Posted on Apr 17, 2012 in Money & finances, Science & nature
I know about gold, silver, and platinum, but what other valuable precious metals are out there? And how “precious” are these metals, anyway?
There are two major ways one can define “most” precious when it comes to precious metals: Price and how much of it actually exists on the planet. Let’s look at both — and you might be surprised by the results.
According to the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 92nd Edition, the rarest of the precious metals, expressed as a fraction of its weight in kilograms as part of the earth’s crust (shown in parts per billion) are as follows:
5. Platinum — 5 ppb
4. Gold — 4 ppb
3. Osmium — 1.5 ppb
2. Rhodium, Iridium, Ruthenium, Tellurium (tie) — 1 ppb
1. Rhenium — 0.7 ppb
In case you’re wondering, silver clocks in at 7th, with 75 ppb.
>> How can you tell if silver is real or plated?
Now let’s look at the most expensive metals — only some of these are commonly traded, so finding pricing for the more obscure ones can be difficult, and of course, prices change daily. Here are the current rankings for five commonly traded and invested metals, as of close of market April 17, 2012:
5. Silver — $31.68/ounce
4. Palladium — $655.00/ounce
3. Platinum — $1,573.00/ounce
2. Gold — $1,646.00/ounce
1. Rhodium — $1450.00/ounce
Sources: Monex & Kitco
It’s also worth noting that there are also metals such as iridium and ruthenium, which generally sell for ~$400/ounce and up, but are not generally-traded commodities.
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