More so than any of the other major groups of elements in the periodic table, the TRANSITION METALS have shaped human history and have been the workhorses of industry. The discovery of metallic copper ended the Stone Age and ushered in the Bronze Age. Alloys of iron (especially steel) later took over, and the Iron Age replaced the Bronze Age. Copper, silver, and gold and, more recently, platinum have been the precious metals from which coins and jewelry have been made from ancient times to the present.
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