The History Of Silver And Platinum
According to historians, the history of silver and its origins are lost in time, the first known records of this precious metal show that Ambassadors of Crete brought gifts that consisted of silver vases to the Egyptian Pharaohs as early as 3100 BC. Many relics of earlier civilizations have been found to contain artifacts such as jewelry, eating utensils and religious items that date back many thousands of years prior to the first written records. If you read the book of Genesis you will find that silver is mentioned. Research has shown that as far back as the 4th millennium the peoples of Asia Minor were separating silver from lead for use in the making of jewelry and personal items. The Roman Empire relied heavily on silver to stabilize the value of its currency producing an estimated stockpile of silver bullion that measured 10,000 tons by the 2nd century AD.
By the middle ages silver was also being used to purify both food and water being stored and for the treatment of wounds and burns. By the 19th century sailors were known to place silver coins it their water barrels and wine casks to keep their content pure during long voyages. Today silver is used in many fields including industry, medicine and of course to make many beautiful items of jewelry. While not as valuable perhaps as its counterpart platinum it is far more widely used throughout history and the modern world. The very first written documentation of platinum occurred in 1557 when Italian Julius Caesar Scaliger described a metal that had been found between Darien and Mexico that he was unable to melt with any fire or Spanish artifice. In the mid-18th century British metallurgist described samples of platinum that he had found in Jamaica and soon after many well-known European chemists began to study this previously "unknown" noble metal. It was discovered by Pierre-Francois Chabaneau that once you removed a variety of impurities such as gold, lead and mercury from the ore that you could create a metal that was virtually indestructible or could be alloyed with gold and made more malleable. After creating 23 kilograms of pure platinum and realizing the value of items made from platinum he formed a business with Joaquin Cabezas and the Platinum Age in Spain was born circa 1786. Today platinum is heavily used for industrial purposes to remove contamination from factory and automotive emissions via catalytic converters.