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Rhodium is one of the most expensive treasured metals having no primary mines, whilst, its demand remains stable driven by the automobile sector. In 2003, it was worth $530 an ounce, and its price was over $10,000 an ounce due to supply deficit. It can resist higher temperatures, hence, is used as an alternative catalytic converter to regulate nitrous oxide emission. Its value increased 48 per cent in the last 12 months to $1,279 oz, where it remained volatile, traded by a small group of investors.
It was discovered by William Hyde Wollaston who discovered - platinum and palladium, was left with a reddish salt that he named after the Greek word for ‘rose’. Rhodium is usually found in its purest of form but is often mined with other metals. 84% of the metal is found in the mines of South Africa and 12% in Russia. It can be mined in smaller amounts from nickel and copper ores. A number of chemical treatments separate it from the other minerals and compounds.
It is a durable silvery-white element that corrodes at a considerably slower place. It is not affected by most common acids like nitric acid; however, it dissolves in acids like aqua regia. Around 80% of the production is used in vehicles - cars or motorbikes. It is also used in the jewellery business, in electroplating white gold and platinum to give a shiny white surface that fades at a slow pace. It could, further, be used to coat sterling silver to protect it from tarnishing or discolouring. It is rarely used in creating pure jewellery.
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