Vanadium

two specimens of the chemical element vanadium

 

 

Vanadium is an extremely hard metal that's also quite flexible. It's used mostly as an alloy for strengthening steel. It's believed that small amounts may be beneficial for normal bone growth however in larger quantities it's known to be toxic to humans.

Vanadium can react with a variety of other elements and the chemical compounds that it forms often exhibit beautiful colours. The green variety of the mineral beryl that's better known as the gemstone emerald gets its colour from trace amounts of chromium and vanadium.

Most of the ores from which vanadium is extracted come from South Africa, Russia and China.