Where does platinum come from?

Platinum

Perhaps you know someone who owns a ring with a platinum setting.  Platinum is a precious metal that looks like silver, but it is more valuable than gold.

Its name comes from the Spanish word “platina”, which means “little silver”.

Like silver and gold, it is usually mined in fairly pure form as little grains or nuggets of gray metal called “native” platinum.  The ore often contains other rare metals, such as rhodium and palladium.

Platinum is sometimes found mixed with gold, nickel and copper ores.

Platinum has many special qualities that make it valuable.  It does not rust.  It can stand terrific heat.  Acids that dissolve most metals do not attack platinum.  And it can be shaped and worked in almost every possible way.

Not all platinum goes into jewelry.  It is also used in making such things as electrical appliances, surgical instruments and for many other purposes.

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