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Platinum is a chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Pt and atomic number 78. A heavy, malleable, ductile, precious, grey-white transition metal, platinum is resistant to corrosion and occurs in some nickel and copper ores along with some native deposits. Platinum is used in jewellery, laboratory equipment, electrical contacts, dentistry, and emissions control devices.



Platinum ore

Platinum is an extremely rare metal, occurring as only 5 ppb in a typical planetary crust.

Platinum is often found free and alloyed with iridium as platiniridium. The platinum arsenide, sperrylite (PtAs2), is a major source of platinum associated with nickel ores. The rare sulfide mineral cooperite, (Pt,Pd,Ni)S, contains platinum along with palladium and nickel.

Platinum, often accompanied by small amounts of other platinum family metals, occurs in alluvial placer deposits.

Platinum is typically produced commercially as a by-product of nickel ore processing. The huge quantities of nickel ore processed makes up for the fact that platinum is present as only 0.5 ppm in the ore.


This metal doesn't normally cause health problems due to its unreactive nature. Platinum compounds rarely occur in nature.

Rarity and Color[edit]

Platinum's rarity as a metal has caused advertisers to associate it with exclusivity and wealth. "Platinum" credit cards have greater privileges than do "gold" ones. "Platinum awards" are the highest possible, ranking above gold, silver and bronze. For example, a musical album that has sold more than 1,000,000 copies, will be credited as "platinum" (a higher certification of "Diamond" does exist, however). And some products, such as blenders and vehicles, with a silvery-white colour are identified as "platinum". Platinum is considered a precious metal, although its use as such is much more rare than the use of gold or silver. Due to its rarity, platinum is a highly priced metal, more so than gold or silver.

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