List of the 10 Heaviest Metals (Density and Atomic Weight) (2023)

The periodic table has a variety of different elements. Of the 118 elements, 95 are considered metals. I would venture to guess that, chemists aside, most of us might struggle to name more than 10 of them! Each metal has its own values for a range of different properties.

What are the 10 heaviest metals, by density and atomic weight, from lightest to heaviest?

10 of the Densest Metals10 of the Heaviest Metals
Mercury 13.546 g/cm^3 Mercury 200.59 u
Americium 13.67 g/cm^3 Lead 207.2 u.
Uranium 18.95 g/cm^3 Astatine 210 u
Gold 19.32 g/cm^3 Francium 223 u
Tungsten 19.35 g/cm^3 Radium 226 u
Plutonium 19.84 g/cm^3 Actinium 227 u
Neptunium 20.2 g/cm^3 Protactinium 231.0359 u
Platinum 21.45 g/cm^3 Thorium 232.037 u
Iridium 22.4 g/cm^3 Uranium 238.028 u
Osmium 22.6 g/cm^3 Plutonium 244 u

Some of these rankings may surprise you. Suchas, is lead really not one of the top 10 densest metals? It’s not. But it isone of the heaviest. Let’s talk about density, atomic weight and how differentmetals measure up.

Density vs. Atomic Weight

When discussing heavy metals, there are twodifferent factors that may seem fairly similar, density, and atomic weight.They’re different measurements and are measured in different units.

Density is themass per unit volume. Density is measured in grams per cubic centimeter(g/cm^3) or kilograms per cubic meter (kg/m^3)

The density of a metal affects howdifferent metals interact in different situations. Forexample, lots of metal types will sink in the water because metal has a higherdensity than water. And a few metals, such as potassium, will actually float inwater because they are less dense than water.

Atomic weight isdefined as the average mass of atoms of an element. Units of atomic weight aredimensionless and based on one-twelfth (0.0833) of the weight of a carbon-12atom in its ground state.

In other words, a carbon-12 atom has a valueof 12 atomic mass units. Atomic weight is known more commonly as relativeatomic mass to avoid confusion because atomic mass isn’t the same as atomicweight. Weight implies a force that is exerted inside a gravitationalfield, which is then measured by units of force such as newtons.

Now that we’ve differentiated between thesetwo properties let’s take a look at the 10 metals with the highest measures ofeach.

The 10 Densest Metals:

10. Mercury 13.546 g/cm^3

List of the 10 Heaviest Metals (Density and Atomic Weight) (1)

Mercury is a metal in liquid form at roomtemperature, often referred to as quicksilver for its silvery-white appearance.

(Video) Top 10 Heaviest Materials on Earth

Mercury is very heavy. It weighs 13.6 timesmore than water in equal volumes. To put it in perspective: iron, stone, andlead can float on its surface.

This metal is used most popularly inbarometers, thermometers, and other scientific instruments; it is very usefulin conducting electricity. And mercury vapor is used in:

  • Streetlights
  • Advertising signs
  • Fluorescent lamps.

9. Americium 13.67 g/cm^3

Americium is not natural; it is a syntheticradioactive chemical element that was first produced by a research team inChicago during the Manhattan project.

This actinide metal is used in your averagehousehold smoke detector, by using a form of the metal called americium dioxideto ionize the radiation.

8. Uranium 18.95 g/cm^3

List of the 10 Heaviest Metals (Density and Atomic Weight) (3)

Uranium also has a silvery-grey appearance andis referred to as an actinide metal. Uranium is used most commonly in themilitary for high-density penetration weapons.

At high impact speed, these projectiles ofdepleted uranium and other alloys have such speed, hardness, and density thatthey can cause massive damage to armored targets. Armor plates on tanks arealso hardened with uranium depleted plated

7. Gold 19.32 g/cm^3

List of the 10 Heaviest Metals (Density and Atomic Weight) (4)

Everybody is familiar with the bright yellowmetal, but in its purest form, it will look slightly reddish yellow. Despiteits density, it is soft and malleable.

Gold is used in a lot of jewelry because ofthe softness of its pure form. Many times, it’s alloyed with other metals tochange the ductility and hardness. One of most important uses of gold is inelectronics; gold creates corrosion-free electrical connectors in electricaldevices like computers.

(Video) Osmium - The DENSEST Metal On Earth!

6. Tungsten 19.35 g/cm^3

List of the 10 Heaviest Metals (Density and Atomic Weight) (5)

A very rare metal the is mined naturally inthe Earth often found with many other elements and chemical compounds ratherthan isolated.

