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Native Platinum

Platinum Etymology

Platinum, named for its resemblance to silver, metal that was initially confused and named as “Platina”.

Colombian history Platinum

It is believed that platinum was used hundreds of years ago by the Embera, Kuna, Waunana, and Katíos Indians who populated much of western Colombia. At the time of the conquest, platinum was thrown as waste from the exploitation of gold areas in Chocó and Cauca (Colombia), until in the eighteenth century, the Spanish focused attention on this mineral and were the first to write about the existence of platinum, which they called “platina” as it was confused with silver of smaller size.

In 1778, The Spanish Crown ordered for the platinum picked up in Colombia to be sent alongside the royal gold boxes, but without any payment. A decade later, two pesos were paid in exchange for each pound of platinum and the Chocoano platinum production, reached more than 3800 pounds by the year 1788.

Characteristics and Properties of Native Platinum

Mineral Type Native elements I Group
Yellow, pale yellow, reddish yellow
2,5 – 3 Mohs
Specific Gravity
15,5 – 19,3
Crystal System
Unformed grains, dendrite growths, octahedron, dodecahedron
Chemical Formula
Atomic Number
Fusion Point
Boiling Point
Refractive Index
1.609 – 1.643

Platinum deposits

Within platinum deposits, we must put emphasis in the Bushveld complex in South Africa, by far the largest producer in the world and, along with the production of deposits of the Urals in Russia, they can reach 90% of world production. Other significant producers of platinum are the United States, Canada, and Zimbabwe. In Colombia, platinum exploitation remains in the Chocoana and the Cauca region, with a production of 929 kg by the year 2009.

Platinum Origin

The main Platinum mines are formed by primary deposits, but platinum is also found frequently in placer deposits. The origin of platinum is associated with the mafic and ultramafic formation of igneous rocks, in quartz seams containing haematites, chlorite, and pyrolusite. It is very common to find Native Platinum with impurities, almost always related to Rhodium, Iridium, Palladium, or Iron.

Platinum uses

Today, it is estimated that less than one fifth of the world’s platinum is used in jewelry.

Platinum applications are diverse and have evolved from jewelry to the industry. In the early twentieth century, was actually when, the platinum that was used in jewelry, due to the technology development for its high melting point, changed, and today it is estimated that less than one-fifth of the world’s platinum is used in jewelry, although it must be emphasized that it still is very appreciated in high-end jewelry. The most common use for platinum is focused on the catalytic converter in cars’ manufacture. Platinum is also used in the production of spark plugs for aircrafts; glassmaking, razors manufacture, in the chemical industry, and as an investment.

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