Why was aluminum considered a precious metal?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. Ancient Persian potters used aluminum to make their pottery stronger; however pure aluminum was not discovered until 1825. By this time, people had already been using metals and alloys (mixtures of metals) for eons.¬ At first chemists were only able to isolate a small amount of aluminum at a time, so it was rare and considered a semiprecious metal, like silver or gold. In 1884, only 125 pounds (57 kg) of aluminum were produced in the U.S. In 1886, Frenchman Paul L. T. Heroult and American Charles Martin Hall, working independently, figured out a way to extract aluminum from aluminum oxide. By 1891, more than 300 tons (272 metric tons) of aluminum were produced in the U.S. and it was used to make all kinds of products, from cars and motorcycles to pots and pans. Today in the U.S., more than 5.6 million tons (5.1 million metric tons) of aluminum are produced every year.

    More answers from Discovery Channel »

Still Curious?
  • What is aluminum used for?

    Answered by Science Channel

  • What are the key properties of aluminum?

    Answered by Discovery Channel

  • What do most metals have in common?

    Answered by Science Channel


What are you curious about?

Image Gallery