Each metal has a different value, and this value predominantly depends on the rarity of the metal, how difficult it is to extract, and the metal’s properties. Throughout history, precious metals have been used as valuable currency and they have now become a form of investments. There are some precious metals that are desirable for their aesthetic properties, and others that have properties that are ideal for industrial purposes. When you think of precious metals, gold and silver are the first metals that come to mind. While these metals are expensive and they are included on the list, there are other metals that are even more valuable. Here are the 10 most expensive metals in the world in 2019 with current prices per ounce according to Infomine in April 2019.
10. Indium – $11 per ounce
Most of the world’s indium is sourced from Japan, South Korea, and China, says Virtual-Light. It is often used by electronic manufacturers because of its excellent conductivity. Another use of indium is as a coating in the engines of aircraft. An interesting fact about this metal is that when it is bent, it makes a crying noise. Some of the things created using indium include semiconductors, electrical conductivity, and corrosion-resistant mirrors. It was also used to coat bearings in aircraft engines during World War II.
9. Silver – $15 per ounce
The world’s largest producers of silver are China, Mexico, and Chile, according to TopTeny. It is also found in Peru. Of all the metals, silver has the best thermal and electrical conductivity along with the lowest contact resistance. This means it is one of the most versatile of the expensive metals. Among its wide range of uses are jewelry, photography, dentistry, batteries, coinage, and circuitry. Furthermore, it has many technological applications things like odor control and preventing the spread of bacteria. People often choose to buy jewelry made from silver because it is cheaper than gold but has many of the same properties that make it a suitable metal for this purpose.
8. Osmium – $200 per ounce
This is a rare metal with high density, according to Virtual-Light. The three countries from which most of the Osmium in the world is mined are North America, South America, and Russia. This metal is extremely difficult to manipulate because it is a hard metal with a high melting point. There are many different uses for this metal, but it is most commonly used for hardening alloys. Electrical contacts, and filaments.
7. Ruthenium – $263 per ounce
Ruthenium is a member of the platinum family that is mined in Canada, Russia, North America, and South America. The beneficial properties of ruthenium its hardness and its ability to withstand outside elements. It is one of the rarest metals on the planet. It is for these properties that ruthenium is often added to platinum to increase hardiness and resistance, says Elite Jewelry and Loan. Similarly, it is sometimes added to palladium as an alloy to make it stronger. One of the main uses of this metal is plating electrical contacts.
6. Platinum – $894 per ounce
It is the versatility of platinum that makes it one of the most widely used precious metals in the world, says Gold Investments. Just some of its uses include jewelry, aeronautics, and dentistry. One of the most useful properties of platinum is its high malleability. It is one of the heaviest metals around and is produced in South Africa, Canada, and Russia. Previously, this metal has been more valuable than gold, but the two metals have now switched places in terms of value.
5. Gold – $1,285 per ounce
Gold Investments describes gold as one of the most sought after metals in the world that retains value even during times of economic and political instability. The countries from which it is most commonly sourced include South Africa, China, the United States, Australia, and Russia. The most common use for gold is for jewelry, although it does have many other uses.
4. Rhenium – $1,290 per ounce
Produced in Chile, Kazakhstan, and the United States, Rhenium is one of the densest metals, says 911 Metallurgist. It also has the third highest melting point, which is why it is added to nickel-based superalloys as a means of improving the alloy’s temperature strength. Rhenium is also used in filaments, high-temperature turbine engines, and electrical contact material. This metal has a silvery-white appearance.
3. Palladium – $1,400 per ounce
Between 2001 and 2018, Palladium had a lower value than gold. In February 2019, Forbes reported that palladium is now worth more than gold for the first time since 2001. This precious is approximately 30 times as rare as gold, which is one of the reasons for its value. The value of palladium has risen by over 50 percent since 2001 with just one ounce of this metal valued at around $1,400. This metal is commonly used in car catalytic converters. The largest producers of palladium are Russia, Canada, the United States, and South Africa.
2. Iridium – $1,460 per ounce
This metal is another member of the platinum group and it is one of the densest elements. Furthermore, it is one of the most corrosion-resistant metals and it has a very high melting point. Due to its many useful properties, this metal is used by many industries. TopTeny notes that it is particularly useful when high decomposition resistance at high temperatures is needed. Some of the industries for which it has made a significant contribution to advancements are electronics, automobiles, and medicine. One reason why this metal is so valuable is that it is currently only mined in South Africa.
1. Rhodium – $2,930 per ounce
Rhodium is the most expensive metal in the world, according to 911 Metallurgist. This is one of the rarest metals and the largest producers of the metal are South Africa, Canada, and Russia. It is a silver-colored metal that is most often used for its reflective properties but is also used in various industrial fields including the automotive industry. Two of its other features are its ability to withstand corrosion and its high-melting pint.