Why iridium and not platinum and gold?
Iridium has been the first choice because it is the heaviest element, although all the other precious metals must of course follow!

Why the cube in preference to another shape?
Of course, other shapes are possible, and may even be easier to manufacture; but in the globally available and familiar periodic system, precious metals are defined in 1cm3.

But precious metals don’t earn interest!
No, but the returns on safe investments are currently barely ahead of inflation!

What about osmium?
This element is almost as rare as iridium and only slightly lighter. However, owing to its extremely high melt point, I haven’t managed yet to produce a solid material, and the commercial available osmium powder is poisonous. Although it may be possible to mix it with iridium, to produce osmiridium, the pure element is more attractive.

Is iridium radioactive or poisonous?
Iridium is neither poisonous nor radioactive. It is very hard and has the lowest reaction level of all the elements. It only reacts under heat and then only with highly aggressive materials.

In some tables, online and also in textbooks, osmium is said to be the heaviest element!
This information and these tables are out of date: osmium was believed for a long time to be the heaviest element, and some people in the English-speaking world still believe this to be the case.

Why is iridium not very expensive?
At the moment the metal has few applications: examples are for mirroring glass, to produce extremely fine cannulae for medical purposes, to manufacture high quality spark plugs and to harden certain precious metal alloys. Nevertheless, the price has remained relatively stable over recent years. However, since the element is extremely rare, even low levels of demand would quickly cause its price to rise.

Didn’t I hear something about a prototype kilo and a protoype metre?
That’s right, both the prototype kilo and the prototype metre are made of a 9:1 platinum/iridium alloy, owing to their hardness and very low thermal expansion.

But the price of iridium is only the half of that of platinum!
That’s right! At the moment! The hierarchy of iridium, osmium, platinum and gold in terms of density matches their hierarchy in terms of rareness. Therefore, in order for their hierarchy in terms of price to match, demand simply needs to increase.

How many gold cubes does it take to make a platinum cube and how many platinum cubes does it take to make an iridium cube?
A factor cannot be applied as it can in the case of banknotes, because the price will always be determined through supply and demand. However, it is obvious that the rarer an element is, the more expensive it must be.

How rare is iridium?
98% of the biosphere consists of the 10 most common elements, and the remaining 2% is made up of 84 natural elements. Iridium is in 84th place in terms of its frequency of occurrence. There is 5 times as much platinum, which stands in 76th place.

What about rare elements as assets?
Never before have there been so many people on earth and such high per capita productivity. Currencies aside therefore, rare elements, energy and suitable habitat will be key factors.

But should this also be a currency?
If currencies explode like an uncovered cheque, as has already occurred, a banknote becomes illusory, in fact nothing more than colourful printed paper. Potatoes as a currency are perishable and immovable property, as its name implies, is “immovable”. But precious metal cubes are indigestible ;-)

Is the periodic system globally recognised?
Yes, as far as I am aware, at least there is no hostility to it as there is, for example, to Darwinism.

Can a unit of measurement like the ounce be replaced?
Yes! The British claimed to have a whole heap of units, with stones, ounces, grain, inches, yards, gallons and pints etc., and have switched over to the metric system in the last 20 years. The only exception is beer, where the pint remains the unit of measurement!

What does it cost to manufacture a cube?
At least during the current prototype phase, it is expensive to manufacture iridium cubes relative to the raw material itself, because the metal is also still fairly cheap owing to lack of demand. In the case of gold however, it doesn’t matter whether I produce coins, bars or cubes.

What about the VAT situation?
Gold bars are VAT-exempt in Germany, since they are already treated, de facto, like a foreign currency. Exceptional rules apply to silver bars, but not for all the other precious metals. However, this factor is irrelevant for institutional investors, and Germany doesn’t represent the world.

Who should buy such cubes and when?
Anyone who is losing confidence in their own currency!
Gold bars and gold coins are already considered and bought as a currency into which to flee to escape impending inflation. The cube system represents the logical consequence, because it additionally offers the opportunity of forgery-proofing.