The name platinum is derived from the Spanish word “platina, " which means “little silver. " An off-white metal, platinum is flexible and can be molded into almost any shape. It is also very expensive and rare but useful in many industrial as well as decorative processes. The metal has the same properties as glass when it comes to malleability. This metal is not only used in jewelry but also for other purposes such as in catalytic converters and medical applications because it resists oxidation in air at any temperature. However, it can be corroded by cyanides, halogens, sulfur, and caustic alkalis.
Platinum has extraordinary resistance to chemical attacks, excellent high-temperature characteristics, and stable electrical properties. All these properties are very useful in industrial applications.
There are six naturally occurring platinum isotopes, and the most abundant are platinum-194, which accounts for 33% of the platinum on the planet; platinum-195; and platinum-196. The others are platinum-198, platinum-192 and platinum-190 which are the rarest of them all. The latter is faintly radioactive, with a half-life of seven hundred billion years, while the other five are non-radioactive.
This metal is also called a noble metal and is not damaging to the human body. However, the different platinum salts can be extremely harmful. These salts can cause cancer, DNA impairments, hearing damage, and allergic reactions.
Platinum is also used in numerous industrial applications, particularly in the automobile sector for curbing pollution. On a worldwide scale, the demand for platinum still surpasses the supply. Platinum has become one and a half times costlier over the past ten years, and the prices are less unpredictable than those of gold. Gold prices are influenced by many unrelated influences such as central bank guidelines, bullion, currency movements, and speculative activities.
Platinum, on the other hand, is like any other product, and its value is not influenced by extraneous factors.
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