Unless you possess much interest in chemistry subject, these names will be an alien language to you. It is because these chemical elements which are building blocks of everything we see around us are very rare. Out of 118 recognized elements, 94 are naturally seen that includes iron, silver, and gold, while others are synthetic, some examples of which are curium and californium. Today we bring out 10 earth elements that have demand in the market and are extremely rare which makes them some of the most expensive elements on the planet.
1. Francium – $1 Billion Per Gram
The half-life of this element is just 22 minutes. Francium is classified as an “Alkali Metal” which means a very reactive metal that does not occur freely in nature. The element was discovered in 1939 by French chemist Marguerite Perey and so the name “Francium”.
Due to its rarity, Francium has no uses. However, if anyone wants to buy one gram of it, he should pay at least a few billion dollars. And nobody would be willing to pay billions of dollars for something that will disappear within minutes and has no practical use. As it is a radioactive element, it does pose a threat to human health.
2. Californium – $25-27 Million Per Gram
Classified as an actinide metal, this element is a man-made formed from curium or plutonium. The element was first developed in 1950 at the University of California Radiation Laboratory and so the name. This element has many uses that Californium-252 is used to treat cervical cancer and also used to analyze the sulfur content of petroleum. The estimated cost of one gram californium is about $27 million. It is extremely radioactive.
3. Carbon – $65,00 Per Gram
Present in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide in 0,03% in volume, Carbon is one of the most essential elements for life. It is a well-known fact that the human body is about 20% carbon. All the plants and live animals consist mostly of carbon-containing compounds. We all know that elemental carbon exists in two well-defined allotropic crystalline forms: diamond and graphite. And the cost of carbon per gram is $65,000.
4. Plutonium – $4,000 Per Gram
This highly radioactive chemical element is used as fuel in certain types of nuclear reactors and as an ingredient in nuclear weapons. Plutonium is found naturally in uranium-rich ores. Breathing plutonium could result in the development of cancer. The cost of Plutonium is $4000 per gram.
5. Scandium – $270 Per Gram
It is yet another rare earth metal that the global trade of scandium oxide is about 10 tonnes per year, and costs at least $270 per gram. You can see this element in houses in equipment such as color televisions, fluorescent lamps, energy-saving lamps, and glasses. The applications of Scandium are visible in the aerospace industry and in making sports equipment like golf iron shafts, bicycle frames, fishing rods, bikes, baseball bats, etc which rely on high-performance materials.