Cobalt glass insulators, paint pigment, drills, milling bits and steel alloy are all products made with cobalt. Cobalt steel is tough, strong and heat-resistant enough to be made into parts for jet engines and propellers.
Cobalt steel is one of the hardest types of steel, making it useful in prosthetics, such as hip, knee and dental replacements. It's used in batteries and in permanent magnets. Cobalt is even used to make jewelry, especially men's wedding rings.
Traces of cobalt in glass lend it a dark blue color. In trace amounts, it is essential to good health. A form of cobalt is found in vitamin B12, making it the only metal found in a vitamin.
Cobalt is a lustrous, silvery-gray metal that does not exist in a free state on Earth. Cobalt's atomic number is 27, which means there are 27 protons in the nucleus. It has an atomic weight of 58.9332 and a density of 8.9 grams per cubic centimeter. Miners can extract it from ores, such as glaucodot and cobaltite, and scientists have discovered it in some meteors. It is also a by-product of mining copper and nickel. Cobalt is most abundant in South America, Africa, Asia and Australia.