Mercury, also known as quicksilver, is a precious metal used by civilizations since ancient times. It is a rare element found naturally in the Earth’s crust but can also be produced synthetically. Mercury is an incredibly versatile metal with various uses in industry and scientific applications.
Is Mercury a Precious Metal?
No, Mercury is not precious metal. Nine precious metals are iridium, rhenium, ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, platinum, silver, and gold. Mercury does not have high commodity price levels, such as precious metals.
As its name suggests, mercury is a liquid metal at room temperature, making it one of only four metals that are naturally liquid at room temperature (the others being gallium, cesium, and francium). Even though it looks like water, mercury is much denser than water – it is 13.5 times dense than water! Mercury’sshalloww melting point (–38.83 °C) makes it the coldest liquid metal on the periodic table of elements.
One of mercury’s most important applications is in thermometers and barometers. Due to its high density and low melting point, mercury expands quickly when heated or subjected to pressure changes making it ideal for these instruments. In addition to this use in thermometry, mercury has many other benefits ranging from dental amalgams to nuclear power plants. Due to its excellent electrical conductivity properties, Mercury can also be used in electrical switches and relays.
In terms of demand and supply dynamics, mercury is a rare element due to the limited amount available on earth – estimates suggest that there may only be around 50 million tons worldwide! The primary source for mercurial ore comes from Latin American countries such as Mexico and Chile, making up over half of the global production each year. Mercurial ore can also come from Russia and Kazakhstan, but these countries form only a tiny percentage of the worldwide output due to their remote location or political restrictions.
Mercury has always been expensive throughout history due to its rarity. However, with increasing environmental awareness around the possible negative impacts of mercury usage (such as pollution from industrial processes), governments are starting to put measures in place to reduce demand for this metal where possible. For example, many countries have banned certain types of dental fillings made with mercury amalgam, which will likely further decrease the need.
In conclusion, while historically being one of the most sought-after metals due to its versatility and a broad range of uses, today mercury is considered a precious metal due to its rarity combined with newfound social consciousness around preserving the environment by decreasing demand when possible – although this doesn’t lessen its potential value within specific industries such as thermometry or power generation.
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