Precious metals are metals found in nature in their free state, i.e. they are not combined with other elements to form compounds. However, they can be found in oxide form or bonded to other elements. They are rare metallic chemical elements and have a high economic value. Their demand is driven by their practical use and their role as investments and store of value. These metals have commanded higher prices than base industrial metals.
Characteristics of precious metals
- They are generally less reactive than most elements.
- They are ductile and have a high lustre.
- The lesser-known precious metals are the coining metals, which are those that have been used in coin alloys.
- The quintessential precious metals are gold and silver. Both have industrial uses, but are best known for their use in art and jewellery.
- Other precious metals are the platinum group metals such as palladium, rhodium and ruthenium.
List of precious metals
This is the list of the main precious metals that can be found on the market.
A chemical element with atomic number 79 from group 11 of the periodic table of the elements. It is a metal that is difficult to find in nature and is therefore highly valued for its rarity. It is the most malleable and ductile metal known.
Chemical element with atomic number 47 from group 11 of the periodic table. In nature it can be found as part of various minerals (in the form of sulphide) or free. It is rare in the earth's crust and is produced as a by-product of the processing of gold, copper, lead and zinc mines.
A chemical element with atomic number 78 from group 10 of the periodic table. It is found as a metal or in various ores together with nickel and copper. It is resistant to corrosion.
A chemical element with atomic number 45 from group 9 of the periodic table. It is a rare metal and belongs to the platinum group. It is generally found in platinum mines and in some platinum alloys it is used as a catalyst.
A chemical element with atomic number 46 from group 10 of the periodic table. It is rare and belongs to the platinum group. It is mined in copper and nickel mines. It has the lowest melting point of the platinum group (1555 °C).
A chemical element with atomic number 44 from group 8 of the periodic table. It is rare and belongs to the platinum group. Usually found in platinum mines.
A chemical element with atomic number 76 from group 8 of the periodic table. It belongs to the platinum group and is used in some alloys of iridium and platinum. It can be found alloyed in platinum ores and its tetroxide. It is the densest naturally occurring element (22610 kg/m3).
Chemical element with atomic number 77 from group 9 of the periodic table. The second densest element (22 5601 kg/m3) and the most resistant to corrosion.
Recycling of precious metals
The recycling of precious metals is an increasingly important source of supply. Electronic scrap contains these metals, which is why the recycling of these resources is also known as urban mining. Recycling is very important to ensure that natural resources are not depleted. The amount of recycled precious metals is becoming increasingly important.
Sell and buy precious metals on ScrapAd
If you are a company that deals with precious metal waste management or recycling and reuse, on ScrapAd you will find a wide range of advertisements for buying or selling precious metals such as rhodium, platinum, gold or silver. Register for free and find out more.