Osmium - far rarer and denser than gold, palladium, or platinum

Discussion in 'General Precious Metals Discussion' started by mmissinglink, May 31, 2015.

  1. mmissinglink

    mmissinglink Active Member

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    Today I was cogitating on rare, investment grade noble metals. So many times I've heard how rare gold is but is it really rare, especially in comparison to other rare earth metals? I thought so. So then I began doing some research on what is the rarest metal on earth. What I learned is that the rarest metal on earth is also the densest naturally occurring element on the planet also. This noble metal has a name. It's called Osmium.

    "Osmium is the least abundant stable element in Earth's crust with an average mass fraction of 50 parts per trillion in the continental crust.[41]" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osmium Gold, by comparison, is very abundant. Noble metals are rare metals. Gold, platinum, palladium, and rhodium are considered investment metals because they are noble metals. So when is the rarest of the noble metals, Osmium, going to finally be considered an investment metal? Well, for some, apparently it already is. There may come a day when we see other noble metals like Osmium finally have a trading price set daily for it, like gold and platinum do.

    Osmium, if it can be found for purchase, is typically sold in powder form. For a laboratory or refinery to produce ingots of pure Osmium is not an easy accomplishment at all from what I've been reading....but it can be done and the ingots are not toxic if handled responsibly.

    Only the most exclusive jewelry designers have ever worked with Osmium because it is so hard, dense, and can be toxic if not refined properly. I found a research / laboratory and industrial provider that sells small, various purity bars of Osmium: http://www.americanelements.com/osmbbr.html

    I have no relation or relationship whatsoever with this firm. Through my research on Osmium, I found them. I also requested a quote for a 1 oz bar of Osmium. At under USD $2,000 for 99.9% pure Osmium, it seems like a great price considering how much more rare it is in comparison to gold and platinum.




    [​IMG]
    Osmium ingot



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  2. SpacePete

    SpacePete Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    How liquid is a metal like this? How easy to buy and sell?
     
  3. mmissinglink

    mmissinglink Active Member

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    Today, not very liquid and I'd bet that's why the price is so very low for such a rare noble metal (it's in the Platinum Group Metals - PGMs).

    Also, I think that the fact that there isn't significant industrial usage of Osmium at this time, that this is actually a positive aspect in terms of Osmium being a good investment today. Why? Because just imagine Osmium was widely used by industry today and the price would be as it is today....then what demand side factor could push the price in overdrive if it would already be a saturated industrial metal? The fact that there is very little industrial demand at this time seems to me a great argument in terms of future potential.

    Less than USD $2000 an ounce seems quite an interesting price to me.



    Your thoughts?




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  4. Ronnie 666

    Ronnie 666 Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    I would avoid osmium - in air it converts to osmium tetroxide which is highly toxic
     
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  5. miniroo

    miniroo Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    It's not going to be of any major use anytime soon, even if they come up with something major to use it on.
    might be worth keeping track of technology and see if Osmium ever appears in anything.

    Conflict Metals on the other hand is where I think people should look to when diversifying with gold.
    The 3T's as they say, Tantalum, Tungsten & Tin, out of all things.

    The 3T's are used in a lot of things obviously with Tantalum top of the charts as it's used in capacitors on electronics, on just about everything electrical today there are tantalum capacitors and it's going to keep growing.

    Whilst all things may be rosy right now, conflict metals can have their moments, the time to buy conflict metals isn't during conflict.
     
  6. Caput Lupinum

    Caput Lupinum Active Member Silver Stacker

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    Forget Osmium, Thallium is where it's at. Go buy some of that :cool:
     
  7. -j-p-shmorgan

    -j-p-shmorgan New Member

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  8. Clawhammer

    Clawhammer Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Difficult to stamp a makers mark and purity on that ingot.
     
  9. -j-p-shmorgan

    -j-p-shmorgan New Member

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    I'd say so. lol
     
  10. willrocks

    willrocks Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    There's a good reason osmium has never been used as currency.
     
  11. Ronnie 666

    Ronnie 666 Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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    Between Osmium and thallium it seems that you need not worry about PM purchases as the dead have no need for PM ?
     
  12. mmissinglink

    mmissinglink Active Member

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    That's not true at all for Osmium ingots, bars, or any cast form or laser melted form of Osmium. Only Osmium powder is a problem; "Finely divided metallic osmium is pyrophoric[50] and reacts with oxygen at room temperature forming volatile osmium tetroxide." "The most common compound exhibiting the +8 oxidation state is osmium tetroxide. This toxic compound is formed when powdered osmium is exposed to air, and is a very volatile..." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osmium

    And besides, it's extremely easy and inexpensive to vacuum seal an Osmium bar / ingot that is in a plastic baggie or small plastic container...no different than vacuum sealing coins or food.



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  13. SmartyFarty

    SmartyFarty Member

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    In Australia, only gold, silver, and platinum stamped bullion is GST free.

    I was looking at Rhodium for the novelty but after figuring out it would cost 10% more because of GST I thought no thanks.

    There are a few of these "liquid metal" bullion stuff on Ebay. I think it is mostly a scam.

    I would rather stamped bullion from a reputable bullion refiner from a reputable seller.
     
  14. minimilled

    minimilled Active Member

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    I’m looking at osmium - it is a platinum group metal and said to be the rarest metal in the earth’s crust (would have to confirm that). It is much more common in space rock and is mined from meteorite craters.
    Most would know it has very high density (ironic when it comes from space itself)

    There is about 1 tonne mined annually. The asking price is around 400 USD per ounce though that is not the actual price it goes for.

    The toxic form refers to a kind which oxidises and this oxide is readily absorbed through skin. I understand it’s also the reason it is called osmium, for its smelliness.

    There are refined ingots from what I can see and in that form reputedly nontoxic. Once site has them for a shade under 1000 USD per ounce.

    Not bad for a material that is far rarer than other PGMs.

    The issue is a unique use case. Its primary modern use is for hardening.

    I remember there was a mine in Tasmania some time ago, wonder if it still operates.
     
  15. minimilled

    minimilled Active Member

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    :p
     
  16. Davros10

    Davros10 Well-Known Member Silver Stacker

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  17. minimilled

    minimilled Active Member

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    Their prices are a joke!

    There’s another site with refined ingots of .95 fineness, 1 ounce for about 995 USD. Looks like a fairly new outfit and that is due to the market being fairly new for investment
     

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