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Mention the word “platinum” and you will have your loved one smiling from ear to ear! Platinum is another precious silvery-white metal that has taken the fashion world by storm. Wearing platinum jewellery is seen as a sign of sophistication and prestige. Do you know what platinum is?

Platinum is a malleable, ductile, heavy and dense element and is part of the transition metals group. Platinum is one of the rarest elements in the Earth’s crust and is found in some copper and nickel ores, or as native platinum, which is commonly found as grains and nuggets. Platinum is one of the precious metals, the other two being gold and silver.

Did you know? Platinum jewellery costs twice as much as gold jewellery.

What Is Platinum Used For?

Platinum was originally used by pre-Columbian South American natives in the production of artefacts. Since its discovery it has been used in a variety of ways. Over 90 percent of platinum is used in jewellery, other uses include:
  • Electroplating
  • Catalytic converters for automobiles
  • Electrical contacts
  • Dental crowns
  • Electrodes
  • Platinum resistant thermometers
  • Chemotherapy
  • Anti-tumour agent
  • Magnets
  • Surgical tools
  • Laboratory equipment
Did we mention jewellery? (We know we did)

Where Is Platinum Produced?

The top producer of platinum with an 80% market share is South Africa, followed by Russia with an 11% share. Deposits are also found in Canada and in America although the reserve is a lot smaller.


Platinum is a precious silvery-white metal that is used mostly in jewellery design but is also used as an industrial catalyst, in surgical tools, laboratory equipment and electrical contacts. South Africa is the major producer of platinum.

If you would like to learn more about minerals and mining visit our Mining and Metals page.

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

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