Iridium

DEFINITION of 'Iridium'

One of the transition metals on the periodic table. Iridium appears as symbol Ir on the periodic table and has an atomic weight of 192.217 and a density of 22.56 g/cm³, making it the second densest known element. Because iridium is so expensive, it is typically used only in applications that require a very small amount of the element. High-grade automobile spark plugs, for example, have small iridium tips that last 100,000 miles - much longer than conventional spark plugs. The primary use for iridium is in alloys with its neighbor on the periodic table, platinum (symbol Pt, atomic number 78).

BREAKING DOWN 'Iridium'

Iridium is the most corrosion-resistant metal on Earth. It is extremely difficult to melt; because of its high melting point, it is hard to form, machine or work iridium. It is also one of the rarest elements in Earth's crust. The huge asteroid that is believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago is also responsible for the thin layer of iridium-rich clay found around Earth. This layer of iridium forms the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary (also known as the K-T Boundary because the Cretaceous is represented by the letter "K").

RELATED TERMS
  1. Precious Metals

    A classification of metals that are considered to be rare and/or ...
  2. Hard-Coded Stock

    This is a term that refers to a company's stock symbol or ticker ...
  3. Capitalization Table

    A spreadsheet or table that shows ownership stakes in a company, ...
  4. Tax Table

    A table or chart displaying the amount of tax due based on income ...
  5. Melt Up

    A dramatic and unexpected improvement in the investment performance ...
  6. American Experience Table

    A set of data, presented in table format, showing when Americans ...
Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    This Heavily Shorted Stock Could Have 71% Upside

    If you think back to your school days, you may remember a kid or two who constantly had their hands raised and contradicted the teacher at every opportunity. The kid questioned everything, to ...
  2. Stock Analysis

    Emerging Plays On Rare Earth Metals

    A big move this week by ACH to invest $1.5 billion into rare earth metals sparks an already hot sector.
  3. Investing

    Rare Earth Metals: Shrinking Supplies Amid High Demand

    Learn why investors hold high interest in these valuable elements and why the world's dependency on these metals is growing rapidly.
  4. Stock Analysis

    Invest In Rare Earth Metals

    While most investors focus on the precious and base metals, the real long-term action could be in the critical elements.
  5. Stock Analysis

    Time To Invest In Critical Metals

    While most investors focus on the precious and base metals, the real long-term action could be in the critical elements.
  6. Chart Advisor

    Rare Earth Metals Continue To Struggle (REMX, TC)

    Rare earth metals are used in many of today's products and many investors are wondering if consumer demand is enough to offset the global economic slowdown. We'll take a look at how they are ...
  7. Chart Advisor

    Bullish Traders Are Turning To Rare Earth Metals

    Companies that explore and or process rare metals are of specific interest to traders because of strong moves in a couple of the sector’s key players.
  8. Stock Analysis

    Bull vs. Bear: Should You Buy This Rare Earth Miner?

    Editor's Note: Here at StreetAuthority, we've been talking about the best way to profit from critical elements that are in short supply while demand is exploding. Gold, commodities, energy, rare ...
  9. Stock Analysis

    Rare Earths: Are They Worth The Hype?

    Investor demand for rare earth minerals continues to grow, but is there really that much profit here?
  10. Stock Analysis

    Resurgent Rare Earths?

    Arguably one of the most controversial, if not the most misunderstood, investment themes is the rare earths investment space.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What other precious metals are there beyond gold and silver?

    Discover the other, lesser-known precious metals such as platinum and palladium, which are more tied to the industrial economy ... Read Answer >>
  2. Are there any continuing education requirements after I pass the Series 7 examination?

    Yes. According to the Securities Industry/Regulatory Council on Continuing Education (CEC), there are two parts to the CE ... Read Answer >>
  3. What does it mean to invest in base metals?

    Learn what is means to invest in the base metals sector and how investors can take advantage of various investment strategies ... Read Answer >>
  4. Do hedge funds have ticker symbols?

    Discover whether or not hedge funds have ticker symbols, where you can find ticker symbols and the significance of a ticker ... Read Answer >>
  5. What countries represent the largest portion of the global metals and mining sector ...

    Learn which countries have the largest mining production in the world and how precious metals are a significant source of ... Read Answer >>
  6. Why did my stock's ticker symbol change?

    When a ticker symbol changes it's usually not a good sign. Tickers of publicly traded companies generally only change for ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Demand Curve

    The demand curve is a graphical representation of the relationship between the price of a good or service and the quantity ...
  2. Goldilocks Economy

    An economy that is not so hot that it causes inflation, and not so cold that it causes a recession. This term is used to ...
  3. White Squire

    Very similar to a "white knight", but instead of purchasing a majority interest, the squire purchases a lesser interest in ...
  4. MACD Technical Indicator

    Moving Average Convergence Divergence (or MACD) is a trend-following momentum indicator that shows the relationship between ...
  5. Over-The-Counter - OTC

    Over-The-Counter (or OTC) is a security traded in some context other than on a formal exchange such as the NYSE, TSX, AMEX, ...
  6. Quarter - Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4

    A three-month period on a financial calendar that acts as a basis for the reporting of earnings and the paying of dividends.
Trading Center