Platinum has been known to mankind for more than 4000 years, although its value was not immediately appreciated. The conquerors of Colombia discovered platinum in the 16th century, extracting gold from scatterings. Gold miners sometimes came across gold, connected with grains of unknown gray metal, which could not be separated from gold, as this metal had a high refractory.
That’s why such gold was called “rotten.” The metal got its name because of its external resemblance to silver. Platina is a diminutive form of the word plata (silver), if you translate it from Spanish verbatim, it turns out – silver. In order to preserve the prestige of Spanish gold coins on the order of the king all collected platinum was dumped in deep rivers.
In addition to the high melting point, platinum also has a huge density – twice as thick as gold. In addition, platinum is the most durable metal used in the jewelry industry. All these qualities were appreciated only after they found a way to process and melt this metal. By the end of the 18th century, platinum was a embodiment of reliability and immutability, which greatly influenced its use in the manufacture of jewelry. Platinum jewelers value gold more expensively because when using it the fastening of gemstones is stronger, and it does not shade, unlike gold, some types of diamonds.
In the Urals in 1821, platinum deposits were discovered near the Upper Neiva River. From that moment platinum production began in Russia. By the beginning of the 19th century, Russia accounted for 95% of the total amount of platinum produced in the world. And from 1828 even began to mint platinum three-ruble coins weighing 10.3 g. Then they were added coins denominated in 6 and 12 rubles. By the way, even before the start of platinum mining local Ural hunters used silver grains as a fraction, funny, because they did not know that they shoot metal, which is more expensive than gold.
But platinum is used not only in jewelry, it is widely used in medicine and technology. Also, thanks to the study of platinum, several more metals were discovered: rhodium, palladium, iridium, osmium and ruthenium.