Mineral: Platinum

The Mineral Platinum

                           …the rarest and one of the most precious of metals




"Platinum is the rarest and most expensive of the popular precious metals. It is much rarer than Gold. Due to its rarity and value, it is not readily available to mineral collectors and is seldom represented in in all but the highest-end mineral collections."

"Natural Platinum is fairly impure. It is always associated with small amounts of other elements such as iron, gold, copper, and nickel, and may also contain the rare metals iridium, osmium, rhodium, and palladium. These impurities can lower its specific gravity to as much as 14, whereas pure elemental platinum is 21.4. Most Platinum specimens contain traces of iron, which may cause it to be slightly attracted to magnetic fields."

"Platinum is a white metal of about the same specific gravity with gold, and is found with the latter metal in the placers in various locations, including the basins of the Klamath and Trinity Rivers. Their particles are usually fine scales, only rarely reaching a quarter of an ounce in weight in California, and the largest piece of either ever found was less than an ounce and a half." 

"Native platinum is an exotic mineral specimen and an expensive metal. Unfortunately, well formed crystals of platinum are very rare and the common habit of platinum is nuggets and grains. Pure platinum is unknown of in nature as it usually is alloyed with other metals such as iron, copper, gold, nickel, iridium, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium and osmium….Few of these rarer metals form significant deposits on their own and thus platinum becomes the primary ore of many of these metals."

"The metal platinum is a valuable metal that is gaining in importance. It is typically more expensive by weight than gold, mostly a product of its scarcity….It is also used in many anti-pollution devices, most notable is the catalytic converter, and has been given the nick name the "Environmental Metal".

Platinum Ore:

"The ores of platinum include: Native platinum; The only commercially important platinum bearing mineral is sperrylite, PtAs2, which is the most important ore of the metal; platiniridium, an alloy of platinum and iridium; osmiridium, an alloy of osmium and iridium; native osmium and irridium contain small quantities of platinum; it occurs in covellite, which is a sulfide of copper….Importance is also attached to the discovery of the metal in trace amounts associated with several copper minerals, as covellite, the sulfide of copper, CuS. With the present high price of platinum, more than twice the value of gold, we may expect a persistent search for platinum ores."

Ore Deposits of the Platinum-Group Elements

"The majority of the world's platinum-group elements (PGE) reserves are held in a handful of deposits, most of which occur within the unique Bushveld Complex of South Africa."

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History of Platinum:

"Early day prospectors looking for gold often considered platinum and the platinum group metals as nearly worthless or merely as a curiosity. Historically, prospectors and miners never made them the chief object of their search, as they had no regular or reliable market for sale, and platinum was worth significantly less than gold. Rich deposits of platinum that did not contain significant gold may well have been ignored by the old timers as not worth working. In more recent times however, platinum is easily saleable, and worth much more than gold. Because of this, the necessity of prospecting all alluvial deposits draining a region of basic igneous rocks that contain chromite segregations cannot be too strongly urged. You could make an important find."

"Historically speaking, platinum was known to the ancients, for it occurred in many alluvial beds associated with gold, and remained with the yellow metal after the washing of the gold. It was even used by the pre-Columbian Indians of South America. Its existence was noted by Pliny, the ancient roman historian, however it was considered to be some odd form of silver, hence the name (Plata is the Spanish name for silver). In 1735 it was recognized as an independent element by the chemist Uolla in Columbia, South America, and in 1740 it was exported from Jamaica to Europe. Near the middle of the eighteenth century, the Spanish government forbade its further extraction and ordered all the platinum thrown into the seas to prevent its use as an adulterant of gold."

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Geographical Locations of Platinum:

"The world’s most productive platinum placers have been the deposits on the eastern slope of the Ural Mountains…"

"Second in importance for the historical production of platinum placer material has been Colombia, South America, where placers were worked along the Choco River and its tributaries…"

"In the United States, placer platinum occurs in small quantities together with gold in many of the gold-bearing districts in northern and central California and in southwestern Oregon, where serpentine or peridotite bedrock is found. Platinum also occurs in certain beach sands of northern California and southern Oregon, mixed together with more or less gold. In California, Butte, Humboldt, Siskiyou, Trinity, Calaveras, Sacramento, and Del Norte have been the most productive California counties. Most of the production in California came from bucket line dredges. Three-fourths of California production has been obtained from Butte County alone."

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Chemical Separation of Platinum:

"The platinum metals cannot be separated from the gold by washing, but they do not unite with mercury, and therefore they can be separated from gold by amalgamation. The source of placer platinum, as an original rock-constituent, is restricted to the most basic igneous rocks, such as peridotites and dunites, or their altered equivalents, the serpentines. …Native placer platinum typically contains from 16 to 40 percent of the other platinum metals."

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An Overview of Platinum


Author: Brayan Peter


Platinum is a material which is very rare and the cost of gold is double than gold. In igneous rocks platinum is formed and these rocks also have iron and magnesium. Along with other materials like copper and gold, Platinum is also found in thin layers. Using surface and underground Platinum is mined. Due to natural calamities like wind, rain etc…platinum gets washed off and goes to the rivers and streams where through placer mining it’s mined.

In earlier days miners felt that platinum is a junky form of silver and they used to throw it away. Since it’s found in gold mine people named it as ‘white gold’. When copper and gold is mined then platinum is obtained in US. In South Africa, Russia, Columbia, Alaska, and Canada platinum is mined.

