Platinum was discovered in South America and the first written record of it is from 1557 when the writer Julius Scaliger found strange metals in mines of Panama and Mexico. In 1783 Francois Chabaneaus patented a method of producing platinum. The name Platinum derives from the Spanish ‘platina’ meaning little silver. Platinum lends it name to the Platinum group of metals that all have similar properties. Platinum is used as a catalyst due to its unreactive nature and also in the production of jewelry and dental work. It is a solid metal at room temperature with a melting point of 1768°c and a boiling point of 3825°c. It is a rare metal but can be found uncombined often in small amounts in the earth.
Used in jewelry, to make crucible and special containers and as a catalyst. Used with cobalt to produce very strong magnets. Also to make standard weights and measures. Resists corrosion and acid attacks except aqua regia.
Produced from deposits of native, or elemental, platinum.