Discovered in 1751, nickel is found in meteorites and can be used to distinguish meteorites from other minerals. Five stable isotopes comprise natural nickel and nine unstable isotopes exist.
Nickel is a silvery white metal that can be highly polished. Hard, malleable, ductile, and somewhat ferromagnetic, it is a fair conductor of heat and electricity.
It is used to make stainless steel and makes other alloys more corrosion-resistant. Nickel is used in coins and in nickel steel for armor plates and burglar-proof vaults. Nickel plating provides a protective coat for other metals. Nickel is also used in ceramics, magnet manufacture, and storage batteries and it gives greenish color to glass.