What are precious metals? Precious metals are rare, high-value metals that occur naturally on and within our planet. Precious metals include gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. While we may think of them as ornamental, they actually serve a multitude of crucial purposes. Gold is used for jewelry, finances and investing, dentistry and medicine, electronics, and aerospace. In fact, 11% of all gold produced is used in industry and it is increasingly being used as a catalyst for many industrial processes. Silver is used for jewelry and tableware, dental alloys, brazing and solder alloys, electrical contacts, and batteries. It is also used to make mirrors because it is the best reflector of visible light known. It is also the best thermal and electrical conductor out of all metals. Platinum is used for electronics, automobiles, dentistry equipment, jewelry, and bullion. Its main use is in catalytic converters, which accounts for 50% of demand annually. Palladium is also used for catalytic converters as well as jewelry, dentistry, watchmaking, blood sugar test strips, surgical instruments, aircraft spark plugs, and professional flutes. As you can see, we rely heavily on precious metals and the countries that produce them! This infographic explores which countries produce the most gold, silver, platinum, and palladium based on metric tons in 2021. China is the world’s largest producer of gold at 370 metric tons. It is home to many massive gold mines, including the Shaxi Copper Mine which produced nearly a million pounds of gold in 2022. Mexico is the world’s largest producer of silver and is home to the Peñasquito Polymetallic Mine, the second-largest mine in the world. South Africa is the leading producer of platinum in the world – in fact, it produces more than the four leading producers combined! South Africa is also the world’s leading producer of palladium.