Tungsten is well known for its robustness, andthe high density makes it the perfect metal to use in counterweights, ballastkeels for yachts, and tail ballasts in commercial aircraft. Depleted uraniumcan also fulfill many of these uses, but the optimal element is tungsten.

5. Plutonium 19.84 g/cm^3

List of the 10 Heaviest Metals (Density and Atomic Weight) (6)

Plutonium is an actinide metal that has asilvery grey appearance that tarnishes and dulls when it becomes exposed tooxygen.

The isotope plutonium-238 emits a lot ofthermal energy and has a low level of gamma rays and neutron rays. This isotopeis an alpha emitter. It combines low penetration with high energy which means it needs little shielding.

Being able to make so much heat, it cangenerate a lot of electricity as well. The half-life of this isotope is about87.74 years which makes it a perfect power source for devices that need tofunction without maintenance for about an average human’s lifespan.

4. Neptunium 20.2 g/cm^3

List of the 10 Heaviest Metals (Density and Atomic Weight) (7)

This is a radioactive actinide metal that appearssilvery and also tarnishes when it’s exposed to the air. Neptunium can be foundaccumulating within commercial household ionization chamber smoke detectorsfrom decaying americium.

Neptunium is fissionable and can possibly beused as fuel in a nuclear weapon or fast neutron reactor. However, many believethat neptunium has never been used to make a weapon to this day.

3. Platinum 21.45 g/cm^3

List of the 10 Heaviest Metals (Density and Atomic Weight) (8)

A very dense, ductile, malleable, precious,unreactive transition metals that look silvery-white. Platinum is used in allsorts of processes:

(Video) Probability Comparison: Rarest Substances on Earth

  • Vehicle emission control devices.
  • Jewelry
  • Chemical Production
  • Electrical applications
  • Hard disk drives

Platinum is very resistant to wear and tear,and very tough all around. All the devices, appliances, and jewelry it’s usedin have a spectacular lifespan. Platinum is very rare and expensive, however.

2. Iridium 22.4 g/cm^3

List of the 10 Heaviest Metals (Density and Atomic Weight) (9)

A brittle, hard, transition metal that shareda silvery-white appearance with platinum, iridium is the second densest metalfollowing osmium.

Iridium is used primarily in electronics suchas spark plugs and electrodes. Devices that need to withstand against extremetemperatures are usually made of iridium.

1. Osmium 22.6 g/cm^3

List of the 10 Heaviest Metals (Density and Atomic Weight) (10)

Similar to Iridium, osmium is a hard-brittletransition metal that looks bluish-white. This element is the densest, beingfound in rarely in platinum ores it is a pretty scarce element

Osmium is used very rarely in its pure statebecause of its toxic and extremely volatile. Osmium is alloyed very often intodevices and machines that can need to withstand a lot of wear and tear.

Some other specific tools they are used inare:

  • Instrument pivots
  • Fountain Pens
  • Electrical contacts
  • Photograph style tips

The 10 Heaviest Metals

10. Mercury 200.59 u

Mercury is very heavy, along with its highdensity. It is used as a primary explosive and used in the cartridges offirearms.

The weight comes into play mostly when mercuryis in its liquid state because many things can float on top of it. The Fresnellenses of lighthouses in the past were put on top of the baths of mercury sothat they could float and rotate. This essentially acted like a bearing.

9. Lead 207.2 u

A very heavy metal that is still denser thanmany other materials. Lead is soft and malleable with a silvery look and slightshades of blue when first cut. Lead turns to a dull gray color once it’sexposed to air.

For many years lead was used as bullets duringthe middle ages because it was cheap and had a low melting point, allowingfaster casting with less equipment. Nowadays, it’s used in ballast keels onsailboats. The density helps it use a small volume while still providing waterresistance.

(Video) TOP 5 Heaviest Materials on Earth | Osmium | Top 5 to know

8. Astatine 210 u

Arguably, the rarest naturally occurring metalin the Earth’s crust this metalloid is surrounded with mystery. One of the mainstudies that have been ongoing for astatine-211 deals with its capabilities innuclear medicine. However, this requires fast work because its half-life isonly 7.2 hours.

Lead is very popular for construction as well.It’s used as a roofing material in the form of lead sheets to make flashing,cladding, and gutters.

7. Francium 223 u

Another radioactive element that is alsoclassified as an alkali metal. Francium is very rare and extremely unstable,which makes it very hard to use commercially. Francium has been used to searchfor cancer cures, but it was found not to be practical.

