For many centuries, lots of people have believed that gold is one of the most expensive materials in the world. This, however, is absolutely wrong. […]
For many centuries, lots of people have believed that gold is one of the most expensive materials in the world. This, however, is absolutely wrong.
Here is a list of materials of value, rating them from the lowest price to the highest one.
Let’s skip ahead a bit: gold is not even in the top three here.
12. Saffron — $11 per gram
This spice is unique, combining fantastic taste and great health benefits. Its production process is highly time and effort consuming, but the flavor and healing properties of saffron are unequaled by any other spice.
Saffron is widely used in Indian, European and Turkish cuisines. There are some evidences that say saffron helps with major depressive disorder. It may also help relieve the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
11. Gold — $56 per gram
The most well-known precious metal that no woman can supposedly do without. Gold has been worshipped from time immemorial, and all things beautiful are inevitably compared to it.
In the past (before 1976), gold was used as currency. Because of its heavy conductivity, it is also used in different electronics. A few gold salts are used as anti-inflammatories in medicine. Moreover, it is used in color-glass production, gold leafing, dental implants and infrared shielding.
10. Rhodium — $58 per gram
Rhodium is a noble metal, found in platinum or nickel ores along with the other members of platinum group metals. The element is hard, durable, reflective, and less dense and more resistant to heat than platinum.
Rhodium is majorly used as 3-way catalytic converter in automobiles, and because of its rarity and inert against corrosion, it is usually alloyed with palladium. Sometimes White Gold is plated with a thin layer of Rhodium to enhance its appearance. The Rhodium detectors are used in nuclear reactors to determine the neutron flux level.
9. Platinum — $60 per gram
Platinum is the least-reactive metal with high resistance to corrosion, even at high temperatures. It is usually found chemically uncombined as native platinum.
Like Gold, Platinum is used in jewelry and decoration. It is also used to produce catalytic converters, electrodes, platinum resistance thermometer, laboratory and dentistry equipment. A few compounds containing platinum (like cisplatinand, carboplatin) are applied in chemotherapy to remove cancer.
8. Rhinoceros’s horn — $110 per gram
Although science has proven that rhino horn has no medicinal properties, they are still considered valuable because of this property and as great knife handles. Because of poachers, poor rhinos are already on the verge of extinction.
7. Plutonium — $4,000 per gram
Plutonium is a radioactive element, derived from Uranium that has been used in nuclear reactions. It quickly dissolves in concentrated mineral acids, and reacts with halogens, silicon, hydrogen, nitrogen and carbon.
Plutonium is used in nuclear weapons. It has been used as a source of energy on space missions, including Mars Curiosity Rover and the New Horizons spacecraft. Also, inhaling Plutonium in any form may cause cancer.
6. Painite — $9,000 per gram
This stone is so rare that very few people actually know it exists. It’s a mineral of an orange or reddish-brown color, and it was only discovered 65 years ago. There are just a couple hundred of these stones in the world today.
5. Taaffeite — $20,000 per gram or $4,000 per carat
A precious stone of a violet, pink, red, or white color. It is a million times rarer than diamonds, making it legendary. However, despite its uniqueness, it’s not very popular when it comes to jewelry — and that’s probably the reason why it’s relatively inexpensive.
4. Diamond — $55,000 per gram
The most famous precious stone on Earth, and the best friend of any lady.
Researchers and scientists are testing diamonds as a drug-delivery system to fight breast/liver cancers, and diamond electrodes that can be implanted in retina to help blind people to see.
3. Californium — $25-27 million per gram
The most expensive chemical element ever. It has been synthesized only once since its discovery in 1950.
2. Buckminsterfullerene – $150 million per gram
Image credit: wikimedia
Buckminsterfullerene (also called Bucky ball) contains 60 carbon atoms (with nitrogen atoms housed in them). The Oxford University has been working on this for more than 12 years.
The material can be used for building a small and portable atomic clock, which would be the world’s most accurate form of timekeeping. At present, atomic clocks are room-sized. This new nano-material can shrink down the atomic clock to microchip size, and thus could be integrated in mobile phones. It can also be make GPS navigation accurate to 1 millimeter in self-driving cars.
1. Antimatter — $62.5 trillion per gram
The most expensive substance on Earth. Production of one milligram of positrons costs about $25 million. In theory, we will be able to use antimatter as fuel for spacecrafts in the future. But the drawback today is that to make just one gram of it, all of mankind will have to work for about a year without rest.