The monetary value of precious metals like gold and silver is based on their rarity, industrial uses, and more. But at their core, they are elements.
These precious metals have rich symbolism throughout the world. They are associated with flexibility, wisdom, health, radiance, and eternity.
Gold (atomic number 79, symbol Au) is one of the rarest and most precious of all metals. It is highly ductile and malleable, and possesses high electrical and thermal conductivity. It is used in jewelry, electronics, and thermal insulation and radiation shielding.
It is also a popular investment for those who want to diversify their portfolios outside of traditional stocks and shares, as it has historically outperformed other asset classes. It is available as physical bars and coins, or via an exchange-traded fund or financial contract.
Gold has been used since antiquity in the production of jewellery, coinage, sculpture, and vessels. It has long been regarded as a symbol of wealth and prosperity, with associations in the West with royalty and the crown, and in the East with wisdom and spirituality.
Copper is a malleable and ductile metallic element that is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. It is also corrosion resistant and antimicrobial.
In the natural environment, copper is found in sulphide deposits (as chalcopyrite and bornite), in carbonate deposits (as azurite and malachite) and in silicate deposits (as chrysycolla). It can be extracted from soil and water, and it’s used as a pigment in a variety of materials.
The price of copper has risen in recent years, driven by declines in supply and demand. Analysts blame declining ore grades, mine disruptions and falling capital expenditures at mining firms.
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, but can also contain other metals such as lead or tin. Brass is a popular material due to its low melting point, high workability (both with hand tools and modern turning and milling machines), durability, and electrical and thermal conductivity.
It has a golden or silvery hue that can be engineered to match different design applications. It is also a highly corrosion-resistant metal.
Mercury, atomic number 80 on the periodic table and commonly known as quicksilver, is the only metal that’s liquid at room temperature. That makes it particularly tempting to alchemists, who believed it was the key to transmuting base metals into gold.
It also made it a popular material for making jewelry and fine objects like thermometers and light bulbs, despite its toxicity. However, when used in the wrong way, mercury can cause illness and even death.
Mercury’s glyph, or symbol, resembles that of Venus with a semi-circle on top. The circle represents spirit, while the cross represents matter, making it receptive to the spirit of others and the world around you.
Antimony, also known as stibium and Sb, is a lustrous grey metalloid. It is found in nature mainly as stibnite (Sb2S3).
It is one of the most abundant elements on Earth. It is a component of about half the metals produced.
In industrial and metallurgical applications, it is used to increase the hardness and mechanical strength of lead. It is also used as a corrosion inhibitor and in a variety of flame-proofing compounds.
It is also an important element in the production of halogenated antimony trioxide, which is used as a flame retardant in plastics. It is also a common ingredient in lead-acid batteries.