Danial There is an interesting story about the Conquistadors in
South America throwing TONS of a grey clay like substance out of
the gold and silver mines not knowing what they were heaving over
the side ...
Source: The Illustrated Science and Invention Encyclopedia.
(comes with the Brittanica) Vol 13, pg 1786.
Platinium and Palladium are the most abundant of the six
metals.* Platinium was the earliest known, having been
discovered by the Spaniards in the South American silver mines
about 1550. The metal was referred to as ‘platina del Pinto’
(silver like metal from the Pinto river) but was recognized as
being different from true silver because it could not be melted
(silver has a melting point of 960 deg C; platinium 1773.5 deg
C). It also caused difficulties for the Spaniards, as its
density was close to that of gold, and when gold plated it was
virtually indistinguishable from the solid metal. The
counterfieting was only brought under control by dumping all
stocks of platinium in the sea and forbidding its import into
*the six memebers of the platinium group are rhodium (Rh),
ruthenium (Ru), palladium (Pd), osmium (Os), iridium (Ir) and
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