February 21, 2024 at 7:41 pm

Earth’s Priciest Precious Metal Isn’t Gold Or Platinum And Costs Over $10,000 An Ounce

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Shutterstock

If you’re like me, you might think that all of the world’s history (and even current obsession with, in some parts) as far as searching for and finding gold means that it remains the most precious metal around.

So, you might be surprised to learn that’s not true at all.

Gold is still firmly in the top five most expensive metals – over $1850/ounce – and is prized for its conductivity, durability, and prettiness.

That said, rhodium is not only the most expensive precious metal, but the rarest, as well. It comes it at $10,300/ounce.

Source: Shutterstock

Rhodium doesn’t easily react to oxygen, which makes it a perfect catalyst and resistant to both corrosion and oxidation. It also has a high enough melting point (1964 degrees C) to place it among the platinum group of metals.

The fact that is can withstand air and water temperatures of 600 degrees C while also remaining insoluble in most acids also makes it idea for use in cars, aircraft, and other high-and-low temperature scenarios.

Rhodium is the rarest of the platinum group metals, occurring at only 0.000037 parts per million in the Earth’s crust. It’s found mainly in South Africa and Russia, with around 16 metric tons produced yearly.

Gold, by contrast, is found in relative abundance – 0.0013 parts per million.

Source: Shutterstock

Rhodium was discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston. The chemist extracted the element from a piece of platinum ore; he had recently discovered palladium, nother platinum metal group.

Though it’s solid form shines a bright, reflective silver-white, it was named for the dark red powder that was left behind after Wollaston removed the platinum and palladium from his sample.

Source: Shutterstock

Rhodon, as you flower-lovers might know, means “rose” in Greek.

So, now you know.

Unfortunately, no matter how much digging you do, you’ll probably never stumble on a cache in your backyard.

Thought that was fascinating? Here’s another story you might like: A Man Gave ChatGPT $100 To Make As Much Money As Possible. It Turned Out Exactly How You Would Expect.