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Precious Metal Service

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Rhodium

Rhodium is a member of the platinum group of metals and is one of the least recognised and most expensive of the precious metals. Being chemically inert, corrosion resistant and able to withstand extremely high temperatures makes it extremely useful for manufacturing and industrial purposes. In bar form, Rhodium is a silvery-white colour.

Rhodium cannot be mined on its own and exists only as a by-product of mining other metals such as platinum, nickel, copper and palladium. South Africa and Russia provide the only two sources of mining supply. These factors can cause great volatility in the price which in 2008 reached $10,000 an ounce.

The major use of rhodium is in catalytic converters for cars (80%). It reduces nitrogen oxides in exhaust gases. Rhodium is also used as catalysts in the chemical industry, for making nitric acid, acetic acid and hydrogenation reactions. Rhodium is used to coat optic fibres and optical mirrors, and for crucibles, thermocouple elements and headlight reflectors. It is used as an electrical contact material as it has a low electrical resistance and is highly resistant to corrosion.

In jewellery Rhodium is often electroplated onto white gold and platinum to produce a shiny finish. It is also electroplated onto Silver to help protect the surface from tarnish. It is alloyed to platinum and palladium to add strength and additional resistive characteristics to these metals.

Rhodium is rarely available in bar form for investment however Bleyer is pleased to offer its customers access to the only commercially produced range of 999.5 purity investment bars produced by Baird & Co.

Tip: Did you know that your rhodium purchase could be VAT free if you opt to store your bars in one of our offshore vaults? Bleyer is a leading provider of insured bullion storage, more information on our vaulting services can be found Here