What are 8 of the World’s Most Expensive Metals?

Most valuable precious metals

Investors are always keen to build a portfolio of precious metals. Throughout history, this is typically meant the acquisition of gold and silver. Traditionally accepted as precious metals all over the world, these metals enjoy great liquidity – irrespective of whether they are available in bars or coins.

Gold and silver also enjoy vibrant global markets, due to the internationally regulated exchanges that they are traded in. This creates transparency and dependability for investors, making these precious metals a popular choice for commodity investments.

Of course, gold and silver are also used in the making of jewellery and are greatly valued as ornaments across different cultures. Many countries in Asia have the tradition of gifting gold at the time of a child’s christening ceremony or marriage. In many countries around the world, the purchase of gold is also considered to be auspicious and gold is often bought during times of religious events in the year. However, are we restricted to only gold and silver when it comes to precious metals investing? Which is the most expensive metal? How do we know which is the most valuable metal?

Thinking of buying gold or silver? Find out the most important buying factors here.

We ask and answer the question – “What are 8 of the World’s Most Expensive Metals?”

World’s Most Expensive Metals
Rhodium produces white polished rings

1)    Platinum

Close on the heels of gold and silver comes Platinum, a popular precious metal, partially due to its durability and versatility. Platinum enjoys demand from consumers and several companies manufacture jewellery and ornaments using the precious metal. Platinum is unique in the fact that its weight is close to double that of a gold carat.

This means that in terms of its density and weight, it is the heaviest in the list of precious metals. Apart from the jewellery industry, Platinum is in great demand in many other industrial fields such as aeronautics and dental implements. The metals name is derived from Platino, a word in the Spanish-language, meaning ‘little silver’.

2)    Rhodium

Interestingly, Rhodium is as rare as it is expensive. In fact, it is considered to be the most expensive metal in the world. Deposits of rhodium are scarce, adding to its rarity. The metal has a very high melting point and does not corrode easily. This is why it is greatly in demand across several industries. Of late, a popular precious metal is known as white gold. This is an alloy that uses rhodium, the most expensive metal as a plating medium to achieve the white colour and create a non-corrosive, scratch-resistant, reflective surface. Rhodium is scarce in supply however, countries like South Africa, Canada and Russia are well-known for its manufacture.

World’s Most Expensive Metals
Gold has always been used to make jewellery, even as early as 200 AD

1)    Gold

Of course, gold is a time-tested precious metal, well-known as a repository of value. It is considered to be the classic precious metal across all countries in the world. Throughout history, gold has considered to be the most expensive metal. It is commonly used for a variety of uses, of which the most popular ones that we know of are jewellery making, coinage and investment. However, gold is also considered the most valuable metal across several industries as well, due to its unique properties of malleability and conductivity. For example, the audio industry uses gold frequently in the manufacture of cables and audio contact terminals.


2)    Ruthenium

The precious metal enjoys high demand from the industry, particularly in the manufacture of electronic goods. This is primarily due to its property of extreme hardness and it is often used to reinforce other metals. It is well-known across the world as one of the most valuable metals within the Platinum category. It is possible to use the metal for the manufacture of jewellery, however, the incidence of this use is rare.

3)    Silver

The white metal has always been a close runner-up to gold. However, like gold, silver is also in great demand across the world for a variety of uses. Historically, it has been used for coinage, manufacture of utensils and jewellery. Due to its high industrial demand, silver is much sought after today. Therefore, silver investments have risen substantially, and investors often invest in silver bars and coins.

4)    Iridium

It is a rare metal to find, which makes it feature on the list of most expensive metals. Like Rhodium, it also has an extremely high melting point and does not corrode easily. Its use is primarily industrial, ranging from the electronics industry to its use in the automobile industry, particularly electric cars. Iridium has also been used widely as one of the most valuable metals for the manufacture of watches and South Africa remains the largest producer of this metal.

Insider's Guide to gold and silver

5)    Osmium

It is a bluish, silver metal that also has a super high melting point. However, it does not enjoy the other properties, found in most precious metals. Unlike gold and silver, which are extremely malleable, Osmium is hard and brittle. It is primarily used in the industry for the manufacture of electrical components and electric bulb filaments.

6)    Palladium

This precious metal is greyish white and also enjoys the properties of malleability and stability. It is rare, one of the most valuable metals, and has the unique property of being able to absorb large amounts of hydrogen, even at room temperature. The jewellery industry also uses this metal to create their alloys of white gold, while it is popular in the automobile industry as an emission reduction agent. Recently, there has been a fall in both supply and demand for this precious metal.

Call us for advice on your precious metal purchases

Physical Gold is one of the country’s most reputable precious metal dealers. Our team can advise you on the purchase of the most valuable metal products. Call us today on (020) 7060 9992 or get in touch with us by email.

Image credits: Wikimedia Commons and Wikimedia Commons


By Daniel Fisher

Daniel Fisher formed physical Gold in 2008, after working in the financial industry for 20 years. He spent much of that time working within the new issue fixed income business at a top tier US bank. In this role, he traded a large book of fixed income securities, raised capital for some of the largest government, financial, and corporate institutions in the world and advised the leading global institutional investors. Daniel is CeFA registered and is a member of the Institute of Financial Planning.

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