Processing of noble metals
All possible procedures for the processing or extraction of metals in general and of other metallurgical useful elements, fall under the term metallurgy .
The processing possibilities vary in relation to the historical development of mankind and according to the respective metal. This is well-illustrated by a timeline, starting 8000 BC and reaching up to the present day, which can be found on relevant webpages. The most important developments, which nearly led to the processing methods known and applied today, took already place in the early 15th century. In the following, the metals defined as noble metals in physics (gold, silver, copper) are discussed one by one with a focus on three points: extraction, processing and application in today's society.