22 Little known Platinum Facts

Platinum is one of the most precious metals. The shiny, dense, and highly unreactive metal is mostly found in South Africa. It is a rare substance and few hundred several toons are produced annually. The oldest usage of the metal is found in ancient Egyptian artifacts from 1200 BC. But it is unsure that if they had the knowledge of the material as it is found mixed with gold. This transition metal is widely used as catalytic converters. The element is also used in ornaments and considered a commodity. It is silverish in color and more malleable than gold. It was once thought to be white gold. It is resistant to tarnish and corrosion and therefore is a noble metal. It is extremely rare.

The earliest Europeans thought it an impurity of gold and it was mostly thrown away. It was then officially forbidden to mix it with gold. In 1735, Antonio de Ulloa and Jorge Juan y Santacilia brought mined platinum nuggets from Peru to Spain. Then they established the first mineralogy lab and studied the material. Later in 1741, William Brownrigg was sent some Colombian platinum by British metallurgist Charles Wood. In 1752, Henrik Scheffer published a detailed scientific description of the metal for the first time. King Charles III of Spain provided needed support to Pierre-Fran├žois Chabaneau a French chemist, for further research of the substance. The support helped Pierre-Fran├žois Chabaneau to produce 23 kilograms of pure, malleable platinum. This resulted in the "platinum age" in Spain. Antonio de Ulloa is officially regarded as the inventor of platinum in modern scientific history. It is mostly used as Catalyst. It is used in defining standards like meter, kilogram, International Temperature Scale of 1990, and other attributes.

Platinum is often considered as the symbol of exclusivity and wealth. As it is rare and precious you can invest in platinum bullion. Premium watchmakers like Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Breitling use platinum on their limited edition watch series. Louis XV of France declared platinum as the only metal fit for a king. The name is used to describe fine and premium goods and services. It is one of the most desired metals all over the world. There many significant facts about it. Today we have gathered some of the most interesting facts on platinum.

In 2019 an estimated 180 metric tons of platinum are mined. South Africa is the leading country in production and the country alone produces 130 metric tons of the metal.

It is the 3rd most precious metal commodity in the world valued at 1284.00 USD per oz.

Platinum is one of the most malleable metals in the world. One gram of the substance can be stretched into a wire that is around 2,000 meters long.

Spain introduced platinum coins for the first time in history in the 18th century. The main reason to introduce coins of the metal as it does not melt in fire like gold or silver. Merchants loved the fact and they valued coins of the metal.

The worldwide reserve of the metal is estimated to be close to 69,000 metric tons. Almost 95% of the reserve is in the Earth's crust of South Africa.

It takes a very high temperature to melt the metal. It usually melts at 1,768 °C.

Though many people confuse white golds with platinum they are whole different substances. They have different durability & lifespan, composition, hypoallergenic potential, and cost.

Some other metals like iridium, osmium, palladium, ruthenium, and rhodium shares similar properties with Platinum.

Around 600 000 heart pacemakers are implanted every year. The electrode of the valuable lifesaving machine is only made with platinum.

It is also used in the automobile industry. The precious metal is used in making high-quality airbags. Platinum treatment keeps airbags stable and avoids deteriorating even after kept folded and packed for long durations.

Platinum-based fuel cells are cost-effective and can help bring electricity to rural areas of South Africa.

Around half of all of the metal is used as a catalyst in the production of fertilizers, plastics, and gasoline.

The Merensky Reef is a layer of igneous rock in several provinces of South Africa. It is the largest known reserve of platinum in the world.

Cancer therapy medicines such as cisplatin contain platinum. Around half of the cancer patients uses medicine containing the metal.

It is hard to make a pure form of metal from the mined crusts. It takes around 12 tons of ore to produce 31.135g of pure platinum.

United States banned all nonmilitary usage of the metal during the WW2. It was a strategic metal for the Allies.

It is one of the most recycled metals. Around 30% of the world's production comes from recycling.

The name platinum is a Spanish word that means “Little Silver.”

It doesn't catch rust or naturally oxidize in the air. But in contact with cyanides, halogens, and sulfur it may corrode.

There are Six stable isotopes of the metal that occur in nature. Almost all isotopes have half-lives under a year and most under a day. But 190Pt a radioisotope of platinum has a half-life of 6.50×1011 years.

Though it is a rare metal on Earth, platinum is more common on the Moon.

Platinum mining has some environmental effects. As metal has great importance as a commercial metal and mining is not avoidable more environment-friendly ways should be introduced. Labor satisfaction is also a significant issue in the industry. Beyond all these, it is one precious and rare metal that we all are fascinated by. Thanks for reading.