This ain’t my first rhodium

Discover’s Numbers section (September) gives 2500 as the number of dollars you’d have to pay for one ounce of rhodium, “the most expensive element on earth.” I assume that this means “among the elements of which you can actually buy an ounce,” since elsewhere in the piece is a reference to astatine, which, says Wikipedia, “is currently the rarest naturally occurring element, with less than 30g estimated to be contained in the entire Earth’s crust.”

To check this rhodium price — yes, boys and girls, I do occasionally check this stuff — I went to Kitco, which had a sidebar ad to the effect that “You can actually own rhodium?” Which apparently you can. The price was around $2300 an ounce at the time. (All these ounces, incidentally, are troy ounces.)

Not that I have any to sell. There might be a teensy bit in Gwendolyn’s emissions equipment, but I’m not messing with that. And I have a vintage-1968 glass-bead rosary — one bead has a fragment sheared off, and there’s a broken link “temporarily” replaced by a length of wire — with a rhodium-plated crucifix and Marian figure, a relic of my high-school days. I’m not about to give that up either.

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