Francium can be synthesized, tapped, andcooled very easily, which makes it a great subject to explore spectroscopyexperiments.

6. Radium 226 u

An alkaline earth metal that lookssilvery-white in its pure form but black when exposed to oxygen.

Many uses for radium take advantage of itsradioactive properties. In industrial radiography, radium is a crucialradiation source.

5. Actinium 227 u

Usually considered the first transition metalin the 7th period, actinium is a silvery-white, soft radioactive metal. Thismetal reacts very fast to moisture and oxygen causing it to form a white coatthat prevents more oxidation

Actinium is very rare and expensive with avery high radioactivity level; with these factors in play, it doesn’t have alot of industrial applications. Research and study are where it is mostly usedfor alpha therapies and cancer treatment.

4. Protactinium 231.0359 u

A dense actinide metal that appearssilvery-gray and reacts very fast to oxygen, inorganic acids, and water vapor.

Proacting is between thorium and uranium onthe periodic table, but it still doesn’t have any industrial or commercialapplications. Protactinium is used only for research at this time.

3.Thorium 232.037 u

A very silvery metal that appears silver untilturning black when exposed to the air. This creates thorium dioxide on theouter layer, which becomes hard and malleable. Thorium’s radioactivity levelsare much weaker than other radioactive metals.

(Video) Comparison: Most Dense Things in the Universe

Many uses of thorium are related to itsdioxide other than the actual metal. This dioxide is special because it has avery high melting point so it can remain solid in flames and increase theflame’s brightness.

2.Uranium 238.028 u

Uranium is very similar to plutonium in termsof density, atomic weight, and their uses. Nuclear power plants are fueled byuranium; the fuel used is enriched at about 3% uranium.

1.Plutonium 244 u

Not only is plutonium very dense, but it has avery high atomic weight as well. Like uranium-235 plutonium can be used topropel submarines and aircraft carriers.


What are the heaviest metals in order? ›

I'll start with the heaviest metals first and move to the lightest.
  • *Silver – 654.91 lbs. ...
  • Lead – 707.96 lbs. ...
  • *Palladium – 712.00 lbs. ...
  • *Rhodium – 755.00 lbs. ...
  • *Ruthenium – 765.00 lbs. per cubic foot.
  • *Gold – 1206.83 lbs. per cubic foot.
  • *Platinum – 1339.20 lbs. per cubic foot.
  • *Osmium – 1402.00 lbs. per cubic foot.
May 31, 2021

What is the heaviest metal by atomic weight? ›

Oganesson, named for Russian physicist Yuri Oganessian (SN: 1/21/17, p. 16), is the heaviest element currently on the periodic table, weighing in with a huge atomic mass of about 300.

What is the heaviest and densest metal? ›

Osmium is one of the heaviest materials on earth, weighing twice as much as lead per teaspoon. Osmium is a chemical element in the platinum group metals; it's often used as alloys in electrical contacts and fountain pen nibs.

What is the heaviest element by density? ›

Osmium is the densest naturally occurring element. When experimentally measured using X-ray crystallography, it has a density of 22.59 g/cm3.

What are the 10 heavy metals? ›

Heavy metals are a group of metals and metalloids that have relatively high density and are toxic even at ppb levels [16]. Examples include Pb, As, Hg, Cd, Zn, Ag, Cu, Fe, Cr, Ni, Pd, and Pt.

What are top 5 heavy metals? ›

Mercury, lead, chromium, cadmium, and arsenic have been the most common heavy metals that induced human poisonings. Here, we reviewed the mechanistic action of these heavy metals according to the available animal and human studies. Acute or chronic poisonings may occur following exposure through water, air, and food.

What's the densest metal? ›

It is shown here that at ambient pressure osmium is the densest metal at all temperatures, although there is an ambiguity below 150 K. At room temperature iridium becomes the densest metal above a pressure of 2.98 GPa, at which point the densities of the two metals are equal at 22,750 kg m3.

Which is the heaviest metal answer? ›

Osmium has the highest density among all the given metals, hence, it is the heaviest.

Which is the lightest and heaviest metal? ›

- Among the given options Lithium is the lightest metal and Osmium is the heaviest metal.

What are the 4 heavy metals? ›

The heavy metals most commonly associated with poisoning of humans are lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium. Heavy metal poisoning may occur as a result of industrial exposure, air or water pollution, foods, medicines, improperly coated food containers, or the ingestion of lead-based paints.

