A precious metal – that’s a precious metal, isn’t it? However, you should not understand the term precious metal quite literally. Gold is by far the best-known precious metal. But the list is long. The iridium, platinum metals platinum, osmium, palladium, ruthenium, and rhodium also belong to the precious metals. Also mercury and silver are in the wide sense, even if they have somewhat different properties.
What makes a metal a precious metal?
Precious metals stand out from base metals due to their resistance to corrosion. It means that precious metals do not react at room temperature with substances in their location, such as water or air. In contrast to iron, precious metals will not rust or oxidize. Only silver shows a minor reaction with hydrogen sulphide. A thin layer of black silver sulphide forms over time. On the other hand, the silver remains undamaged. You can remove the sulfide again with the right silver care.