Amazing Facts about Platinum

Amazing Facts about Platinum from North Carolina Lifestyle Blogger Adventures of Frugal Mom

Platinum is a highly-prized precious metal because it has a huge range of uses, from jewelry to fighting cancer, and because it’s a relatively rare element – five parts per billion (ppb) in the earth’s crust. If you’re looking at platinum as an investment here, you’d be wise, but you should also find out more about this interesting metal.

It’s very noble

Once known as white gold, platinum is a silvery white metal and it’s very resistant to corrosion and tarnishing, which means it’s a noble metal. This lack of reactivity makes it invaluable in medical applications, as it doesn’t corrode or leach into living tissues.

It’s a close relative to gold and silver

It’s a transition metal, so it’s in the same group as gold, silver, copper, and titanium. The atomic structure of transition metals means they can react with and bond easily with other elements.

It’s very dense

At 21.45g per cubic centimeter, platinum is slightly over 21 times as dense as water and six times as dense as a diamond.

Platinum fast facts

  • Its atomic number (number of protons in nucleus) – 78
  • Its atomic symbol – Pt
  • Its atomic weight – 195.1
  • Its phase at room temperature – solid
  • Its melting point – 1,768.4C
  • Its boiling point – 3,825C

We’ve used it for millennia

Platinum was used in Ancient Egypt and the Americas for jewelry and decoration. However, the first record of the metal came in 1557 when Italian physician Julius Scalinger described a Central American metal that was impossible to melt; he called it “platina”, or “little silver”.

In 1741, British scientist Charles Wood published his study on platinum, describing its various properties and potential commercial applications. In the 18th century platinum was the eighth known metal, joining iron, copper, silver, gold, tin, mercury and lead.

Hard to extract

In the early 19th century, British colleagues William Hyde Wollaston and Smithson Tennant managed to extract platinum from its ore by dissolving it in aqua regia – a mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acid. Once the platinum was removed, palladium, osmium, iridium, rhodium, and ruthenium were discovered in the waste material.

The true kilo

The international standard for a kilogram is a chunk of platinum and platinum-iridium alloy. Back in the 1880’s, 40 of these cylindrical chunks were sent around the world to standardize the measurement of a kilo.

Platinum’s nearest and dearest

Platinum “rules” (as it was discovered first) the platinum metal group, which comprises iridium, palladium, ruthenium, and rhodium. These metals have similar properties and they’re often used together to make tools, durable machine parts, and jewelry.

It’s helping in the fight against cancer

Platinum is used in some anti-cancer drugs as it doesn’t react with living tissues. Roughly half of cancer patients are being treated with drugs that contain platinum. The metal is also found in pacemakers and dental crowns and implants because it doesn’t react.

South Africa is the place to go

Around 80% of the world’s platinum is mined in South Africa, with the rest coming from Russia, North America, and South America. Platinum and its platinum group associates are often found as a by-product of the mining of other metals. Each year, around 14 times as much gold is mined as platinum 1,800 tons to 130 tons.

Magnetic qualities

When platinum is combined with cobalt, it makes very strong, permanent magnets which are used in medical equipment, watches, and motors.

Similar Posts:

    None Found

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.