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Precious Metals - Definition & Examples

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
Do you want to become really rich? Well, it's not that hard if you can get your hands on a lot of precious metals. This lesson defines what a precious metal is and goes over three important examples of one.

What Is A Precious Metal?

A precious metal is a metal, one that may be rare or hard to extract, which is economically very valuable. In fact, if you get your hands on enough of one or more precious metals you could become very rich. And who doesn't want to become rich? Read the rest of this lesson on tips on how to make this dream possible as we explore some precious metals.

Platinum

Would you like to become the world's first trillionaire? Sure you do! Want to know how to do that? Well, all you have to do is the following.

First, launch yourself and a bunch of heavy mining machinery into space. Just make sure you protect yourself from deadly radiation out in space in the process. Then, propel yourself to a nearby asteroid, called 2011 UW158, set up a mining operation on the asteroid, and bring back all the precious metals it contains back to Earth. If you can pull that off, you may make as much as $5 trillion since this asteroid may have as many as 90 million metric tons of platinum as well as other types of precious metals. The technicalities of such an endeavor are way beyond this lesson's scope, so you'll have to just figure that out on your own. Good luck.

If you can pull that off you'll be very rich because this asteroid is suspected to contain a lot of platinum, one kind of precious metal. Platinum is used in jewelry, electronics, automobiles, in chemical processes, and even in medicine.

Platinum crystals
PLatinum

Gold

That asteroid idea of getting rich is admittedly hard since you have to leave planet Earth to do that. Ok, there's a way you can get really rich without having to leave Earth. Want to know how to become a trillionaire without leaving the planet? Sure you do! All you have to do is the following. Get a boat and a really big bucket. Sail the seven seas and collect all the seawater in the world. Store this seawater wherever you can and extract all of the dissolved gold found within it. Some people estimate that roughly 70 million tons of gold are found dissolved in all the seawater in the world. Once you figure out how to do that, you'll become very rich.

That's because gold is a precious metal most famous for being used in jewelry and gold coins. However, it has many other uses. It's used in medicine, in manufacturing, and lab equipment. It's also used, albeit less now with the invention of credit, as a way to financially back a nation's currency. Many countries store large amounts of gold bars in very secure locations as a result. Robbing such secure locations is far harder than collecting all the world's seawater so you're better off getting that really big bucket. Chop chop!

A pair of gold coins
Gold

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