Rhodium metals just reached a new high, with a great price per troy ounce comfortably. But what does the future hold for rhodium, and can any other mined element match its status as the world’s most valuable metal?
Top expensive metals all over the world
Steel is the best metal for power transmission shafts and also for many other purposes, but here many other great metals are available that are very valuable.
Rhodium, which is relatively obscure to the general public, is quietly one of the hottest trades right now, with a price increase of more than 30% this year. This metal previously peaked – and then fell – at more than $10,000 per troy in 2008, but the metal is currently trading above that high, owing to increased demand from the automobile industry.
Catalytic converters, a component of car exhaust systems that minimize hazardous gas emissions and pollutants, employ rhodium. The worldwide automobile industry accounts for over 80% of rhodium and palladium demand. Around 80% of all rhodium goes mined within South Africa’s borders. That’s fortunate for the country.
Palladium, Rhodium’s younger sibling, also prospered as a result of the Dieselgate incident. Platinum, which goes to be used mostly in catalytic converters for diesel vehicles. Sales of diesel vehicles fell and petrol alternatives regained popularity, while petrol-friendly palladium rose.
Palladium is the most expensive of the four primary precious metals, which also include gold, silver, and platinum. It is more expensive than platinum and goes to use in bigger amounts in catalytic converters. The demand for metals used in catalytic converters is projected to remain stable in the short future. Driven by rising automotive sales in Asia. However, the growing popularity of battery-electric vehicles, which do not require catalytic converters, could put a damper on palladium demand.
Gold is one of the most versatile commodities. It is part durability and part tradition. Gold is, to put it frankly, everywhere. It is primarily used in jewelry. But it also has important applications in electronics and aircraft due to its durability and conductivity.
In fact, gold’s reputation as a distinguished and valuable metal was not earned overnight. When the first Spanish explorers arrived in the “New World” – the Americas – they encountered a local people that lived in a completely other world and spoke a completely different language. But there was one thing that both societies had in common: they both valued gold.
Almost every society, including our own, has utilized gold as a form of payment and a symbol of riches, prestige, or power, and the modern world is no exception. Few things in our life are as conspicuous as gold, whether it’s wedding bands, accolades, or even money.
Iridium is one of the rarest metals in the Earth’s crust, with only three tons produced per year. This is the most corrosion-resistant metal element, resistant to oxygen, water, salts, and acids, and is nearly as dense as the densest metal, osmium.
Iridium is difficult to deal with because of its hardness, yet the same qualities that make it difficult to work with also make it a great component for reinforcing alloys. This is the chosen material for crucibles because of its high melting point and corrosion resistance, despite the fact that it is also a catalytic metal.
Iridium, like other PGMs, is produced as a by-product of nickel mining, and its largest reserves are in South Africa and Russia. Because of its scarcity in the earth’s crust, it usually only makes up a minor part of a PGM miner’s portfolio.
The platinum-group metals’ namesake is also the worst-performing on the market. Having suffered a major setback as a result of the Volkswagen emissions scandal. This metal is primarily used in catalytic converters for diesel automobiles. With the automotive industry accounting for 45 percent of all platinum sold in 2014. Platinum was replaced by palladium, which works better in petrol automobiles. As customers and manufacturers turned away from diesel in the aftermath of the Diesel gate.
Platinum has long been valued higher than gold, and due to its scarcity in comparison to gold, the term “platinum” has come to be linked with a higher level of status than gold. Despite platinum’s problems and the fact that gold currently trades above it, the metal’s reputation has remained intact.
South Africa’s platinum reserves are largely concentrated, with the country supplying around three-quarters of global demand. The top three global platinum producers are Anglo American Platinum, Impala Platinum, and Lonmin.
Ruthenium is a member of the platinum group and is one of the rarest elements, making it quite valuable. However, because it goes used less frequently than other PG metals. Its market is substantially smaller.
Its utilization mostly goes into electronics. It’s commonly used for the fabrication of electric contacts, wires, and electrodes because it is less expensive than rhodium and has very similar qualities. It’s also used as an electrochemical catalyst.
To increase the qualities of platinum or palladium alloys, several producers employ it as a reinforcing element. Radiotherapy in medicine, the exposure of latent fingerprints, and the manufacturing of fountain pen nibs are just a few of the noteworthy applications for ruthenium.
And the metal’s price may soon rise even further. Today, scientists are intensively researching its potential to absorb light in order to aid in the development of new low-cost solar energy systems.
Silver has a history that is extremely similar to that of gold. It’s a safe haven investment, just like its “big brother,” and it’s rather popular because it maintains its value in the face of any catastrophe. Silver, on the other hand, has a far larger deposit base than gold, making it much more affordable.
Silver normally sold for a fraction of the price of gold. Some even trade the price difference between gold and silver. Silver, unlike gold, is more volatile, and it has gained popularity in the industrial world in recent years.
That goes utilized in rockets, submarines, nuclear device manufacturing, computers, jewelry, circuits, photography, dentistry, and medicine, as well as batteries, solar panels, and water filtering. Silver also has the ability to regulate odors and prevent the spread of bacteria.
Precious metals, such as rhodium, gold, platinum, and others. Among the most valuable elements employed in industry and frequently traded on commodities exchanges. However, they are not the most expensive on the planet.