Valued at twice the price of gold
Apatite, a stone seldom found in jewelry stores, is beloved by collectors for its many different colors and forms.
This silvery white metal ring is made of rhodium.
A member of the platinum group of metals which, unsurprisingly, includes platinum, rhodium is most commonly found mixed with other platinum group metals. This makes it difficult to extract, which can only increase its value. Primarily mined in South Africa and the Russian Ural Mountains unrest in these regions makes it ever harder to get. Recent findings in North America have given some relief to the price, but the volume is too low to make a big impact.
Rhodium has a variety of applications. It is used in the process of “rhodium flashing” white gold and platinum in order to give jewelry made from those metals a whiter, more reflective surface. It is also particularly suited to the production of catalytic converters. In 1979, Paul McCartney was presented with a rhodium-plated disc in honor of his status as the Guinness Book of World Records all-time bestselling songwriter and recording artist.
So how much is rhodium worth? In late 2013 it is currently valued at twice the price of gold—around US $2,400 per ounce!