by Nick Giambruno
For only his most honored dinner guests, French Emperor Napoleon III was rumored to use a rare set of aluminum cutlery. Regular guests had to make do with gold forks and knives.
In the mid-1800s, pure aluminum metal was rarer and more prized than even gold.
That’s why, at the time, the French government held bullion bars of aluminum as part of the national treasures, and the French elite wore aluminum jewelry.
Aluminum is one of the most abundant elements found on Earth. But most of it exists as chemical compounds, not as metal.