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How many metals are there?
We wanted to give you a big overview of metals before we talk about details in other tutorials. Almost 75% of all elements are classified as metals. They are not all like silver (Ag), gold (Au), or platinum (Pt). Those are the very cool and shiny ones. There are other metals like potassium (K) and iridium (Ir) that you might not think about right away.
Process Metallurgy is one of the oldest applied sciences. Its history can be traced back to 6000 BC. Admittedly, its form at that time was rudimentary, but, to gain a perspective in Process Metallurgy, it is worthwhile to spend a little time studying the initiation of mankind's association with metals. Currently there are 86 known metals. Before the 19th century only 24 of these metals had been discovered and, of these 24 metals, 12 were discovered in the 18th century.
Therefore, from the discovery of the first metals - gold and copper until the end of the 17th century, some 7700 years, only 12 metals were known. Four of these metals, arsenic, antimony , zinc and bismuth , were discovered in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, while platinum was discovered in the 16th century. The other seven metals, known as the Metals of Antiquity, were the metals upon which civilisation was based.
(Sources: cmu.edu, chem4kids.com)