Cobalt is a magnetic, silver-blue metal. It very rarely occurs in native form, so it is usually found as part of minerals (e.g. cobaltite and skutterudite) or with other elemental deposits (e.g. nickel and manganese).
Figure 2. Cobalt blue Chinese porcelain from the 1400s.
Cobalt salts have long been used to create the distinctive blue colour for porcelain (Figure 2), as well as for enamel and paints, pottery, and glass.
Pure cobalt metal is sometimes used for electroplating because it is hard and corrosion resistant. Cobalt is most commonly used as part of an alloy though. Cobalt alloys are used to make items that need high strength and corrosion resistance such as magnets, jet and gas turbine generators, surgical implants, and prosthetics. Lithium cobalt oxide is one of the lithium oxides commonly used in rechargable lithium batteries.