The natural sulfide of antimony was known and used in Biblical times as medicine and as a cosmetic. Antimony in its elemental form is a silvery white, brittle crystalline solid that exhibits poor electrical and heat conductivity properties. Commercial forms of antimony are generally ingots, broken pieces, granules, and cast cake. Other forms are powder, shot, and single crystals.
Estimates of the abundance of antimony in the Earth's crust range from 0.2 to 0.5 parts per million. The most important use of antimony metal is as a hardener in lead for storage batteries. The metal also finds applications in solders and other alloys.