RECENT FROM Gold

Largest Gold Nuggets Discovered: Welcome Stranger And Hand Of Faith...

Gold nuggets are naturally occurring large masses of native gold found in alluvial deposits. Often they are concentrated by watercourses and recovered by placer mining. In other instances, gold nuggets are found in piles of residue in sites where mining operations once took place. Two gold nuggets are noted for being the largest masses of gold ever discovered. These are the “Welcome Stranger” and the “Hand of Faith”. Their respective “largest” titles, however, carry further qualifications. The Welcome Stranger Gold Nugget: The exact distinction given of this gold nugget is: “the largest alluvial gold nugget ever found”. It was discovered on February 5, 1869 at Moliagul, a small township...

RECENT FROM Precious Metals

Ruthenium: Most Versatile Of The Platinum Group Metals...

Arranged by name alphabetically, ruthenium is the last of six metallic elements in the platinum group. This precious metal is characterized as being both polyvalent and versatile. In fact, it is known to be more versatile than any of the other five precious metals in the platinum group. A hard, white metal, ruthenium is known to have four crystal modifications. While it does not tarnish under normal temperature, it does oxidize readily when exposed to air. It can be plated by means of two methods: thermal decomposition and electrodeposition. Following is a list of some of the properties of ruthenium: General: • Chemical Symbol: Ru • Atomic Number: 44...

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Silver: Precious Metal With The Highest Thermal And Electrical Conductivity...

Silver is generally described as a soft, white, lustrous metallic chemical element. It occurs naturally in its pure form, as an alloy with other metallic elements (especially gold), and in chlorargyrite and other minerals. As one of three coinage metals (the other two being copper and gold), silver is very malleable and ductile. Of the different metals, silver is known to have the highest thermal conductivity. Similarly of the different known elements, silver has the highest electrical conductivity. Provided below are some of the properties of this precious metal. General: • Chemical Symbol: Ag • Atomic Number: 47 • Category (as an element): Transition Metal • Group/ Period/ Block...

Rhodium: Costliest Precious Metal

In 1803, the English physicist and chemist William Hyde Wollaston discovered a chemical element that is today considered the most expensive of the precious metals. This precious metal, which belongs to the platinum group metals, is rhodium. With its current price of around 1,000 U.S. dollars per troy ounce, rhodium is about five times costlier than platinum. Wollaston’s discovery of rhodium was made possible with the use of crude platinum ore. He first dissolved the ore in nitro-hydrochloric acid (also called aqua regia) and neutralized the acid with lye (or sodium hydroxide). By adding salmiac (ammonium chloride), he then precipitated the platinum. All other metals, including rhodium, were precipitated with zinc. Rhodium was further precipitated by the addition...

posted on: Aug 3, 2014 | author: admin

Rhenium: Last Naturally Occurring Stable Precious Metal Discovered...

In the periodic table of elements, rhenium is found as a third-row transition metal in group 7. Known to be one of the rarest precious metals in the Earth’s crust, rhenium has an average concentration of 1 part per billion. It is obtained mainly as a by-product of the refinement of two other chemical elements – copper and molybdenum. Rhenium was discovered as a trace element in the mineral columbite and in platinum ores. Three German chemists – Otto Berg and the couple Walter Noddack and Ida Tacke – made the discovery in 1925. This find made rhenium the last identified naturally occurring precious metal with stable isotopes. Actually, naturally occurring rhenium is composed of 2 stable isotopes...

posted on: Aug 3, 2014 | author: admin

Precious Metals Discoverers And Name Etymologies...

The group of precious metals consists of two coinage metals, six platinum group metals, and one metal considered the last naturally occurring stable element to be discovered. Except for gold and silver (the two coinage metals), the rest of the precious metals have recorded discoveries. In the following list, the names of the discoverers and name etymologies of the seven precious metals (again, those with recorded discoveries) are provided. The year of discovery of each of these elements, as presented here, refers to the year when the element was first identified as the pure element. Also provided are their respective name etymologies. 1. Platinum – Antonio de Ulloa, a Spanish explorer and astronomer, is generally credited with the...

posted on: Aug 3, 2014 | author: admin

Precious Metal Determinants: Rarity And High Economic Value...

