Q:

Where does platinum come from?

A:

Quick Answer

Platinum occurs naturally, albeit in small quantities, in the Earth's crust at about 0.000037 parts per million. One of the rarest precious metals, the world's supply of platinum is obtained as a byproduct of nickel and copper mining and production, because platinum occurs in nickel and copper ores. Pure platinum that is found in placer deposits and other ores, on the other hand, is extracted using a variety of methods.

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Full Answer

Its rarity and very high resistance to corrosion makes platinum a prized base precious metal for jewelry. While it has often been mistaken for silver in the past, it does not tarnish and just like gold, it does not wear out. While it has less sheen compared to gold, its higher value makes it a valued symbol of prestige.

Although platinum is best known for its use in jewelry, most of the world's production of the precious metal is used in various industries. About half of the world's yearly production of platinum is used as catalytic converters in automobiles, converting harmful and toxic emissions into less harmful waste products. Apart from catalytic converters, platinum is also used in computer hard drives, optic fibers, dental fillings, spark plugs, turbine blades and LCD screens.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How can someone tell if platinum is real?

    A:

    The easiest way for potential buyers to tell if a piece is true platinum is to perform a bite test similar to that which would be performed with gold. Unlike gold, if there are bite marks in the metal it is not true platinum.

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  • Q:

    What is platinum used for?

    A:

    According to The Royal Society of Chemistry, platinum is mainly used inside catalytic converters in cars, trucks, and buses. Platinum is also used for electrical components, thermocouple elements, corrosion-resistance apparatuses and dentistry. Platinum is used extensively for jewelry, manufactured into metal gauzes for nitric acid production and as a catalyst to improve the efficiency of fuel cells. In medicine, platinum compounds are important for chemotherapy.

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  • Q:

    What is the difference between platinum and silver?

    A:

    Platinum weighs more than silver and is much denser. Platinum also has a much whiter and shinier appearance, where as silver appears to have a duller gray appearance. Platinum is much more expensive than silver, because it is more difficult to extract it from the ground,

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  • Q:

    Where does quartz come from?

    A:

    Quartz is a common mineral found in the Earth's crust and is present in most geological formations. Most of the Earth's sand is made up of quartz.

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