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A polyvalent hard white metal, ruthenium is a member of the platinum group, has four crystal modifications and does not tarnish at normal temperatures, but does oxidize readily on exposure to air to form ruthenium tetroxide, RuO4, a strong oxidizing agent with properties analogous to those of osmium tetroxide.

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Rhodium is a hard silvery white and durable metal that has a high reflectance. Rhodium metal does not normally form an oxide, even when heated. Oxygen is absorbed from the atmosphere at the melting point of rhodium, but on solidification the oxygen is released.

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Palladium, along with platinum, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium form a group of elements referred to as the platinum group metals (PGMs). Platinum group metals share similar chemical properties, but palladium has the lowest melting point and is the least dense of these precious metals.

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A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it has the highest electrical conductivity of any element and the highest thermal conductivity of any metal. The metal naturally occurs in its pure, free form (native silver) and as an alloy with gold (electrum), as well as in various minerals, such as argentite and chlorargyrite.

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Iridium was discovered in 1803 by Smithson Tennant among insoluble impurities in natural platinum from South America. It is one of the rarest elements in the Earth's crust, with annual production and consumption of only three tonnes. However, iridium does find a number of specialized industrial and scientific applications.

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Platinum's wear - and tarnish-resistance characteristics are well suited for making fine jewelry. Platinum is more precious than gold or silver. The price of platinum changes along with its supply and demand. For instance 1 gram of platinum was valued at 33 dollars earlier this year.

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Chemically, gold is a transition metal and can form trivalent and univalent cations upon solvation. At STP it is attacked by aqua regia, forming chloroauric acid and by alkaline solutions of cyanide but not by hydrochloric, nitric or sulphuric acids. Gold dissolves in mercury, forming amalgam alloys, but does not react with it.

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Algaedyn is a most effective concentrated algaecide. Developed after years of intensive research and field tests, its major active ingredient is silver in colloidal form. The silver particles are so minute that if magnified several thousand times, you can see only a haze.

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Traditionally, inorganic compounds are considered to be of a mineral, not biological, origin. Complementarily, most organic compounds are traditionally viewed as being of biological origin. Over the past century, the precise classification of inorganic vs organic compounds has become less important to scientists.

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