What are the Noble Metals?

Chemically, noble metals resist oxidation and corrosion in moist air. They also possess varying degrees of resistance to acids. This group includes the following elements: ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium, gold, silver, and platinum.

In addition to noble metal properties, gold, silver, and platinum posses the following characteristics:

  • These metals occur worldwide, but not in large enough quantities to render them less valuable.
  • They’re considered precious metals and have been used as currency (a store of value).
  • Many cultures, historically and currently, consider these metals beautiful, sensuous, and glamorous, which increases their appeal.
  • These metals also possess malleability, which makes them practical choices for jewelry making.

For all these reasons, the trio of gold, silver, and platinum continue to enjoy considerable popularity as jewelry metals.


Although long coveted for its beauty, gold possesses physical properties that have also captivated humanity. Since gold never tarnishes and has great workability, many jewelry designers and makers prefer it to other metals. In fact, a single ounce of gold can be stretched into a thread more than 50 miles long. You can also roll that quantity into a sheet that covers 100 square feet in area. If properly…