Rhodium is a precious metal that belongs to the platinum group of elements. It has several essential properties that make it highly valuable:
- Rarity: Rhodium is one of the rarest precious metals, with an annual production of only about 30 tons globally. This scarcity contributes to its high value.
- Durability: Rhodium is highly resistant to corrosion and oxidation, making it extremely durable. It can retain its luster and shine even under harsh conditions.
- Malleability: Rhodium is highly malleable and can be easily shaped and formed into various objects. This property makes it ideal for use in jewelry and other decorative items.
- Conductivity: Rhodium is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. This property makes it useful in a wide range of industrial applications, including electronics, medical devices, and Thermocouples .
- Beauty: Rhodium has a bright, white, and reflective appearance, which is highly valued in jewelry and other decorative items.
- Plating material: The key benefit of rhodium plating is longevity. When used to plate a piece of jewelry or another piece of metal, it adds resistance against scrapes and scratches. Another advantage is that the precious metal is hypoallergenic. It is devoid of nickel as well as of other harmful materials commonly applied to jewelry.
Rhodium is primarily used in the production of catalytic converters for automobiles and other industrial applications. It is also used in the production of jewelry and other decorative items due to its bright, white appearance. Rhodium is mostly found in South Africa, Russia, and Canada.
In recent years, the price of rhodium has experienced a significant increase due to increased demand from the automotive industry and limited supply. In 2021, the price of Rhodium reached an all-time high of over $25,000 per ounce. However, the price has since fluctuated and currently stands at around $8,000 per ounce as of March 2023.