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Platinum

  1. Fill out the form on the right and get your FREE and INSURED appraisal kit.
  2. When you get the kit, fill the postage paid package with your gold, silver, diamonds, platinum, jewelry, watches, coins & rings and drop it in the mail.
  3. We will appraise your package and call you immediately to offer you the highest payout possible!

Platinum Overview

It is a dense, malleable, ductile, precious, gray-white transition metal. Even though it has six naturally occurring isotopes, platinum is one of the rarest elements in the Earth’s crust and has an average abundance of approximately 0.005 mg/kg. Platinum occurs in some nickel and copper ores along with some native deposits, mostly in South Africa, which accounts for 80% of the world production. Platinum exhibits a remarkable resistance to corrosion, even at high temperatures, and as such is considered a noble metal. As a result, platinum is often found chemically uncombined as native platinum. Because it occurs naturally in the alluvial sands of various rivers, it was first used by pre-Columbian South American natives to produce artifacts. It was referenced in European writings as early as 16th century, but it was not until Antonio de Ulloa published a report on a new metal of Colombian origin in 1748 that platinum became investigated by scientists.

 

Platinum is used in catalytic converters, laboratory equipment, electrical contacts and electrodes, platinum resistance thermometers, dentistry equipment, and jewelry. Because only a few hundred tons of platinum is produced annually, it is a scarce material, and is highly valuable and is a major precious metal commodity. Being a heavy metal, it leads to health issues upon exposure to its salts, but due to its corrosion resistance it is not toxic as a metal. Some platinum compounds, most notably cisplatin, are applied in chemotherapy against certain types of cancer.

 

Platinum Characteristics

As a pure metal, platinum is silvery-white, lustrous, ductile, and malleable. It does not oxidize at any temperature, although it is corroded by halogens, cyanides, sulfur, and caustic alkalis. Platinum is insoluble in hydrochloric and nitric acid, but dissolves in aqua regia to form chloroplatinic acid. Platinum’s resistance to wear and tarnish is well suited for making fine platinum jewelry. Platinum has an excellent resistance to corrosion and high temperature and has stable electrical properties.

 

Platinum is an extremely rare metal, occurring at a concentration of only 0.005 ppm in the Earth’s crust. It is sometimes mistaken for silver. Platinum is often found chemically uncombined as native platinum and alloyed with iridium as platiniridium. Most often the native platinum is found in secondary deposits; platinum is combined with the other platinum group metals in alluvial deposits. The alluvial deposits in Colombia are still a source for platinum group metals. Another large alluvial deposit is in the Ural Mountains, Russia, and it is still mined.

 

Of the 239 tons of platinum sold in 2006, 130 tons were used for vehicle emissions control devices, 49 tons for jewelry, 13.3 tons in electronics, and 11.2 tons in the chemical industry as a catalyst. The remaining 35.5 tons went to various other minor applications, such as electrodes, anticancer drugs, oxygen sensors, spark plugs and turbine engines.

 

Platinum Uses

Platinum is a precious metal commonly use in coins, bars, and ingots. Platinum finds use in jewelry, usually as a 90–95% alloy, due to its inertness and shine. Jewelry trade publications advise jewelers to present minute surface scratches (which they term patina) as a desirable feature.

 

In watchmaking, Vacheron Constantin, Patek Philippe, Rolex, Breitling, and other companies use platinum for producing their limited edition watch series. Watchmakers appreciate the unique properties of platinum, as it neither tarnishes nor wears out (relative to gold).

 

The price of platinum, like other industrial commodities, is more volatile than that of gold. In 2008, the price of platinum ranged from $774 to $2,252 per oz. During periods of sustained economic stability and growth, the price of platinum tends to be as much as twice the price of gold, whereas during periods of economic uncertainty, the price of platinum tends to decrease due to reduced industrial demand, falling below the price of gold. Gold prices are more stable in slow economic times, as gold is considered a safe haven and gold demand is not driven by industrial uses. In the 18th century, platinum’s rarity made King Louis XV of France declare it the only metal fit for a king.

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