Like other groups, the members of this group show patterns in electron configuration, especially in the outermost shells, although for this group they are particularly weak, with palladium being an exceptional case. The relativistic stabilization of the 7s orbital is the explanation to the predicted electron configuration of darmstadtium, which, unusually for this group, conforms to that predicted by the Aufbau principle.
Darmstadtium has not been isolated in pure form, and its properties have not been conclusively observed; only nickel, palladium, and platinum have had their properties experimentally confirmed. All three elements are typical silvery-white transition metals, hard, and refractory, with high melting and boiling points.
Group 10 metals are white to light grey in color, and possess a high luster, a resistance to tarnish (oxidation) at STP, are highly ductile, and enter into oxidation states of +2 and +4, with +1 being seen in special conditions. The existence of a +3 state is debated, as the state could be an illusory state created by +2 and +4 states. Theory suggests that group 10 metals may produce a +6 oxidation state under precise conditions, but this remains to be proven conclusively in the laboratory other than for platinum.
Nickel has an important role in the biochemistry of organisms, as part of the active center of enzymes. None of the other group 10 elements have a known biological role, but platinum compounds have widely been used as anticancer drugs. Aside from nickel, the elements are toxic for organisms.