- Base metal
chemistry, the term base metal is used informally to refer to a metalthat oxidizes or corrodes relatively easily, and reacts variably with diluted hydrochloric acid(HCl) to form hydrogen. Examples include iron, nickel, leadand zinc. Copperis considered a base metal as it oxidizes relatively easily, although it does not react with HCl. It is commonly used in opposition to noble metal.
alchemy, a base metal was a common and inexpensive metal, as opposed to precious metals, mainly goldand silver. A longtime goal of the alchemists was the transmutation of base metals into precious metals.
numismatics, coins used to derive their value primarily from the precious metalcontent. Most modern currencies are fiat currency, allowing the coins to be made of base metal.
miningand economics, base metals refers to industrial non-ferrous metalsexcluding precious metals. These include copper, aluminium, lead, nickel, tinand zinc.
London Metal Exchange
* [http://www.kitcometals.com/ Live base metal prices - USD/lb]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.