What are the big 4 heavy metals? ›

This webinar provides health care practitioners with an overview of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's (ATSDR) top four toxic metals: Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, and Mercury.

What is the second heaviest metal? ›

Tennessine, a radioactive artificially produced element is the second heaviest metal.

What are some of the heaviest elements? ›

The heaviest element that occurs in large quantity is uranium (atomic number 92). You can mine it like gold. Technetium (atomic number 43) does not occur naturally. Promethium (atomic number 61) does not occur naturally.

Which is heavier gold or iron? ›

A: Gold has many more protons and neutrons in the nucleus of each atom than iron does. So each gold atom weighs almost four times as much as each iron atom.

Is Tungsten the heaviest metal? ›

Tungsten is important because it is heavy. In fact, tungsten is one of our heaviest metals.
... Watchlist.
MetalDensity (g/cm3)
4 more rows
Nov 19, 2012

What are the names of heavy metals? ›

There are 35 metals that are of concern for us because of residential or occupational exposure, out of which 23 are heavy metals: antimony, arsenic, bismuth, cadmium, cerium, chromium, cobalt, copper, gallium, gold, iron, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel, platinum, silver, tellurium, thallium, tin, uranium, vanadium, ...

How many heavy metals are there? ›

Several definitions of heavy metals exist. There are about 40 heavy metals but the exact number depends on the definition used. Definitions are based on the density, atomic number or weight and/or toxicity.

What are the first 20 metals? ›

Lithium, Beryllium, Sodium, Magnesium, Aluminium, Potassium, and Calcium are metals in the first twenty elements. Hydrogen, Helium, Carbon, Nitrogen, Oxygen, Fluorine, Neon, Phosphorous, Sulphur, Chlorine, and Argon are the non-metals in the first twenty elements.

What is the top 10 strongest metals in the world? ›

The top ten strongest metals in the world are:
  • Tungsten.
  • Chromium.
  • Titanium.
  • Gadolinium.
  • Iron.
  • Vanadium.
  • Lutetium.
  • Zirconium.

What are the 8 metals? ›

These eight metals include: arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, selenium and silver. Each metal is discussed further below with the designated degrees of concentration identified for each metal.

What is the 4th strongest metal? ›

The Top 10 Strongest Metals
RankType of MetalExample Use
#1TungstenMaking bullets and missiles
#2SteelConstruction of railroads, roads, other infrastructure and appliances
#3ChromiumManufacturing stainless steel
#4TitaniumIn the aerospace Industry, as a lightweight material with strength
6 more rows
Oct 22, 2019

What metal is denser than water? ›

Mercury is a very dense, heavy, silver-white metal that is a liquid at room temperature. (For more information about mercury, click here.) Mercury has a density of 13.5 g/mL, which is about 13.5 times denser than water (1.0 g/mL), so a small amount of mercury like this feels unexpectedly heavy.

What metal is heavier gold or silver? ›

Therefore, gold has a density of 19.32 g/cm3 whereas silver has a density of only 10.49 g/cm3. Thus, a 1 oz bar of gold will be almost half as large as a 1 oz bar of silver.

What is the heaviest non metal? ›

Iodine has a mass of 126.9, making it the heaviest non-metal mentioned. Iodine is an ingredient that is non-metallic, dark-gray/purple-black, lustrous, solid.

Where are the heaviest metals on the periodic table? ›

The element with the highest density is osmium. The element with the highest atomic number and atomic weight is oganesson. Have you ever wondered about the heaviest or densest element on the periodic table? The densest element is osmium, a blue-gray metal with atomic number 76.

Where are the heaviest metals? ›

Osmium and iridium are the densest metals in the world, but relative atomic mass is another way to measure "weight." The heaviest metals in terms of relative atomic mass are plutonium and uranium.

What are the top 10 lightest metals? ›

The first seven metals in the periodic table are lithium, beryllium, sodium, magnesium, aluminium, potassium and calcium, known collectively as the “lightest metals”.

What metal is heavier than copper? ›

Silver is even heavier than copper, at 655 lb for a cubic foot. Gold is really heavy at 1206 lb for a cubic foot.

What metal is heavier than aluminum? ›

Stainless steel is heavier and stronger than aluminum. In fact, aluminum is around 1/3 the weight of steel.

What are the 7 original metals? ›

The Seven Metals of Antiquity

Until the 14th century AD, (Western) humankind only distinguished seven metals, known as the "seven metals of antiquity": Gold, Silver, Copper, Iron, Tin, Lead and Mercury.

