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The 10 rarest metals in the world

Some think that gold is the rarest metal in the world, due to its preciousness. In reality, there are much rarer and much, much more precious metals.

If you were to be the emperor of a powerful kingdom and had to choose to mint national coins with a metal that could not be counterfeited, thanks to its scarcity and rarity, you could choose among those contained in the ranking of the 10 rarest metals in the world.

Rare does not always rhyme with precious, since the value of a metal is not determined only by its scarcity, but also by what is required on the market.

The 10 rarest metals in the world

In short, if the supply of a metal is low but the demand is also low, its value may not be high. This is the case of the rarest metal in the world, iridium , which has modest prices and very limited uses.

The complete overview of the 10 rarest metals in the world , includes fairly well-known metals and others almost totally unknown to most people.


It is the rarest element on the whole earth's crust (0.0004 parts per million), about 12 times rarer than gold. According to some important scientific studies, the origin of the metal would be extraterrestrial, arrived with the same asteroid that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs, which crashed near the present Yucatan peninsula ( Chicxulub Crater ).


Like iridium, it belongs to the platinum group and for some years was the most precious of metals. Extracting rhodium is a rather complex undertaking, in fact this metal is found mixed in minerals of other metals, such as palladium, silver, platinum and gold. Even the fusion operations are very difficult, so as to barely reach a total world production of only 7 tons per year.


In the molten state, tellurium is able to corrode metals such as copper, iron and even stainless steel 


It is a very difficult metal to produce due to its particular chemical and physical characteristics. Therefore ruthenium is commercially available in very small quantities and its prices are particularly high (currently around 60 dollars per ounce).


Osmium also belongs to the platinum group and its tetroxide is used for fingerprinting. It is the heaviest metal in nature.

6. Rhenium

Rhenium does not exist naturally in the free state nor in the most common minerals. The only possibility is to obtain it from the ammonium perrenate 


Of course, gold is also among the rarest metals in the world. It is distributed a little over the entire earth's crust, with an average concentration of 0.03 parts per million, corresponding to 0.03 grams per ton.


It is present in nature in its pure state or in alloy with iridium. Its highly toxic compounds are quite rare in nature and some of them, such as cisplatin , are used as anti-cancer drugs.


Also belonging to the platinum group, it is widely used as a catalyst 


It is mainly used in the pharmaceutical sector and for the preparation of low melting point alloys such as, for example, those for fuses.

If instead we talked about the commercial value of metals, the ranking would change radically. In fact, the record of the most precious element in the world belongs theoretically to an isotope, the form in which some elements can be found in nature (with a different number of neutrons in the atomic nucleus). Its value is estimated in the incredible sum of 1 billion dollars per troy ounce and its name is platinum 190 isotope ( 190Pt ).
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About Minh Hiếu

Le Minh Hieu is a national-level weightlifter and a Singapore Weightlifting sports performance coach. Hieu's biggest passion is helping everyone find confidence, happiness, and health through fitness.


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