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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Platinum nugget

Close-up photograph of a platinum nugget (73736) from the National Mineral Collection
Photo by Chip Clark. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH 73736-00
Locality Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia
Weight 444.4 g

From the exhibit

Platinum nuggets this size are a rare find. This precious metal typically occurs as small grains and crystals in certain layered igneous rocks. It rivals gold in value and is used for jewelery as well as in industry, where it functions as a catalyst speeding many chemical reactions. Platinum is also used in high-temperature alloys and in automobile catalytic converters.


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