| In chemistry, metals that oxidize or corrode easily are referred to as "base metals." These industrial metals include copper (Cu on the periodic table), nickel (Ni), aluminum (Al), zinc (Zn), lead (Pb), tin (Sn) and iron (Fe)/steel (an alloy of iron and carbon). Base metals are generally plentiful, and are used in a variety of commercial and industrial applications, such as copper plumbing, aluminum cans and the steel used in automobile production. Because of their abundance, prices for base metals are far below those of both precious and rare-earth metals, and prices respond to changes in demand for the products for which the metals are used.
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Precious metals are naturally occurring metallic chemical elements that have a high luster and melting point, are softer and more ductile than other metals, and are less reactive than most elements. include silver (Ag), gold (Au), platinum (Pt) and palladium (Pd). Because of their scarcity, precious metals are valuable – much more so than the base metals. Precious metals are used for jewelry, art, coins, dental work, medical devices, electronics and for investment/holding purposes. (Add some sparkle to your portfolio by getting in on this classic commodity; check out Getting Into The Gold Marketsource: http://www.investopedia.com/articles/stocks/11/how-to-invest-in-the-periodic-table.asp