Iron metal ingot - one troy ounce - .997 bullion
Iron is the most abundant element in our Earth and the fourth most abundant element in its crust, mostly in various oxides representing iron ores. Native iron in general is not found in the Earth's crust as it too easily oxidizes (i.e. it rusts). It has been used since ancient times though not as early as copper given iron's much higher melting point. Earliest iron production is thought to have started in Anatolia (modern day Turkey) around 1200 B.C. Before smelting the only iron available to ancient civilizations was from meteorites. Meteoric iron was forged by ancient civilizations into tools, weapons and religious/cultural items. As a side note the crystals of iron and nickel in octahedrite meteorites have beautiful Widmanstätten patterns. These patterns are unique to meteorites as the crystals formed and grew while the molten material cooled extremely slowly while hurtling through space over many millions of years in a process that could never be replicated in a laboratory.
Iron is relatively soft with a Mohs hardness of 4 though can be hardened through the addition of small amounts of impurities, most importantly carbon, to make steel which can be up to 1000 times harder. Estimated annual worldwide production in 2009 was about 1595 million tonnes, compared to osmium's 1 or 2 tonnes. Iron and steel represent about 95% of the weight of all metal produced annually worldwide. Iron sits near the bottom of the 2015 British Geologic Survey's Risk List, but still made the list given its ubiquitous use in modern society where it is estimated that each person uses between 2000 and 14,000 kg, from the cars we drive and the structures we drive on to the buildings we live, work and play in. Though a very paultry amount by comparison, the 3 or 4 grams in each of our bodies is the most important of all iron's uses. It allows for, among other critical life supporting functions, oxygen exchange in our red blood cells.
Inscribed on our ingots are the chemical symbol (Fe), purity (99.7%), weight (one troy ounce), and a serial number (this number is unique and will vary). On the reverse is our logo. These ingots are lightly polished, similar to the one pictured. There can be tiny edge dings, light surface scratches, and other small imperfections. Iron will rust if kept in a damp environment. As always, weight and purity are guaranteed by Rare World Metals Mint. As we suggest with all of our metals please keep them intact in a safe place, do not ingest, and keep out of the reach of children.
Each ingot will be shipped with an assay certificate and every shipment will include our velvet logo bag. 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 via DHL, FedEx, or USPS international express and costs $45 for shipments up to a pound (9 one ounce ingots or less including packaging materials) and $10 for each additional pound.