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Precious Metals

Precious metals are not a classification from the periodic table of the elements, although there they are arranged next to each other and one below the other, but collectively indicate basic chemical properties.

Classical precious metals are chemically defined as follows: On the one hand they are very resistant to corrosion, on the other hand their chemical compounds are thermally unstable. This means they do not rust or oxidize, but their compounds break down when heated. They are not attacked by hydrochloric acid.


There are other chemical and physical definitions that comprise other metals or even consider only Copper, Gold and Silver as precious metals. 


The eight precious metals with symbol and atomic number are:

  • Gold (Au, 79)
  • Silver (Ag, 47)
  • Ruthenium (Ru, 44)
  • Rhodium (Rh, 45)
  • Palladium (Pd, 46)
  • Osmium (Os, 76)
  • Iridium (Ir, 77)
  • Platinum (Pt, 78)


The six platinum metals Ruthenium, Rhodium, Palladium, Osmium, Iridium and Platinum are also called the PGMs, short for platinum group metals.



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