Described as platina, or ‘little silver’ when it was first discovered in Columbia in 1731, platinum remained unworkable for many years due to its high melting point. It is a perfect metal for jewellery making and mounts of precious stones as it does not oxidise, is strong and, because of its dense structure, offers a high resistance to wear. Its rarity as a metal has led to its association with exclusivity and wealth, and the consequent labelling of platinum credit cards, awards and music albums.

Did you know?
  • The Queen Mother’s crown was the first British crown to be made of platinum.
  • Although platinum deposits are rare on earth, they are more common on the moon and in meteorites.
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