What Is Platinum Used For?

Written by on June 18, 2013 in Lifestyle - No comments | Print this page

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platinum ringsHumans have known about Platinum since the 16th Century, but it is only more recently that it has been used for purposes other than jewellery.

Platinum has the chemical symbol Pt, and its atomic number is 78. The name of platinum comes from the word Platina, in Spanish. This literally translates as Little Silver. Platinum is one of the rarest metals on earth, which is why the price for Platinum, exceeds that of Gold.

With increasing technology, there have been a growing amount of uses for Platinum, and a lot of people do not even realize where this metal is used. There are many uses, which may surprise you!

  • Auto catalyst
  • Electrical
  • Glass
  • Jewellery

Platinum and your car

Did you know that about 50% of all of the platinum, which is extracted from the earth, goes towards the production of catalytic converters for motor vehicles?

Platinum, along with Rhodium and Palladium, are all key components on your cars catalytic converter. This converter helps to control the harmful emissions in the exhaust of your vehicles.

It takes some of the harmful exhaust and filters them, leaving by products of mainly, water vapour, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Ever since environmental measures have been instigated around the world in the 1970s to control air pollution, the demand for platinum has increased quite considerably.

Just think how many vehicles there are on this planet, the majority of them all having an exhaust with a catalytic converter. That is quite a large number!

Using Platinum in Electronics

Platinum is also widely used in the production of computer Hard Disk Drives and also Fiber Optic cables. With the production of Hard Drives, the platinum is part of a coating on the disk, which makes the surface that the laser reads from.

With the increasing amount of computers, laptops and other devices, which uses hard drives, the demand for platinum is only going to increase. Platinum is also used in Fiber Optic cables. These cables are used to connect all of our computers.

We are always looking to increase the speed with which we can send and receive data, and until a replacement comes along for these cables, we are going to need more and more of them to meet our data requirements.

Glass and Platinum

Platinum is also used for glass, but you are unlikely to find this in the glass that you drink from. Platinum is used in the making of certain types of fibreglass. It is also used in the manufacture of reinforced plastic.

Another common use for it is in the production of glass for LCD displays. The display on your TV, Computer, Smartphone, just to mention a few, all will have elements of platinum in them. Platinum was also used in the old CRT screens such as computer monitors before technology moved on.

Jewellery

Jewellery is the most popular use for Platinum, after its use in catalytic convertors. Due to the scarcity of platinum, the cost of it is higher than gold. This means that it is also a status symbol for people to show off their wealth.

Platinum engagement rings are now very popular with a lot of couples looking to get married. Even though you can get a similar looking metal in Palladium, which has almost the same cost of Platinum, people love to spend money on extravagant things.

One of the good things about Platinum, when compared to Gold, is that it is harder and will wear a lot better over time. Gold, especially when pure, is very soft and can get damaged quite easily. Platinum is a lot harder than Gold and also resists scratching better.

Some of the others

There are also other things that Platinum is used for, such as a refining catalyst that the petroleum industry uses. It is used in Medicine for anticancer drugs. It is even used in spark plugs and in fuel cells.

There are many different uses for this versatile metal, and some people will even just buy large quantities of it as an investment. The same as gold, they will look at it as a long term investment and sell it when the price increases substantially.

Featured images:

Misty Angel wrote this article, and she is a big fan of platinum like platinum engagement rings. Misty collects jewellery, as well as designing some of her own. She also likes to share her thoughts and experiences in the articles and blogs that she writes. Misty will often look to Serendipity Diamonds to see what is on offer and for inspiration.

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