About this Zone

Rhodium, pronounced roh-dee-uhm, is the world’s most expensive metal, so you can make a safe bet that not many people have much of it around the house.

    Rhodium 78g sample by Alchemist-hp for Wikimedia

    Rhodium 78g sample by Alchemist-hp for Wikimedia

Sir Paul McCartney (of The Beatles) does though: in 1979 he was given a Rhodium-plated disc for being history’s best-selling songwriter and recording artist.

Rhodium is a silvery-grey metal and one of the rarest elements in the world. The name rhodium comes from the Greek word for ‘rose-coloured’. Doesn’t seem like the most sensible name for a silver metal? Well the first rhodium compound ever discovered was a gorgeous rose colour.

Rhodium is used to harden palladium and platinum, and is good at reflecting light – so rhodium-plating is good for shiny jewellery and trinkets which are sure to please a magpie or two.