What is platinum? In chemistry, this is a chemical with atomic No. 78, and a Pt symbolizes it. It’s classed as a transition metal, which is rare, dense, and malleable. It’s commonly used in jewelry and regarded as one of the most prestigious and beautiful white metals. And due to its unique chemical and various physical properties, it’s used in medical and electronic industries.
Platinum is 10x rarer than gold, and its annual mine supply is around 250 metric tons. While you can isolate gold and silver in a comparatively pure state of fire refining, platinum metal is complicated as it needs aqueous chemical processing to separate and for identification. Not until the turn of the 19th century that this isolation became possible, lagging behind gold and silver. What is more, these metals’ high melting points could not allow more applications until researchers found some ways of consolidating platinum into various forms.
It entered into fashioning and creating fine jewelry in 1900, and due to its beauty, it’s still trending today. But what is platinum made of? It’s among six metals: palladium, iridium, osmium, ruthenium, rhodium, and platinum. It’s a noble metal also resistant to rust and corrosion.
End of the second world war, the expansion of molecular conversion of petroleum refining techniques opened a great catalytic property demand for the platinum metal. It went on even in the 1970s, as US and European automotive emission standards started using platinum in the catalytic conversion of exhaust gases.
Ways to save platinum
Platinum, compared with other precious metals, is scarce and quite steep. The extraction process is costly and labor-intensive, which can take eight weeks to 6 months.
This process involves crushing it and containing ore and immersing it in the reagent water container. It is a method known as “froth flotation.” Air gets pumped through the ore-water slurry, then the particles of platinum are chemically attached to the oxygen so that it can rise to the surface. It is inside this froth that platinum gets skimmed off for more refining. After drying, the concentrated powder results in less than 1 percent platinum.
Oops, what a process. But fortunately, not all platinum takes this tedious and expensive process. About 30 percent of the 8.53 million ounces of platinum produced in a year are from recycled sources. It is this platinum recycling that helps to protect the future use of this precious metal. So, this brings us to platinum refining.
Refining it involves platinum processing to a particular form, and then it’s placed in columns to undergo a digestion process. Some of the refining sources include; wire and gauze, sponges & powder, crucibles, and many more.
Which part of the world can you get platinum?
It’s discovered in 1924 in Bushveld Complex, After South Africa, Russia becomes the second-largest platinum producer as a small region of Siberia Norilsk-Talnakh, contributing 20 % of the world’s platinum. They retrieve this from deposits of nickel-copper-palladium, which are 1200 meters below the surface.
The other 6% of its world’s supply is from North America, with large deposits coming from Alaska, Montana, and Canada-Ontario.
In other words? (Symbolism)
It is beautiful and famous for special occasions, but it’s a symbol of true love, rarity, purity, and strength. It’s no wonder you will find people using it worldwide for their engagement rings, wedding bands, and other unique jewelry, to symbolize everlasting love.
You’re not alone if you ever wonder if it’s possible to reuse platinum from ancient jewelry? (an antique piece of heirloom inherited from family or friend) Yes, it’s possible. However, due to inevitable porosity likely to occur when melting it on a small scale, a problem may occur. However, a jeweler can reuse this metal in the same form.
For example, a jeweler can use an old platinum wedding band as a shank for a new ring. If you want to restyle an heirloom to an engagement ring (add some stones), it should be okay to reuse the same mount and add settings. Another feasible way is to cut off the band and use it as it is, either as a band for a new ring. This is possible with a skilled goldsmith and a great way of saving money and your metal.
That means if you have an heirloom made of platinum, instead of leaving it to accumulate dust, get it to an experienced jeweler, and he will work magic on the piece while reviving it from old to a wow! In essence, although it is quite expensive, you can save that to what you already have, which makes good sense. It also helps protect the environment.
The concept might be hard to grasp if an artisan does not see the jewelry, so he needs to advise it with certainty if it is usable. However, a designer can tailor the design to make your existing piece’s best use into a masterpiece.
As expensive as platinum is, it’s prudent to store it separately from other jewelry, which helps avoid scratches. Invest in a quality jewelry box with enough room to store your precious metal.
Get these checked bi-annually by a professional jeweler. It’s a precaution that ensures that any gems paired in this metal setting remain secure.
In Conclusion, now, if someone asks about it? You will be in the know to explain, how it’s refined and can save this precious metal. Based on mine production, experts posit that it is 15-29% scarcer than gold. So, preserve what you have for your future generation.