In addition to being an investment metal, rhodium has unique physical and chemical properties that make it highly sought-after for various industrial applications. Like other precious metals, rhodium is traded on commodities futures markets such as COMEX, Shanghai Exchange, LBMA and others. This metal has a variety of industrial uses due its unique physical characteristics such as strength, durability, corrosion resistance, high-melting point and other qualities.
Rhodium are part of the Platinum Group Metals (PGM). The unique properties of rhodium make it indispensable, with many applications in the automotive, electronics and jewelry sectors.
Common industrial applications of rhodium include three-way catalytic converters that reduce emissions in gas and diesel cars and trucks and in the manufacturing of fiberglass and flat-panel glass used in televisions and other electrical components.
By far, the jewelry industry is the largest consumer of rhodium, which is used in fashion jewelry, both as a base for alloys, and as a plating material that is durable and keeps a shiny finish. It is also commonly mixed with gold to create white gold alloys.
The refining and extraction of Rhodium involves a more complex process than other metals because it is found mixed with other metals and minerals in ore. The largest concentrations of rhodium are found in areas of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ural Mountains in Asia and North and South America.
For investors, rhodium bars remain difficult to find due to limited refining capacity and high industrial demand.
Rhodium is one of the rarest naturally occurring elements on Earth and is typically found in small quantities as a byproduct of platinum and nickel mining. Rhodium is mainly a byproduct of platinum and palladium mining, and naturally occurring stand-alone deposits of ore are relatively scarce. As a result, the global supply of rhodium is limited, and there are only a few primary sources for its extraction.
The refining process for rhodium is complex and requires specialized facilities. As a result, there are a limited number of refineries that have the capability to process and refine rhodium into its purest bullion form, further restricting its availability.
It is a hard metal with a high melting point and excellent corrosion resistance with a silvery-white appearance. These characteristics, along with its natural luster, make it a perfect metal for use in jewelry. It is often used as both a plating material and as an alloy in white gold.
Rhodium is one of the most expensive precious metals with prices sometimes experiencing significant fluctuations in response to changes in supply and demand dynamics. Geopolitical events or disruptions in major rhodium-producing regions can impact its supply and contribute to price volatility.
The largest concentration of rhodium is found in the Bushveld Igneous Complex in the northern region of South Africa that is rich in high concentration deposits of platinum group metals (PGMs), including rhodium, platinum and palladium. It's estimated that 80-90% of the world's supply of rhodium is mined in South Africa.
Rhodium is extremely rare, even rarer than gold or platinum. Most rhodium is mined as a byproduct of platinum or nickel mining. Due to its rarity and industrial uses, rhodium can be a desirable metal for investment. Rhodium bullion bars are one form of physical investment in the metal. These bars are typically 99.9% pure rhodium and are available in various weights.
The price of rhodium can be highly volatile. Its price can swing significantly based on supply disruptions (since there are few primary rhodium mines) and changes in demand, particularly from the automotive industry.
Rhodium bars are less liquid than other precious metals like gold and silver and buying and selling can sometimes be more challenging due to fewer market participants and potential price discrepancies. Rhodium bullion bars will include markings that indicate the weight, purity, and a serial number. Depending on the manufacturer, the bar will likely display a logo or other identifying hallmarks.
The troy weight system is an ancient system of weights that is derived from the Roman monetary system. The troy system was later adopted by the British and other countries for weighing precious metals like gold, silver, and gemstones.
A troy ounce is a unit of measure for weighing precious metals that dates back to the Middle Ages. Originally used in Troyes, France, the troy ounce is now the standard unit of measure for precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum.
One troy ounce is the equivalent of 31.1034768 grams, which is a little more than the standard avoirdupois ounce that weighs 28.3495 grams. There are 12 troy ounces in a troy pound, rather than 16 ounces found in the 'avoirdupois' pound more commonly used for measuring weight in the United States.
The Troy Ounce, abbreviate as "t oz" or "oz t", is roughly 10% heavier than the avoirdupois ounce. When you see precious metal prices quoted, such as the spot price of gold or silver, it is typically quoted per troy ounce.
The system was introduced to England in the 9th Century by traders doing business with Byzantine Empire. The system was named after the Roman trading city of Troyes in France, a major trading city in the Middle Ages. This system of measurement spread throughout Europe for the trade and exchange of precious metals.
The troy system was introduced into England following the Norman Conquest in 1066. By the 1400s, the troy weight system was officially adopted in England for the trading and weighing of precious metals. The British Pound Sterling, originally denoting a pound of sterling silver, reflects this ancient connection between weight and currency. The troy measurement system became the official standard for gold and silver in Britain in 1527 under King Henry VIII.
It's worth noting that the troy ounce is heavier than the more common avoirdupois ounce that is used to weigh most other items in the U.S. The troy system's division into 12 ounces (reflecting the old Roman libra) is also in contrast to the avoirdupois system's division of 16 ounces to a pound.
Today, the troy weight system is used almost exclusively in the precious metals industry. When you buy an ounce of gold or silver, it's a troy ounce. Similarly, when precious metals are mined, they're weighed using the troy system.