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Rhodium is among the world's rarest and most valuable precious metals. It, like other platinum group metals, offers extraordinary corrosion resistance - even against the most aggressive chemicals.
Jewelers often apply a rhodium layer to white gold and sterling silver to enhance the appearance and prevent tarnish, but 80% of world production is dedicated to automotive catalytic converters.
Like other platinum group metals, most of the mine production occurs in South Africa and Russia. Turmoil and political interference often disrupt supply, making prices volatile. The price briefly touched on $10,000 per ounce in 2008.