Definition for PLAT'I-NUM

PLAT'I-NUM, n. [Sp. platina, from plata, silver.]

A metal discovered in 1711, in the mines of Choco in Peru, by Charles Wood, assay-master, Jamaica, nearly of the color of silver, but less bright, and the heaviest of the metals. Its specific gravity is to that of water as 20 to 1. It is harder than iron, undergoes no alteration in air, resists the action of acids and alkalies, is very ductile and capable of being rolled into thin plates. – Encyc. This metal has since been found in Brazil, also near Carthagena, in Antioquia in St. Domingo, and on the Uralian mountains. It was first called Platinum by Linnæus, and has been so called, by nearly all the chimists since his time.

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