Indium was discovered in 1863 by German scientists Ferdinand Reich and Hieronymous Richter while testing for thallium in ores from the mining town of Frieberg. Instead of finding the characteristic green emission line they sought, they found an unknown blue emission line in their spectroscopic samples. They determined it must be a new element and named it indium due to its indigo spectral signature. Indium is a rare metal. Given absence of significant deposits it is currently only produced as a byproduct of base metal mining, mostly from zinc tailings. Indium's mined production is currently about 40 times less than silver and estimated worldwide reserves of indium that can be recovered by economically viable means is 6000 tonnes. Approximately 18000 tonnes of silver and 2500 tonnes of gold are mined each year compared with about 670 tonnes of indium. It has been estimated that at current mining rates, worldwide resources of indium will depleted in 14 years. Based on this shortage and the boom of its consumption in the production of LCD TVs the price of one kilogram on indium skyrocketed from about $94 to $918 in the first decade of our new millennium.
Indium has unique physical properties including a very low melting point, a large liquid temperature range, is extremely soft and a has a relatively high density. It can also wet glass, has superconducting properties, is diamagnetic, is a powerful reducing agent, captures thermal neutrons efficiently and is nontoxic. Indium has a myriad of industrial uses, with about half of its consumption in the production of LCDs and touchscreens. It is also used in a wide range of alloys including the nontoxic mercury alternative alloy Galinstan which is liquid at room temperature, solders including glass seals, microelectronics, solar cells, alkaline batteries, in superconducting systems, in nuclear control rods and in nuclear medicine imaging.
Our indium bars come in weights from 11 through 20 troy ounces and are priced accordingly. Inscribed on the front of our bars are the chemical symbol (In), purity (99.995%), weight (number of troy ounces), a serial number (this number is unique and will vary) and our logo flanking each end. The reverse is blank. These ingots are lightly polished, similar to the one pictured. Indium is a very soft metal so expect several small edge dings/cuts, small scratches and impressions, and other imperfections which do not detract from the inherent value of this rare industrial metal. The bars pictured are representative bars of different weights from this batch and will not necessarily be the bar you receive. As always, weight and purity are guaranteed by Rare World Metals Mint. Indium in the solid form we supply is nontoxic. As we suggest with all of our metals please keep them in a safe place, do not ingest, and keep out of the reach of children.
Each bar will be shipped with an assay certificate. If you are not completely satisfied with any purchase from us, you have 30 days to return it for a full refund (buyer to pay return shipping). Domestic shipping is free for all orders over $99 (enter code free shipping at checkout). For orders of $99 or under, domestic shipping is $9.95. International shipping is now via USPS international priority express and costs $45 for shipments up to a pound (bars up to 14 troy ounces will ship at the 1 pound rate and our 15 to 20 troy ounce bars will ship at the 2 pound rate which is $55).