Tins metal, which 3 rather heavier than gold, is of a greyish white color, and is capable of receiving a very fine polish. The tenacity of pure platinum is almost that, of iron, and for all practicable purposes it may be regarded as infusible ; like iron, it yields to the hammer, and can be welded at a white heat. None of the simple acids will attack it, and therefore it ia used to make vessels for their manufacture, its only drawback being the great expense. It is dissolved by a mixture of nitric and muriatic acids. When in an extremely divided stale, platinum has a peculiar property of absorbing great quantities of gas, and also of igniting and becoming red hot in a stream of hydrogen. Platinum was not known in Europe until the middle of the last century, although it was known long before on this continent, where it had received the Spanish name of platinu, or little silver. It is found in Peru and Russia, which last country affords about one thousand pounds annually, and about six hundred pounds are given to the world every year by Borneo.
This article was originally published with the title "Platinum" in Scientific American 13, 17, 129 (January 1858)