Unknown Facts about Platinum

May 04, 2006
Platinum, a beautiful silvery-white when pure metal, holds the leading position on the list of noble metals, along with silver, gold, and bronze.

Platinum is the most precious and rare among the metals. It is difficult to extract it. It provides supreme corrosion-resistance.

Platinum has unique chemical and physical characteristics so it is used in a wide range of industrial and environmental applications.

Moreover, it is one of the finest of all jewelry metals. About 20 percent of all consumer goods contain platinum or are manufactured using the metal. No wonder, the fast growth of advanced and developing economies has significantly increased the demand for the metal.

Here are some interesting facts about platinum:
  • Items crafted in platinum boast great exclusivity as the metal is 30 times more rare than gold.

  • Platinum accessories will not wear out after continuous wearing as the metal is more stable and denser than gold.

  • Platinum weighs more than 14-K gold. A platinum ring is a better setting for a diamond than a golden ring - there are very few chances of the diamond falling out of a platinum ring.

  • Platinum is not allergenic - a person with the skin really sensitive to metals causing allergy, will be able to wear accessories produced from platinum.

  • Platinum is widely applied in a variety of fields, including medicine (as anti-cancer substance), dentistry, car-making (for antipollution devices), corrosion-resistant apparatus, and jewelry.

Really Precious
Platinum is the rarest among all precious metals. About 90 per cent of all supplies of the metal are extracted in South Africa and Russia, with almost all of the platinum mined in South Africa being pre-sold to industrial users.

In comparison with gold and silver, no large above-ground platinum stockpiles have been discovered, so there is no opportunity to fill the gap against considerable supply disruptions.

To get just one pure ounce of platinum it is necessary to mine about 8 tons of raw ore.

Widely Used
Due to its unique properties, the present-day considerable demand for platinum in high technology applications is ever increasing. Platinum is extremely corrosion-resistant. It has a melting point in alloy of 3215 degrees Fahrenheit. The metal represents a powerful catalyzing agent and boats high conductivity.

Characteristics of platinum make a lot of industrial fields dependent upon the metals use. Look through the list of highly-demanded products relying on platinum use: gasoline, LCD displays, eyeglasses, anti-cancer drugs, paints, hard disk drives, fibre-optic cables, fertilizers, and explosives. Platinum also acts as the major catalyst in fuel cells.

It is notable that Japanese consumers annually purchase about 48 per cent of the platinum jewelry produced in the world.

Useful for Environment
Over one-third of all platinum annually supplied to the international markets is applied in catalytic converters used to control harmful car emissions. The increased North American, European, and Asian automobile emission standards make auto manufacturers to use more and more platinum in catalytic converters and such devices as oxygen sensors.

Platinum catalysts represent an important component for fuel cells, an effective power generation technology combining oxygen and hydrogen in order to form water and electricity. Fuel cells are meant to become the environmentally friendly power generation source of choice, and the major source of platinum demand in future.

Platinum in Jewelry-Making
Platinum jewelry items have enjoyed increasing popularity over the past two decades. Japanese customers have continuously contributed to the growth of platinum jewelry demand.

However, double digit growth rates registered over the past few years in North America and China puts these two countries on the list of highly important markets. Together they count for about 40 per cent of total platinum jewelry demand in the world.
Platinum jewelry is highly estimated the world over for its supreme elegance. The tensile strength of platinum makes it the best precious metal for precious stones setting.

Platinum in Watch-Making
Today a lot of leading watch-making companies, such as Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Tag Heuer, IWC, Rolex, and Breitling manufacture platinum watches. In fact, platinum is not a 'new' metal in the horology field. Watchmakers have long noticed advantages of using platinum in watch production. The metal neither tarnishes nor wears out and is ideal for gems' setting.

Vacheron Constantin became one of the first watch manufacturers to master the skills of working with platinum. The brand's used the metal in watch-making as early as in 1820. In 2006 the Vacheron Constantin Company unveiled its Vacheron Constantin Collection Excellence Platine that comprised two remarkable models - the Patrimony Contemporaine and the Malte Chronograph.

In 2007, Vacheron Constantin introduced two new models - the Malte Tourbillon Regulator and the Malte Perpetual Calendar Chronograph.

The Vacheron Constantin Malte Tourbillon Regulator was developed in a limited edition of 50 pieces.

The timepiece of sophisticated nature incorporated Calibre 1790R, a mechanical hand-wound movement.

The watch's distinguished features are a regulator-type hour and minute display, as well as a tourbillon small seconds on the tourbillion. It provides an over 40-hour power reserve.

The Vacheron Constantin Malte Perpetual Calendar Chronograph was also developed in a limited edition of 50.

The complicated timepiece is powered by Calibre 1141 QPR, a mechanical hand-wound movement.

The watch has incorporated a column-wheel chronograph mechanism with 30-minute counter placed at 3 o'clock and central chronograph seconds hand, a perpetual calendar and a moon-phase display.

All platinum timepieces created for the Vacheron Constantin Collection Excellence Platine will first be introduced in a limited edition. The watches with a platinum case and clasp will feature a platinum dial bearing the inscription 'PT950'.

More interesting facts about platinum

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