Precious metal

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A precious metal is a rare, naturally occurring metallic chemical element of high economic value. Chemically, the precious metals are less reactive than most elements, have high luster, are softer or more ductile, and have higher melting points than other metals. Historically, precious metals were important as currency but are now regarded mainly as investment and industrial commodities; to the extent they are used in coins it is done so for numismatic (coin collector) purposes.

The most commonly known precious metals (used in investments) are gold, silver, and platinum, but ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium and rhenium are also considered precious metals.

See also