A metal is considered “precious” if it is rare and is of high economic value. Under these two factors, nine metallic chemical elements qualify as precious metals. These are, in no particular order, gold, palladium, silver, rhodium, iridium, ruthenium, platinum, osmium, and rhenium. So that while the chemical element tellurium is considered one of the rarest element in the Earth’s crust (its mass abundance being the same as that of rhodium, iridium, and ruthenium), its estimated price is only less than 5 U.S. dollars per troy ounce, and, therefore, cannot be considered a precious metal. The same can be said of bismuth, which has a mass abundance half less than that of palladium, but with a price of...

posted on: Aug 3, 2014 | author: admin

Placer Mining: Three Methods Used To Mine Placer Gold...

posted on: Aug 3, 2014 | author: admin

The word placer, as will be found throughout here, is derived from the same Spanish word which means “sandbank”. It specifically refers to an alluvial deposit of detrital material, such as gravel, which contains particles of precious chemical elements. The term “placer gold”, therefore, refers to gold that has formed in rocks moved and placed on stream beds by some geological forces and by the action of water. Lode gold tends to erode from its source, distributing itself naturally among other rocks that have been subjected to similar geological forces. This results to the formation of a secondary deposit. Thus the mining of alluvial deposits for gold and other precious metal deposits is called “placer mining”. Placer mining may be done through a number of tunneling procedures into riverbeds. There also are the open-cast mining and hydraulic mining. In the former, placer mining is done by open-pit; in the...

Palladium And Platinum As Investment Commodities...

posted on: Aug 3, 2014 | author: admin

Palladium and platinum are two of nine metallic chemical elements considered “precious” for their rarity and high economic value. Like all the other precious metals, palladium and platinum have various industrial uses. But apart from these, both are also regarded as investment commodities. Palladium as an investment commodity: Palladium is valued at around US$415 per troy ounce. Actually, this is much lower than its price of more than one thousand U.S. dollars per troy ounce in early 2001, when the automobile industry placed a high demand for the precious metal for use as catalytic converters. As an investment commodity, palladium may be bought in forms of bullion coins or bars. Palladium bullion coins are internationally recognized forms of currency and have the ISO codes XPD and 964. The first known palladium coins to be issued were those of Sierra Leone in 1966. The following year, Tonga started issuing theirs....

Palladium: Least Dense Of The Platinum Group Metals...

posted on: Aug 3, 2014 | author: admin

Palladium is a rare precious metal characterized by its lustrous silvery-white appearance. It was discovered by the English chemist William Hyde Wollaston in London, England in 1803, along with his discovery (together with Smithson Tennant, another English chemist) of the other metals in the platinum group. The name “palladium” was coined by Wollaston from the asteroid named “Pallas”. Of the different precious metals in the platinum group (which includes iridium, platinum, osmium, rhodium, and ruthenium), palladium is known to be the least dense. It likewise has the lowest melting point. Palladium is utilized in many applications because of its unique properties, some of which are provided below. General: • Chemical Symbol: Pd • Atomic Number: 46 • Category (as an element): Transition Metal • Group/ Period/ Block (in the Periodic Table): 10/ 5/ d • Atomic Weight: 106.42 g.mol-1 • Electron Configuration: [Kr] 4d10 Physical: • Density (near room...

Osmium: Densest Precious Metal

posted on: Aug 3, 2014 | author: admin

Osmium is an extremely hard, brittle, bluish white or gray transition metal in the platinum group metals. It is the densest natural element, being about 0.03 g/cm3 denser than iridium (the second densest natural element) and about twice as dense as lead. Among the platinum family members, osmium has the highest melting point and the lowest vapor pressure. This precious metal is nearly impossible to fabricate. When alloyed with some of the other metals in the platinum group, such as iridium or platinum, osmium is used in certain applications where extreme hardness and durability are required. A couple examples of these are for electrical contacts and for tips of high quality fountain pens. Some of the properties osmium possesses are outlined below. General: • Chemical Symbol: Os • Atomic Number: 76 • Category (as an element): Transition Metal • Group/ Period/ Block (in the Periodic Table): 8/ 6/ d...

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