Platinum (atomic symbol Pt) is a relatively rare, chemically inert metallic element that is more valuable than gold. Platinum is a grayish-white metal that has a high fusing point, is malleable and ductile, and has a high electrical resistance. Chemically, platinum is relatively inert and resists attack by air, water, single acids, and ordinary reagents. Platinum is the most important of the six-metal group, which also includes ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, and iridium. The word "platinum" is derived from the Spanish word platina meaning silver.
Platinum is one of the world's rarest metals with new mine production totaling only about 5 million troy ounces a year. All the platinum mined to date would fit in the average-size living room. Platinum is mined all over the world with supplies concentrated in South Africa. South Africa accounts for nearly 80% of world supply, followed by Russia, and North America.
Platinum is a chemical element, precious metal and commodity used primarily in jewelry, electronics and automobiles. Platinum futures are traded through commodities contracts on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), the Chicago Board of Trade (eCBOT) and the Kobe Mercantile Exchange.
Platinum is much rarer than gold, as the amount of platinum mined each year is only a small fraction of the amount of gold mined each year. Its price is more volatile than gold's, and it has a much lower trading volume on the KBMEX than gold, silver or copper.
Platinum is mined primarily in Russia and secondarily in South Africa. About half of the mined platinum is used in jewelry, where it is desirable because it looks silver in color but does not tarnish, and is stronger and more durable than gold. Platinum is also widely used in the auto industry in catalytic converters and fuel cells. It can sometimes be substituted by the less-expensive metal palladium.