metals and minerals

3 Rare Metals and Minerals You May Not Know

Gold, Silver, Rhodium, and other metals have been mined and used by mankind for thousands of years. It has only been in recent years that we have shifted our gaze skyward and pondered what geological elements are still lurking in the vast frontier of space. While we are just starting to explore what secrets hide beyond our planet in terms of metals and minerals, there are many here on earth that most of us may not recognize. Here are three rare metals and minerals you probably have never heard of.


Discovered in 1863, Indium is an incredibly soft metal that resembles Tin in appearance. Today, we use Indium mostly for computer touch screens, solar panels, semiconductor products, and touch screen TVs. This rare metal was also used to dye cotton up until the nineteenth century. The “Indigo” color name came from the bright indigo color in its spectrum.


Next, we have Painite. When Painite was initially discovered, it was misidentified as a Ruby. It was not until 1950 that this rare, beautiful borate mineral received reclassification. For years, we believed Painite to be one of the rarest minerals on earth. Today, we use Painite in the design of jewelry.


Finally, we have Allanite. Thomas Allen, a Scottish Mineralogist (1777-1833), was the first to observe Allanite. This mineral, which contains rare earth elements, can have radioactive properties. It was initially only located in specific areas of California and Texas; however, in 2011, it was located in other regions.

Even though the lure of asteroids holding an untold abundance of Gold, Silver, and Rhodium is ever-present, the earth still has untold secrets pertaining to rare earth elements.

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