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Platina story


To all,

I found a nice story in one of my books while I was lurking
around,killing time,enjoing the day without having any interrest in
doing anything.I wasn’t even a goldsmith at that time (getting old I
guess).So here it go’s. In 1690,spanish cinquistadors invaded the area
around Choc� somewhere in South America.They started developing the
riversoil looking for gold and to their big surprice they found some
gray looking beads together with the gold.The poor spanish people
didn’t know better and called those little silver beads "Platina"
meaning small silver.According to several reports of a spanish marine
officer several mines in the year 1748 where closed due to the so
dense and hart metal which was found in those mines.The metal was so
hard to seperate from the gold that the labor wasn’t worth it to
proces this kind of alloy.When goldminers found those little
silverlike beads they just tost them away.Local indians beleived that
if they give these beads back to the river,the river would take care
of them for a further riping proces and after a while (!!!) they
should return as little gold beads. After all,Platina made his enntree
in the New European world where the attention of scientist was drawn
to this metal.Sir Charles Wood,een british metallurgical scientist
brought an example to England in 1741 in the hope to find a
commercial application for this metal.One of the scientist named Sir
William Watson,who was knowen by his research of electrical
fenomens.He desripted the new metal in 1750 in a report for the
british society but there was not much to descripe because he was not
in the position to melt or manupulate the metal.One of the
application he could think of was in one way or another the use of
making some kind of mirror due to the high reflection of the
metal.Some other people came up with the idea that the metal could be
used for producing gunshots out of it for the use of
cartridges(stupid thought but they didn’t know better !!). Spanish
counterfeiter (here they are again)came up with a brilliant idea
based on the specific gravity of the new metal.Hmmm, why not making
some coins out of it, cover them with gold and sell them for gold
coins.Hallelua,this idea must been have send from heaven because in
1730 coins where made by this procedure and somewhere around 1763
they where even golden coins distributed out of colony’s imported
platina escudo’s, and even complete gold bars where produced by
swindlers in the New world.The spanish stamp was even duplicated in
Madrid and Sevilla for fraude purpose later in time.The spanish crown
was fed up with this fraude going on and made an end for this
practice.They forbitten the export of this coin,blocked the whole
damw thing and collected all the out of platina maded coins.A ship
was loaded with all the fake coins and they scuttle their own ship in
open sea. A sad but true story and I wonder where that ship might be.

Regards Pedro