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The chemical formula of Native Platinum is indicated by Pt or Elemental Platinum. Platinum is actually classified as Element. It is considered as an important ore of platinum and other rare metals. Platinum metal is used for jewelry, chemical and other industrial uses as well as a currency stabilizer. Native Platinum is actually an exotic mineral specimen that usually exhibits very splendid images under polarized microscopes used in optical mineralogy. It is also regarded as an expensive metal. But unfortunately, well-formed Platinum crystals are very rare. The most common habits of Platinum include nuggets and grains, al of which can also show interesting microscope images under petrographic polarizing microscope. Pure Platinum is unknown in nature since it is most commonly found alloyed with other metals such as copper, iron, nickel, gold, palladium, iridium, ruthenium and osmium. It has been known in optical mineralogy that the presence of these metals tend to lower the density of Platinum from a pure metal specific gravity of 21.5 grams per cubic centimeters to as low as 14 and very rarely any higher than 19 grams per cubic centimeters in natural specimens. Few of these metals are actually found forming slightly significant deposits on their own and thus platinum become primary ore of many of these metals. The presence of iron can lead to a slight magnetism in Platinum nuggets and is a common enough property to be considered diagnostic.

 

            It has been studied with in depth understanding optical mineralogy that element Platinum is extremely scarce in moos crustal rocks. It is also barely seen as even a trace element in the chemical analysis of these rocks. It has been also known that Platinum is much more concentrated in the mantle and can be enriched through magmatic segregation. It has been known it optical mineralogy that the origin of Platinum in the crust is from ultramafic igneous rocks. Thus, Platinum is usually associated with minerals common to these rocks such as chromite and olivine. Platinum is however most common in placer deposits. Metal Platinum is considered as a very valuable metal that is gaining in importance. It is actually more expensive by weight than gold and it is very scarce. Platinum is also used as a catalyst in chemical reactions because it is non-reactive. It is also interesting to note that metal Platinum is not altered during chemical reaction processes. It is also used in many anti-pollution devices.

             Native Platinum is most commonly found white gray to silver gray in color and usually lighter than the platinum color of pure processed Platinum. It also shows metallic luster when viewed in reflected light of polarized microscopes used in optical mineralogy. Most specimens of Native Platinum are found opaque in appearance. Native Platinum is known to crystallize in the isometric system of crystal formation. In optical mineralogy, this isometric crystal system comprises crystals having three axes, all of which are perpendicular to one another and all are found equal in lengths. The crystal habit of Native Platinum as described in the field of optical mineralogy usually includes nuggets, grains or flakes, rarely showing cubic forms.             Native Platinum has absent cleavage even when specimen sample is evaluated more closely under petrographic polarizing microscope. It also shows jagged fracture when viewed with the aid of polarized microscope for mineralogists. The hardness measure of the mineral when it is evaluated using the Mohs scale method is usually ranging from 4 to 4.5. Native Platinum is most commonly found leaving a steel gray streak when rubbed on a white porcelain streak plate. The specific gravity measure of the mineral is usually 14 grams per cubic centimeters to 19+ grams per cubic centimeters. It should be noted that pure Platinum has 21.5 grams per cubic centimeters density measure, which is considered heavy even for metallic minerals. Native Platinum does not tarnish. It is sometimes weakly magnetic and is ductile, malleable and sectile. This means that it can be pounded into other shapes, stretched into a wire and cut into slices. The best field indicators of Native Platinum usually include color, ductility, density, hardness, weak magnetism and association. Native Platinum is usually associated with other minerals including olivine, chromite, pyroxene, enstatite, magnetite and occasionally gold. Native Platinum notably occurs at several localities including Transvaal in South Africa, Ural Mountains in Russia as well as Columbia and Alaska, USA.



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Monday, June 29th, 2009 at 1:53 pm
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The Native Elements Mineral Class
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