in Brief
- The Periodic Table: Definition, Elements, Groups, and More
- Interactive Periodic Table
- The Periodic Table in Chemistry
Gold is one of the most highly valued metals in the world. In its pure form, it is yellow and very soft. Gold is often used to make jewelry, but in most parts of the world, it's mixed with another metal to make it stronger before it's turned into a ring, necklace, or bracelet. This metal also has practical applications in the health and technology sectors.
Gold is most commonly found in South America, Australia, Africa, and Southeast Asia, where it's mined from underground deposits or veins or panned from a river or stream. In some cases, gold might be found in soil or rocks that have been exposed to erosion or weathering. Mining for gold can be dangerous, involving the use of heavy equipment to dig tunnels underground. It can also expose the miners to toxic materials like lead.
- Why Do People Value Gold?
- Investigating the Properties of Precious Metals
- Gold: The Most Useful Metal
- The Allure of Gold in Times of Crisis
- Why Do We Use Gold as Currency?
- The Life Cycle of a Gold Mine
- Gold Stack Bracelets
- Gold's Properties and Uses
- Gold Ball Bracelets
Silver is a shiny and fairly soft metal that's higher on the periodic table than gold. It's among the most widely used metals in the world, and people have been using silver for a variety of purposes since ancient times. Silver was used in coins in the Roman Empire, and the use of silver as currency lasted into the 20th century. It's also a popular choice for making rings and bracelets. Silver is also useful for making mirrors and as a conductor in electronics. It's also antimicrobial, so it's used in the medical field.
- Silver's Value and Applications as a Metal and an Asset
- The Chemistry of Silver
- What You Should Know About Silver: A Valuable And Precious Metal
- The Many Uses of Silver
- Silver Ball Bracelets
- Silver's Properties
- Silver: What it Is and What it Can Do
Platinum is a strong and soft metal that's quite rare. It's most commonly found in South Africa, Russia, and the United States. Platinum is usually a white metal, but it can take on other colors, too, like green, pink, or black. It's a very popular metal for jewelry-making because it resists tarnishing.
- Platinum: A Versatile and Valuable Metal
- How Is Platinum Used, and Why Is it so Expensive?
- Platinum's Properties and Advantages
- Platinum: A Precious Metal With a Wide Range of Applications
- Human Health Effects of Platinum Exposure
- An Introduction to Platinum
- Platinum's Properties and Effects on Health and the Environment
Other Precious Metals
Rhodium, palladium, and osmium are also precious metals. Rhodium, one of the rarest precious metals, is a silver-colored metal that's very hard and shiny. Palladium, another silver-colored metal, is soft and resists tarnishing, so it's also used sometimes in jewelry. Osmium is known for being very hard and dense, and it has a blue-gray hue.