Platinum is a mineral with a hardness of 4 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness [?]. These Cubicly structured gems are made of nothing more than Platinum, their full chemical compound being Pt.

Platinum is a rare and precious metal that occurs as a Native Element, one of the rarest in the Earth's crust.

It resembles silver, but it is less reactive and does not tarnish in air, and is thus considered a noble metal. Its greater hardness, higher density, and high melting point also distinguish it from silver.

Like gold, another noble metal, the only common acid combination to dissolve it is aqua regia, a mixture of concentrated hydrochloric and nitric acids.

Platinum appears rarely in small, poorly formed crystals, or in grains, plates, or even more rarely, as nuggets. It is silver gray in color.

It is medium hard, extremely heavy, ductile, malleable and has no cleavage. It is slightly magnetic when small impurities of iron are present.

Its primary origin is in the early segregation phase of mafic and ultramafic rocks (dunite and serpentinite).

Because of its very high specific gravity, it is mainly concentrated in river and marine placers, recent or fossil. It is plentiful in rivers running down from the Urals (the famous Perm deposit in Russia). Primary deposits are at Sudbury (Canada), in the Bushveld complex (South Africa), the USA, Brazil, Colombia, and Peru. In several instances, diamonds were found when gold and platinum were being sought.

The specific gravity [?] for Platinum is 21.4, it's refractive index [?] is None, and it's double refraction [?] is None.

History

Platinum derives its name from the Spanish "platina," a diminutive form of "plata" meaning "silver."


The metal was used by pre-Columbian Americans near Ecuador to produce objects made of a white gold-platinum alloy. Italian writer Julius Caesar Scaliger described it in the 1500s as an unknown noble metal found between Darien and Mexico, "which no fire has yet been able to liquefy."

Industrial Usages

Platinum is more costly than gold, at times valued twice as much, but varies depending on industrial demand. Platinum coins, bars, and ingots are prized by traders and collectors, and surface scratches known as "patina" are considered a desirable feature.

It is used by fine jewellery makers. Platinum is the best metal for diamond mounting as it is not only white but much harder than gold. It is used by top-quality watchmakers as it neither tarnishes nor wears out.


It is a good conductor of heat and electricity. Its hardness, density, and melting point, together with its malleability and thermal stability make it useful for laboratory tongs crucibles, and electrical contacts in thermo couples.

It is also an exceptionally good catalyst, used in the chemical and petroleum industries.


Commercial platinum and its metals are obtained as a by-product from nickel and copper mining and processing.


Native platinum contains lesser amounts of other related native elements, namely iridium, osmium, palladium and rhodium. The refining of platinum is the principal source of these other "heavy metals." Impurities in platinum found in placer deposits or alluvial areas are easily removed by floating in liquid. Other impurities can be melted away due to their low melting point. As platinum is nonmagnetic, other magnetic minerals may be removed by an electromagnet.

You May Also Like...

Gold

Gold: Gold is a Native Element that appears in very rare, small, octahedral, cubic, and dodecahedral crystals. It normally occurs in very small, shapeless grains, sheets, and flakes. Dendrites are rare. Nuggets are common in alluvial or glacial deposits. It is of yellow color, varying in brightness, depending on the impurities present. This bright, rich yellow is resistant to tarnishing. Gold is often (read full)

Silver

Silver: Silver is a Native Element with an isometric system, a soft, white, precious metallic element of group 1 of the Periodic System with the symbol Ag. It appears as cubes, octahedrons, and dodecahedrons, and rarely as crystals. Native silver cubes are always small, usually displaying stepped faces, or in compact masses of twining branches, and wirelike forms of a silvery, gray-white color. Aggregate (read full)

Pyrite

Pyrite: Pyrite is an iron sulphide mineral with a cubic crystal system and is dimorphous with marcasite. It occurs as cubic crystals with striated faces, or in the form of pentagonal dodecahedra, usually well-crystallized, either isolated or in small, often well-formed groups, or as "iron cross" twins. It is a characteristic, brassy-yellow or pale-gold color, opaque and with a metal luster. It sometimes (read full)

Anglesite

Anglesite: Anglesite is a very soft gem just slightly harder than gold and silver and as such it does not hold facets well/cut easily. Because of its softness it tends to scratch, and these scratches will take away from the value and appearance of this gem. Once cut this gem will not do well in rings as it will quickly become scratched and its edges worn round. This gem is usually colorless or clear, but (read full)

Milky Quartz

Milky Quartz: Milky Quartz is a milky white translucent to opaque variety of crystalline quartz of somewhat greasy luster. It is the commonest variety found in pegmatites and hydrothermal veins. The color is generally caused by numerous bubbles of gas and liquid in the crystal. The milky color is caused by small cavities filled with numerous small fluids and CO2 in liquid condition. It is used as a gemstone, a (read full)

Tags

Terms

Double Refraction or dr is the ability of a mineral to separate a refracted ray of light into 2 rays. If held over an image or text it will display the object 2x its original size.

Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness is the standard used to categorize a mineral's ability to resist scratching. It gets its name from Friedrich Mohs, the German geologist who first created the scale.

RI or Refractive Index defines light's ability to move through the mineral or in a general sense, any material.

SG or Specific Gravity is the ratio of the weight of any substance to that of pure water at temperature of 3.98°C(39.2°F) and standard atmospheric pressure. This is important to note when actively seeking these minerals in the wild. Minerals with a higher SG will settle below material with a lower sg over time.