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The Many Applications of Platinum

Platinum is a rare metal admired for its “white gold” luster in jewelry. However, it’s even more appealing for its applications across industries such as medicine, auto manufacturing, electronics, and chemicals. The following are a few of platinum’s many applications.

Medical

Platinum’s resistance to corrosion from bodily fluids and its lack of reaction to bodily functions make platinum the ideal choice for use in pacemakers, dental crowns, drugs, magnets, and other materials placed within the human body.

Automotive

Platinum is the metal in catalytic converters that converts unburned hydrocarbons into water vapor and carbon dioxide. It is also used as an electrode material that extends the life of spark plugs. Automakers are, in fact, among the largest consumers of platinum.

Jewelry

More precious than gold or silver, platinum has displaced gold as the choice for modern jewelry. Its silver-like appearance and durability are ideal for securing stone settings. Platinum’s extreme density resists corrosion and tarnishing, and its resistance to oxidation and discoloring exceeds even that of silver. Additionally, platinum’s vibrant hues complement and reflect the brilliance of precious stones.

Coins

An American Platinum Eagle minted in 2008

In 1986, the American Eagle Bullion program was introduced with the production and sale of gold and silver eagles in both proof and bullion finishes. In 1997, platinum was added to the American Eagle bullion family with American platinum eagles. The one ounce platinum eagle has a face value of $100, which is the highest denomination ever to appear on a U.S. coin. Buying and selling platinum eagles, along with other platinum coins, have been popular precious metal investments since the introduction of platinum eagles for bullion and coin collectors alike.

Electronics

Platinum is an excellent conductor of electricity, and its malleability makes it easy to shape and stretch into wires used in electrical contacts and high-voltage environments. Platinum has been used for years in thermocouple devices that measure temperatures with extreme accuracy, and its silicide compounds are found in the temperature sensing and film optical systems of a variety of products.

Glass

Platinum dies are used extensively in the production of glass, as its hard nature and high melting point are well suited for this process of extreme temperatures. Platinum is even more valuable in the production of fiberglass. The recent introduction of glass fiber communications technology has driven demands for platinum even higher.

Platinum offers many unexpected benefits to coin collectors and beyond.

Tony Davis
Tony Davis