Where Does Platinum Come From?


History Of Platinum

Platinum ore is one of 6 heavy metals grouped together due to their chemical properties and mined from the earth’s mantle.  Platinum was first noticed in the 17th century in the gold mines of Panama and Columbia.  Platinum ore was not being sought out or even paid attention to at this point, it was a byproduct of the gold mining process.  Worse more it could contaminate gold ore when heated together.  For this reason it was forbidden to be collected by the Spanish Conquistadors.  Platinum is not found in nuggets or blocks.  Platinum mining, currently led by the platinum ore mines of Canada, consists of extracting platinum ore in its base form: a dull gray sand-like powder.  For centuries platinum ore was ignored by the precious metal miners of the world.  It was not until the early 19th century when unique characteristics of platinum ore began to be appreciated.  They were most notably its light weight and durability.  A combination which made platinum ore a candidate for massive industrial use in the beginning of the 19th century.  In fact there was so much speculation and excitement about platinum, long after the early Spanish origins of platinum as a nuisance metal, that platinum ore was priced at $500 per troy ounce.  More than 5 times the current price of gold in 1920.

Platinum Today

Platinum has since evened out and no longer outpaces gold per troy ounce.  It currently is mined principally in concert with nickel, and is in abundance in Canada and also found in Russia to a lesser extent.  Platinum ore is used in production of jewelry, has several industrial uses, and now is used as an investment vehicle.  Investors have for some time been collecting platinum ore bullion in bricks, bars, and now minted coins for investment against future prices.  As a precious metal used across the world, the price of platinum ore per ounce will only increase with time making it an excellent and sound investment.

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