What are the top 3 metals? ›

The 5 Most Precious Metals On Earth
  • Rhodium. Rhodium is one of the metals you will find listed on Market Spot Price, right up there with Gold, Silver, Platinum, and Palladium. ...
  • Platinum. This identifiable metal held the throne in commodity pricing for decades until it was overtaken by Gold. ...
  • Gold. ...
  • Ruthenium. ...
  • Iridium.
Jan 18, 2022

What are the 7 base metals? ›

Base metals include copper, iron, thallium, zinc, nickel, aluminum, and lead.

Who are the big 4 of death metal? ›

Desperate times call for desperate measures. And desperate measures most certainly include arguing about crap with absolutely no material consequences on the real world! And so: it's widely agreed upon that the “Big 4” of thrash are Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax, even by the band's themselves.

Is lead heavy metal? ›

Lead (Pb) is a toxic, nonessential heavy metal that does not have any biological significance or beneficial use.

What are metals 5 metals? ›

Some of the examples are Gold, silver, copper. Iron and aluminum. Sodium is also a metal with atomic number 11 and can be cut by knife, but it should be cut by pouring cyclohexane. Silver is the best conductor of heat and electricity.

What's heavier lead or gold? ›

Gold is much heavier than lead. It is very dense. Another rather simple way to think of this is that if the density of water is 1 g/cc then the density of gold is 19.3 times greater than water.

What is the number 1 strongest metal? ›

1. Tungsten: The Strongest Metal on Earth. Of all the metals, tungsten reigns supreme in terms of tensile strength. Coming in at an ultimate strength of 1510 Megapascals, tungsten is one of the toughest metals known to man.

What is the largest heaviest element? ›

The heaviest element found in any appreciable amount in nature is uranium, atomic number 92. (The atomic number refers to the number of protons in an atom's nucleus.) Beyond that, scientists must create new elements in accelerators, usually by smashing a beam of light atoms into a target of heavy atoms.

What are the 3 heaviest metals? ›

Osmium and iridium are the densest metals in the world, but relative atomic mass is another way to measure "weight." The heaviest metals in terms of relative atomic mass are plutonium and uranium.

Which is the heaviest metal of all metals? ›

The Heaviest Metal. The heaviest metal is osmium, which has, bulk for bulk, nearly twice the weight of lead. The specific gravity of gold is about 19 1/4, while that of osmium is almost 22 1/2.

How many types of heavy metals are there? ›

There are 35 metals that are of concern for us because of residential or occupational exposure, out of which 23 are heavy metals: antimony, arsenic, bismuth, cadmium, cerium, chromium, cobalt, copper, gallium, gold, iron, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel, platinum, silver, tellurium, thallium, tin, uranium, vanadium, ...

Which are the heavy metals? ›

Because of their high degree of toxicity, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, and mercury rank among the priority metals that are of public health significance. These metallic elements are considered systemic toxicants that are known to induce multiple organ damage, even at lower levels of exposure.

What has heavy metals? ›

Heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium occur naturally but are far from harmless. They are found in many products ranging from art supplies and automobile components to paints, hair dyes, jewelry, and even candy. Old paint containing lead degrades into dust, easy to ingest.

What is the top 10 strongest metal? ›

The top ten strongest metals in the world are:
  • Tungsten.
  • Chromium.
  • Titanium.
  • Gadolinium.
  • Iron.
  • Vanadium.
  • Lutetium.
  • Zirconium.

What is the lightest and heaviest metal? ›

Lithium is the lightest and osmium is the heaviest metal. Osmium is a natural metal with the highest density.


1. Comparison: Strongest Materials
2. Top Dense Things Ever
3. Tungsten Explained in 22 Minutes or Less
(Applied STEM)
4. Top 10's of the Elements (Lightest Elements) Part 6
(HuJas Top10)
5. Heaviest liquid?
6. Top 10 Strongest Metals in the World
(Metallurgical Engineering)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Ms. Lucile Johns

Last Updated: 01/17/2023

Views: 5986

Rating: 4 / 5 (61 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Ms. Lucile Johns

Birthday: 1999-11-16

Address: Suite 237 56046 Walsh Coves, West Enid, VT 46557

Phone: +59115435987187

Job: Education Supervisor

Hobby: Genealogy, Stone skipping, Skydiving, Nordic skating, Couponing, Coloring, Gardening

Introduction: My name is Ms. Lucile Johns, I am a successful, friendly, friendly, homely, adventurous, handsome, delightful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.