Uses of Platinum:

For surgical instruments, chemical equipment, jewelry, and catalytic converters in cars platinum is used. Platinum is metal which can be molded without any trouble and hence it’s used in wire and in items which got to be bent.

Methods of platinum mining:

By narrow reef method first platinum group metals (pgm) is extracted where miners make use of handheld pneumatic drills in order to make holes in the reef which explosives can be loaded. Through blasting when ore is released it’s taken out by making use of scrapers which is attached to wenches and transported to the surface.

The most popular and famous mining methods are New mechanical and hybrid mining. One mining procedure is of drilling either by pneumatic drills/newer specialized drilling equipment and then cleaning the ore from the mine using low-profile vehicles known as LHD (load haul dump).

Vital amounts of platinum are manufactured from the mine sites in far eastern Russia and the Norilsk-Talnakh mine which is situated in the Polar ice cap using both open-pit strip and underground mining procedures. In Zimbabwe platinum was found in the year 1925 in a place by name the Great Dyke which runs approximately north and south for about 550 kilometers through the heart of the country.

Top-rated Platinum Producers:

The underground segment which was lately opened uses deeper level extraction methods. By mechanized ramp and fill procedure 80% of platinum and palladium ore is mined and these are more or less like the LHD method in South Africa.

Platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium are the six metallic elements which are called as Platinum Group Metals. At the time of mining procedure these metals are extracted and mining process frequently yields far more nickel/copper than it does for platinum because pgm is rare and also due to its tendency to merge with other metals.

South Africa is the world’s largest producer and there platinum is mined in an area called the Bushveld Igneous Complex. It was estimated that this massive ore deposit has been formed before 2000 years ago, an area of 370 kilometers. And these pgm’s are discovered in three distinct layers known as reefs where the main source of which are the Merensky Reef, first opened in the year 1925 and the Upper Group 2 (UG2) Reef, where mining started in the year 1970s.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/science-articles/an-overview-of-platinum-903179.html


About the Author


Bryan Peter is a Copywriter of Platinum Mining We provide latest updates in the mining industry, the rich information in this site gives valuable inputs with regards to types of metals, minerals & precious stones and their properties. For more information visit: Gold Mining contact him at brayan.peter@gmail.com

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Shedding Light on Three Behind-the-Scenes Precious Metals


Author: Edgar Melendez


The professionals at Treasure Hunters Roadshow see a vast range of precious metals during their adventures around the world. While gold and silver might be worth great money, there are a few other precious metal heavy hitters which the THR professionals want the public to know more about: platinum, palladium and rhodium.

Platinum has been known as the "choice precious metal of the stars" due to its hefty price. Its price is double that of 18kt white gold of the very same weight. It is largely used in men's and women's wedding rings as well as women's engagement rings. The steep price keeps it from becoming utilized in a wider array of jewelry, the exception being the bling of the wealthy and famous. Platinum is a white metal that, unlike gold, is used in jewelry in an almost pure form (around 95%). Its ability to retain its luster over time enables it to forgo the rhodium plating that other metals like white gold have to go through. And Treasure Hunters Roadshow authorities enjoy jewelry with shine.

Palladium is another metal that strays from the spotlight. This precious metal is comparable to white gold in pricing but carries the long-lasting attractiveness of platinum. At one-third the price of platinum, palladium is made with the exact same purity level (about 95%) and keeps its shiny white coloring for a lifetime. Because it is a naturally white precious metal, there is no need for palladium jewelry to be rhodium-plated.

So what is this rhodium?

Rhodium is not found in its pure form. Alternatively, it must be derived from platinum or nickel ores. About 20 tons of rhodium are generated a year, 80% of which is sourced from South Africa. The cost of rhodium is close to 50% more than gold by weight. Its major use is as a strengthening agent against tarnish, especially for jewelry produced from white gold. When electroplated onto other precious metals, a coat of rhodium creates a reflective white surface known in the business as "rhodium flashing."

Its high melting point, very poor malleability and high price make rhodium a weak choice from which to produce whole pieces of jewelry; it is best used as an addition to other metals. The healthcare field is a big buyer of rhodium-plated products, such as filters for mammography devices and optical instruments.

The pricey metal is also employed in commemorating special honors. In 1979, Paul McCartney was awarded a rhodium-plated disc by the Guinness Book of World Records for being the greatest-selling songwriter and recording artist of all time.

Even though platinum, palladium and rhodium may well not be sitting around the house, the THR authorities feel that knowledge is power and knowing far more about precious metals keeps potential buyers and sellers on an even playing field, keeping the world of jewelry purchasing fun and thrilling. THR is always on the hunt for new jewelry of all sorts during their weekly trips across the U.S., Canada and Europe and they pay on the spot for any items they buy. Check out the Treasure Hunters Roadshow website for more information and a total listing of upcoming cities.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/business-articles/shedding-light-on-three-behind-the-scenes-precious-metals-4905418.html

About the Author

Doug Fraser is a fan of all things that glitter and gold at Treasure Hunters Roadshow, a leading purchaser of musical instruments, antiques, collectibles and precious metals.

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The Mineral Platinum

Chemical Formula: Pt

Composition: Platinum, with small amounts of other elements such as iron, copper, nickel, gold, or rare earth elements

Variable Formula: (Pt,Fe,Ir,Os,Rh,Pd,Au,Cu,Ni)

Color: Tin-white, silver-gray, steel-gray, dark gray
Streak: Silver-gray. Streak is shiny.

Hardness: 4 – 4.5

Crystal System: Isometric