announcement

Share facts or photos of intriguing scientific phenomena.

Interesting Facts about Platinum

Interesting Facts about Platinum

Most women have seen and loved platinum jewelry, but do you know much about this highly adored metal? How about a look at some interesting platinum facts right now.
Komal Bakhru
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
Coming from the Spanish term platina del Pinto, if translated, platinum literally means little silver of the Pinto river. Believed to be the same as white gold by some, there is quite a difference between the two metals, so make sure you do not make a mistake when judging platinum and white gold. Anyway, what we are dealing with today is platinum, so let's take a more specific look at that alone, through some interesting platinum facts. A precious metal of a silvery-white color, this is also one of the more malleable metals that there are. Given how precious a metal it is, it also makes for some of the most expensive jewelry that there is to find. Need facts and more about the same? Read further...
History of Platinum
Although the year of the discovery of platinum is unknown, other details like location and discoverer aren't. Even so, it must have been discovered way back, especially since the first ever mention of this metal was in the writing of Julius Caesar Scaliger sometime around 1557. It could have well been detected before 700 BC, since there is proof of existence of the metal since then, or even some years before that. With regard to location of its findings, it is said to have been found in South America by some pre-Columbian South Americans. This metal came across as such an intriguing one that, it was in fact spoken of as a noble metal that nothing had been able to liquefy until then. What makes for a more interesting story is the fact that the Spanish Conquistadors didn't think of this metal as being much to spend time on. When they first spotted it, it was mistaken for being little bits of silver or even gold that hadn't yet matured, and that irrespective of what it was, it most certainly wasn't worth very much.
Properties of the Metal
The table below will give you a complete idea about the basic properties of this metal. Take a look.
Properties of Platinum
Symbol Pt
Number 78
Phase Solid
Element Category Transition metal
Standard Atomic Weight 195.084
Electrons per Shell 2, 8, 18, 32, 17, 1
Melting Point 2041.4 K, 1768.3°C, 3214.9°F
Boiling Point 4098 K, 3825°C, 6917°F
Atomic Radius 139pm
Crystal Structure Face-centered Cubic
Oxidation State 6, 5, 4, 3 , 2, 1, -1, -2 (mildly basic oxide)


That was a brief look at the history and some properties of this absolutely priceless metal, but now, moving on to some other facts about it.
♣ Platinum is essentially made up of 6 isotopes (5 stable isotopes and 1 radioisotope), and is said to have been discovered by astronomers Antonio de Ulloa and Don Jorge Juan y Santacilia in 1735 (although this is constantly being debated).
♣ Interestingly, platinum which a rare metal on the earth is found in large quantities on the Moon and the meteorites.
♣ With regard to occurrence, platinum is greatly found in parts of South Africa, Russia, and USA, thus making these countries amongst the greatest producers of the metal too.
♣ This metal makes up for part of a group of metals known as Platinum Group Metals. This group essentially consists of Platinum, Palladium, Rhodium, Ruthenium, Iridium and Osmium.
♣ The reason that platinum acts as an increasingly popular choice for jewelry despite its price is that it is tarnish resistant, thus making it a long-lasting choice amongst the available metals. What's more, it is a pure metal and jewelry made of platinum contains anything from 90-95% of the metal.
♣ In terms of popularity what is also interesting is that close to 90% of the world's platinum jewelry is bought by Japanese customers.
♣ Apart from reasons pertaining to the aesthetics of the metal, platinum also makes for a great investment since it is a major contributing factor to worldwide economic growth.
♣ The quantity of platinum mined each year is close to roughly 200 tons, which in comparison to approximately 1,800 tons of gold is practically nothing.
♣ It takes 10 tons of raw mineral, in order to be able to produce one pure ounce of platinum.
♣ Also, of all the platinum that is normally sold, major consumption is for that of vehicle emission control devices or catalytic converters, followed by its use for jewelry. Apart from that, it is also used in smaller quantities for electronics, chemical industry, and certain other applications.
♣ Once extracted from the earth, process takes up to 2 months, at least, to refine platinum.
♣ Besides being a great option for jewelry, the versatility of this metal also allows for it to be a great option for industrial and environmental purposes too. A few things that depend on platinum are anti-cancer drugs, fertilizers, pacemakers, explosives, etc.
♣ Did you know that it is a metal so precious that even the Queen Mother wore a coronation crown made from platinum.
♣ Coronation crown apart, world famous diamonds like the Kohinoor, Hope and Jonker I are all set in platinum too.
♣ In fact, this is one metal that is so sought after, even some of the most popular jewelers such as Tiffany, Cartier, and Faberge have created some of their classic pieces in Platinum.
What's given above is a short list about a few interesting platinum facts. A good look at it though, is enough to prove the qualities that this metal comes with. A metal so priceless, this one serves a purpose in more ways than one, and that is something you can be absolutely sure of.