Tuesday, 11 September 2012

5 Materials Worth More Than Gold

We have written extensively about gold, the eternal substance – throughout the Middle Ages, alchemists struggled to transmute less precious metals into the one they deemed to be the most expensive. However, they were wrong. Actually, modern science knows a couple of materials which are more expensive than gold when taking equal weights of it – so Schoolonomic will list you the five most famous ones.


5.Platinum: 60$/gram

At first, it's hard to understand what is so extraordinary about platinum – it pretty much looks like silver, and even it's price is a mere 120% that of gold. However, that is just once side of the story. Platinum is used in laboratory equipment, electrical engineering, dentistry equipment and jewelry – and also, it is very scarce, only found in traces near copper and nickel deposits. That means that only a few hundred tonnes are mined every year – pushing the prices up to the range of gold, and sometimes above.

Source: Bad Credit Advisor

4.Rhodium: 100$/gram

Rhodium is another mystery metal – at a quick glimpse, it looks like an insignificant, ash-like dust.
However, it is a vital component of catalytic converters – car components which turn dangerous and toxic emission gases into less lethal ones. 80% of the world's rhodium production goes to cars, while the rest generally goes to be the top layer of 'white gold', an important type of jewelry material. It is also four times as rare as gold – meaning that discounting it's aesthetic disadvantage, it still costs twice as much.

Source: Diamond Topics

3.Diamonds: 2500$/gram

If you'd tell your lady of choosing that the long-cherished family earring is actually an allotrope of the same carbon you use for barbecue, your date probably wouldn't last long. Diamond is the most precious gem, and also the most durable one, second-functioning as dentistry equipment. It's price generally depends on it's size and shape, but jewelry-quality, 1 carat pieces cost around 500$ - bringing the gram cost to a respectable 2500$, 50 times that of gold.

Source: Nuclear Weapon Archives


'War...War never changes.' Goes the iconic line of the Fallout video game series, and it is true – the second most precious substance known to mankind is the metal used to craft atomic bombs, capable of annihilating millions. While compared to the effects of making an atomic bomb, plutonium is quite cheap, you won't be able to find it at your local commodity exchange – producing weapon-grade plutonium is a lengthy process, complicated by the expectable diplomatic controversy it would produce – bringing the price to 80 times that of gold.

Source: CERN

1.Antimatter: 25,000,000,000$/gram

The absolute winner of this evening's competition is actually only theoretical – antimatter is yet to be produced, due to – besides other problems – the extreme difficulties posed by storing a substance which dissolves into energy if it comes into contact with normal matter. Hence scientists estimate the cost of producing 1 gram of antimatter to be 500 million(!) times that of mining 1 gram of gold. 

Do you have suggestions? Which one is your favourite? Tell us in comments.

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