Niobium is a soft and ductile metal, shiny and white in colour. However when exposed to air at room temperature takes on a bluish tint. It has a high melting point and consequently is used in high temperature engineering systems such as those used in the Gemini space program.
Niobium is used in the nuclear industry since it has a low capture cross section for thermal neutrons. When combined with zirconium it has superconductive properties and hence some superconductive magnets contain Nb-Zr alloy wire. It has also been used for body jewellery due to its attractive shiny blue tint.