Noble Metals. Platinum

Updated: 03/15/2005 03:05
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Here is our series about valuable metals - the main income tool for investors (to be exact, the most profitable tool, hence, the most suitable for HYIP). Today the metal of our article is platinum. As everybody knows - platinum is the most expensive metal.

The value of the metal depends on its rarity. However, not many of You probably know that some time tons of platinum (!) were sunk in the sea! Till toady's status this metal passed through a very long development period, its history is fascinating and interesting. So, that's how it began
In XVI and XVII centuries, conquistadors were plundering resources of ancient states in a free and easy manner. Tons of gold, silver, emeralds filled the holds of galleons, constantly running between America and Spain. Once, moving along the river Platino del Pinto (Columbia), the conquerors discovered gold as well as grains of some unknown heavy silvery metal.

Because of its refractoriness it became useless and it just made difficulties for gold refinement. Spanish decided to name the new metal platinum, which means "silvery", expressing bad attitude to it.

Nevertheless, huge amounts of platinum were taken out to Spain, where it was sold at the price much lower then silver. Soon, Spanish jewellers discovered that, platinum "copes" well with gold, and those, being unclean hands, started to mix it with gold, making jewellery and false coins.

The king got to know about these jewellers' "tricks" and he issued the royal decree, giving orders to stop any importation of the needless metal to the country, and at the same time to do away with all the purveyance, so that jewellers-fraudsters wouldn't be able to pull the wool over the honest people's eyes.

Officials from the royal mints collected all the platinum available in Spain and its colonies, which managed to get such uncomplimentary nicknames as "rotten gold", "froggy gold", and they openly put this metal to "death" on account of its "false essence": the platinum collected was sunk in the seas and rivers - the deeper is better. Further on this was carried out once again. That's how ruefully the first stage in the biography of platinum finished.

In the middle of XVIII century the two-volume publication of the seafarer, astronomer and mathematician named Antonio de Huloa "Traveling around south America" appeared. Being there in the expedition, the scientist got interested with native platinum, he brought it to Europe and described in a detailed way in his book. After that , the metal in disgrace attracted attention of many European scientists.

Swedish chemist Hendrick Sheffer was studying the platinum thoroughly and proved that it's not a mixture of the metals known (for example gold and iron), like many scientists claim. It's a new chemical element.

Platinum researches led to discovering of some metals, attendant to it in the nature, which received the name - "platinum metal": in the year of 1803 palladium and rhodium were discovered, in 1804 - osmium and iridium, and 40 years after the ultimate element of this group became known to chemists - ruthenium.

In the year of 1819, in Ural, close to Yekaterinburg, geologists discovered loose platinum fields4 and this fact favoured the researches in this sphere. 5 years after the first platinum mine in Russia started its work in the region. Such a funny fact points to the resources of Ural placer deposits: hunters were even firing the wild fowl with platinum small shots at that time.

About that time as well, the metal became used as a compounding metal to steel. "6 pounds of steel were melt down with 8 zolotniks of refined platinum in an earthenware jug, keeping the metal from the access for air", - the "Mining magazine" wrote in 1825, - The fusion was poured out to the mould, made of cast-iron and later on it was cooled down in cold water.

While breaking up the steel ingot, the steel turned out to be of rather homogeneous eruption, being so fine that it would be impossible to see its grainy structure with an unaided eye.

Being well-turned and hardened it cut glass swimmingly, just like diamond, it cut cast-iron and iron, without becoming blunt. Upon the whole platinum steel is much stronger than all known before and it bears the heaviest blows, not breaking into pieces.

Because of its extreme hardness this steel got the name "diamond". It performed in this role for quite along time, but afterwards had to give place to less expensive, plus more capable wolfram.

Not just chemists and investors need platinum now. Its ability to be soldered in glass makes it a very important material for producing of many glass devices. Coating this material thinly on the glass, platinum mirrors are produced they have an interesting property - so-called one-sided transparency. You can remember it from many detective movies, where such mirrors are located in the interrogation rooms.

Platinum wins top positions in medicine. Special platinum electrodes, injected to blood vessels, serve for diagnosing different diseases, mostly heart ones for the surgeons all over the world. This method is called platinum- hydrogen, since there's an electrochemical reaction between those 2 elements at the heart of it.

American doctors from the state of Ohio discovered a very interesting and important way to use platinum. They worked out a fundamentally new anaesthesia method, which lies in the following. Platinum plate, several centimeters long links the spinal cord with the electrical stimulator. One slight movement of the patient - and device sends electrical signal to the cerebrum, thereby blocking any sensations of pain.

Taking a closer look to the jewellery with diamonds or any other precious stones, their price is more than the jewellery, made of gold for instance; one can see a grey, steel-like plate directly under the stone, where the crystal is fixed. This grey plate is made of platinum.

What for? The thing is that both gold and silver are worn out with time and the stones got lost. Experience prompted jewellers that using stable platinum allows keeping precious stones on the furnishings, constantly exposed to mechanical effect.

In the nature platinum and platinum metals are mostly discovered originally, more rarely in the form of ferro-platinum (71 - 79% of platinum), palladium platinum (60% of platinum), polyxen, osmium iridium, iridium platinum etc.

Platinum and platinum metals nuggets are very changeable; first they look like leaden ingots, then like crystal joints in the form of sponge. The most typical characteristics - is their heaviness. These are the heaviest metals on the Earth.

The main platinum and platinoid fields dated for Pre-Cambrian (South Africa), but they can also be found in late Paleozoic and Mesozoic mining rocks (Ural, Siberian plateau). During the Age of Mammals the placer deposits were formed close to native fields. Most of all of platinum is mined in SAR, then goes Canada, the USA.

That's how interesting the story of the next metal was. Is that all? Not at all, next time we'll tell You about less popular and less expensive metals, though still used in our business.

About the author

Lella Prior has been at HYIPNews for five years. She is an articulate, confident person who relishes challenges and working under pressure. Lella Prior has been taking much care about writing. The greatest strengths are the research, communication and writing skills Lella has. Thanks to the work at HYIPNews Lella Prior has an excellent opportunity to write good quality content.
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