METALS DETERMINE MAN’S LIFE, MAN GIVES LIFE TO METALS
Non-ferrous metals constitute an integral part of our everyday life, although their role is often unsuspected. The long history and the traditions of the non-ferrous metals metallurgy illustrate the paramount role they played in the economic and cultural evolution of human populations.
Gold and silver have been particularly present all along the different civilisations as they were used in the creation of personal ornaments, for the manufacture of religious or decorative objects, and as exchange currencies.
Approximately 10 000 years ago, except for gold and silver (and silver chloride) which were readily available in the environment, other precious metals and precious metals compounds were ignored, however. Because many new applications have become possible, thanks to the continuous evolution of Man’s curiosity, research, science and technology, and certainly because of the role of precious metals in investment and store of value, more precious metals have been identified.
A metal is deemed to be “precious” if it is rare. Precious metals are therefore described as rare metallic chemical elements of high economic value, the latter usually being associated to its rareness. Gold (Au) and silver (Ag) are the most known precious metals. The rarest metallic elements however, belong to the Platinum Group (PGM): platinum (Pt), palladium (Pd), osmium (Os), rhodium (Rh), ruthenium (Ru) and iridium (Ir).
Recommended videos introducing precious metals, with the courtesy of IPMI: