Chromium | Steely Grey Coloured Lustrous Metal
Chromium often abbreviated to chrome is a steely grey coloured lustrous metal first discovered in 1797. Although brittle it's extremely hard and grades 8½ on Mohs scale of mineral hardness.
Chrome is often used as an alloy because of its resistance to tarnishing. When used with steel the material becomes known as stainless steel. Chromium helps steel to become more resistant to corrosion and discolouration and when alloyed with iron it prevents rust.
Chromium takes on a high polish, has a high melting point and is relatively flexible. It has no odour or taste and the name comes from the Greek word chrōma meaning 'colour' because all chromium compounds are particularly colourful.
The presence of chromium in the mineral corundum causes it to turn red, red corundum is better known as ruby.