What’s The Shiniest Of All?

How Metals Glitter and Shine

Article By Sybrina Durant

Unicorn periodic table book and unicorn periodic table bingo.

Most of the elements in the Magical Elements of the Periodic Table Presented Alphabetically By The Metal Horn Unicorns have luminous properties under certain light conditions. When exposed to light, these elements sparkle and shimmer, creating a mesmerizing effect.

Objects appear shiny due to a process called reflection. Reflection is when photons of light are reflected back at us from the particles that make up certain materials, such as glass, plastic, and diamond. This phenomenon can be seen in a wide range of objective types; however, metals have the highest reflectivity due to their electrically conductive nature. Metals like silver and gold tend to have the strongest shine since they transmit and conduct electricity more readily than other materials — even when not actively energized — boosting their reflective properties and making them brighter than any other material type.

Different metals have their own unique luster when left in its pure state. This is because the Interaction between electrons on the metal’s surface and energy will cause electrons to reach high energy states. As the electrons begin to release this energy, it will manifest in light which gives off the metal’s shiny look.

Despite their similar appearance, not all metals are of equal value – rhodium tops the list in terms of its relative cost. It is a member of the Platinides family, comprising six elements: platinum, palladium, iridium, osmium, rhodium and ruthenium. Gold and silver also feature among these noble or precious metals. All these metals usually have one main characteristic in common – they are shiny and white in color (except for gold which is gold colored and osmium which has a blue sheen).

Gold is currently trading for just under two thousand dollars an ounce. Compare that to about twenty four thousand per ounce for Rhodium. Wow! What a difference.

Osmium is a metal that retains its brilliance and luster, even when subjected to extreme temperatures. The gemstone industry has recently started utilizing osmium crystals due to their unique properties – they can produce vibrant sparkles similar to diamonds. Nevertheless, in terms of value, one ounce of osmium is only worth around four hundred dollars.

Front of Osmium trading Card
Back of Osmium trading card.

The price of any element is greatly influenced by its supply and demand. For instance, rhodium has a high level of desirability because it is used in catalytic converters for cars, driving up its cost. Gold is rare, but not hard to come by so the price may differ from that of osmium, an extremely rare element useful for very few purposes. Ultimately, this creates a delicate balance between demand and affordability when it comes to these valuable resources.

Osmium (symbol Os) is found as one of the noble and transition metals on the periodic table. Its use in several industries has been documented through history, and it also makes a fantastic literary reference! Osmium is featured in author Sybrina Durant’s book Journey to Osm – The Blue Unicorn’s Tale, introducing readers to the metal and highlighting its value. It is also referenced as associated with the letter “O” in her follow-up work Magical Elements of the Periodic Table Presented Alphabetically By The Metal Horn Unicorns.

This periodic table book is an engaging and fun way for children to learn about chemistry with the help of its fantasy-based unicorn characters. It encourages a deep understanding of elements from the periodic table and there are accompanying activities available for sale separately. These include Unicorn Elemental Trading Cards, Unicorn Periodic Table Bingo, and Create Your Own Unicorn Elemental. These interactive resources will inspire curiosity and foster an interest in science amongst young learners!


Sybrina Durant is a unicorn author/entrepreneur. In addition to books, she offers unicorn-themed activities, t-shirts and more. Plus, she has pulled together a collection of nearly all the unicorn books available today from hundreds of authors. They are categorized on her website by Little Kid, Middle Kid and Teen Unicorn Books.

Social Media Links:

Book Page On Website – https://www.sybrina.com/muapt

Inter-active Unicorn Themed Periodic Table – https://sybrina.com/muapt/inter-active-unicorn-themed-periodic-table-from-magical-elements-of-the-periodic-table-presented-alphabetically-by-the-metal-horn-unicorns/

Sybrina’s Unicorn Book Store – https://sybrina.com/sybrinas-unicorn-book-store-main/

Book on Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Magical-Elements-Periodic-Table-Alphabetically-ebook/dp/B0BTVC1R62  – free with kindle unlimited

Get The Book Activities – https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Sybrina-Publishing

Book on Goodreads –  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/100022768-magical-elements-of-the-periodic-table-presented-alphabetically-by-the-m

Amazon Author Profile –  https://www.amazon.com/stores/author/B009K3WGMS

Sybrina Publishing Store on Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/stores/page/686BB824-052C-4B4E-99C3-CD2B8FCFBA8D

Book Song on Youtube – https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLybqF-7D4W3FTbEZF_rZ45b7A1xJdubni – Listen to No Metal No Magic

Twitter –  https://twitter.com/Sybrina_spt

 Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/TheBlueUnicornBookStore

Pinterest –  https://www.pinterest.com/sybrinad/middle-grade-unicorn-books/

Instagram –  https://www.instagram.com/sybrinablueunicorn/  

 LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/sybrina-publishing

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