Both osmium and iridium have 12 oxidation states. Indeed, iridium has the highest oxidation state of all elements at +9. see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oxidation_states_of_the_elements

I'm just curious as to why these elements have the most oxidation states and whether this confers on them special properties or different reactivities or any special uses. Thank you!

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    $\begingroup$ No, they just have a lot of d- and f-electrons to play with. One might suggest that elements one row down would be similarly flush in oxidation states, and perhaps even more so, if we had enough around to do much chemistry with. $\endgroup$ – Jon Custer Oct 21 '16 at 13:54
  • $\begingroup$ I have another question: The row below is the actinides and whilst they display similar positive oxidation numbers they don't display any negative oxidation numbers. why is this the case? $\endgroup$ – Arabian Knight Oct 21 '16 at 14:22
  • $\begingroup$ Why do you ask another question after this: chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/61346/… ? You were already asking why. $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Oct 21 '16 at 21:12

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