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Precious metals and alloys

Precious metals are rare, natural metal chemical elements with high economic value. Chemically, the reactivity of precious metals is often lower than that of most elements (see precious metals). They are usually ductile and have a high gloss. Historically, precious metals have been important as currencies, but now they are mainly regarded as investment and industrial commodities. Gold, silver, platinum and palladium all have ISO 4217 currency codes.

The most famous precious metals are coinage metals, namely gold and silver. Although both have industrial uses, they are well-known for their use in art, jewelry, and coinage. Other precious metals include platinum group metals: ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, iridium, and platinum, with platinum being the most widely traded. The demand for precious metals depends not only on their actual use, but also on their role as an investment and store of value. Historically, the price of precious metals is much higher than that of ordinary industrial metals.