Precious metals are the exceptional and naturally occurring chemical metallic elements that are given high monetary value. In terms of chemical reaction, precious metals are less reactive than many other elements.
Precious metals typically have enhanced gleam and ductility. In the past, precious metals were used as currency, but today these are primarily used in industrial applications or as investment commodities. The most popular precious metals are the coinage metals such as silver and gold. Although these two can be easily used in various industries, these are more acclaimed in jewelry making, art and coinage.
Other precious metals include:
Precious metals are utilized by various industries in order to meet development, research, production needs and more. This metal group possesses many characteristics that make it useful for various applications.
For instance, gold has an unmatched physical and chemical property combination, making it essential to innumerable applications in daily life. Gold is indestructible and completely recyclable. It is also immune to the corrosive effects of water, oxygen and air. All of these make it an important component in the fields of medicine and electronics, as well as many other industries.
Another example of precious metals is silver. It is a white, soft and lustrous metal that contains the highest levels of thermal and electrical conductivity. It is very malleable and ductile, and can form a very good polish.Its excellent catalytic properties also make silver among the best candidate in catalyzing oxidation reactions. Although it is expensive, it is still widely used in industry because it possesses:
- Excellent thermal conductivity
- Optical reflectivity
- Whitest color
- Lowest levels of contact resistance
Another precious metal that is widely used by industries is platinum. This metal contributes to many industrial processes, such as synthetics and chemical production. It is a main component in the production of products like artificial silk and fiber glass due to its:
- Melting point
- Stability in high temperature
- Corrosion resistance
Each kind of precious metal is characterized by special properties such as corrosion resistance, making them vital components in numerous fabrications and applications.