Miners pushing an ore car into the Grace tin and tungsten mine in Bolivia, circa 1945.
Miners pushing an ore car into the Grace tin and tungsten mine in Bolivia, circa 1945. - 
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The BBC’s Justin Rowlatt has a series exploring the economy through the elements – yes, those elements.

So tungsten is not the most famous element on the table. But you do know it well.

"Tungsten has two incredibly useful properties," says Rowlatt.  "It's very dense and very strong."

Since tungsten is unlikely to break or smash, you probably use it to cut through hard things.

"The only substance harder than tungsten are diamonds," says Rowlatt.

Listen to the full conversation in the audio player above.

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Follow Kai Ryssdal at @kairyssdal