Historical Reading List: Platinum from the Ural Mountains in Russia

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This apparatus was used in the Ural Mountains to recover gold, platinum and other heavy minerals from sediments. The image was published in 1887 in a scientific encyclopedia, Meyers Konversations-Lexikon.

Platinum is one of the most valuable of the precious metals because of its rarity and important jewelry and industrial uses.  It appears to have first been recognized by the ancient inhabitants of South America who, prior to the arrival of European explorers, produced artifacts using a white gold-platinum alloy that was found as grains and nuggets in alluvial sediments along streams and rivers in the Andes Mountains.

The first known reference to platinum can be found in the writings of Italian humanist and scholar Julius Caesar Scaliger, who apparently saw the new metal while visiting Central America in 1557. He referred to a previously unknown metal (called by the Spaniards platina or "little silver") that the natives had learned to work with, but the Spanish had not. The name was given to the material because it got in the way during the alluvial mining of silver and gold.  Since both the natives and the Europeans knew of no use for the platina, they thought of it as a nuisance and would discard it.

The first more complete description of the new metal was given by the Spanish military officer, scientist and explorer Don Antonio de Ulloa. While serving in South America on a scientific mission from 1735 to 1746, de Ulloa collected samples of platinum in New Granada (Colombia).  Returning to Europe, he later wrote a report about the metal, describing both how it was mined and used. Although specimens of the metal appear to have been brought from Colombia to Europe after 1735, De Ulloa is often given credit for “discovering” platinum on the basis of this 1748 report.

Reports of the new element spread quickly through Europe.  Scientists were fascinated by its physical properties, and within a few years when samples of the metal could be obtained, it became the object of numerous investigations. It was not only beautiful to look at, but resistant to corrosion, and with common heating techniques available at the time, it could not be melted.

The Ural Mountains, which extend a distance of about 2,500 km (1,600 mi) from the Kara Sea southward to the Kazakh Steppe, have long been considered by geographers as the “boundary” between Europe and Asia.  For the past three centuries, these mountains have been an important source of gold, platinum, diamonds and other minerals.  In 1819, platinum was first found alloyed with gold in placer deposits at “Verkisetsk” to the south of Ekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains (and a short time later, it was found as a pure metal).  Within a few years, rich and extensive placer deposits in the region made large quantities of the metal available for the first time.  These deposits occurred in association with outcrops of basic igneous rocks which were exposed near the summit and along the western slope of the Ural Mountains.  It is now recognized that the deposits are related to several large igneous ultramafic-mafic complexes that extend over a distance of about 900 kilometers, with the region now known among geologists as the “Ural platinum-bearing belt” (the historically productive area in the Central Urals is contained within a length of about 130 km).  The placer deposits are the result of weathering and erosion of the mountains over a long period of geologic time.  Streams crossing these eroded igneous complexes carried away and concentrate platinum grains and nuggets in rich alluvial deposits. Records indicate that approximately 450 tonnes of platinum were produced in the Ural Mountains between 1824 and 1970. A very large platinum nugget, weighing approximately 9600 grams, was found in 1843 near the village of Nizhny-Tagil located 130 kilometers north of Ekaterinburg.  In the early 1900s, this region of Russia produced approximately 95% of the world’s platinum supply.

Platinum is closely associated with five other rare metals (an often alloyed with) in nature – ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, and iridium.  Collectively, this group is often termed the platinum-group metals.

How To Use This Reading List

This reading list was compiled to give you an opportunity to learn more about the history of platinum from the Ural Mountains in Russia. A number of the articles were published in the 1800s and early 1900s – when many classical gem deposits of historical importance were discovered – and gemology and mineralogy became sciences. The list is presented in chronological order to emphasize the development of ideas over time. The list is not comprehensive, but a compilation of the some interesting gemological information that has often been forgotten or overlooked.

Many of the articles exist in the public domain and can be found online at digital libraries such as HathitrustInternet Archive, or other digital repositories. More recent publications can often be found in libraries, including the Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library. Abstracts of these articles can usually be found on the website of the original journal or magazine, and the article itself is often available for purchase from the publisher.

Regarding the GIA library’s holdings and on-site access, please contact the GIA library in Carlsbad.

Several Papers Concerning a New Semi-Metal Called Platina, W. Watson and W. Brownrigg, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Vol. 46, pp. 584-596, (1750).  One of the first published descriptions of platinum, which on the basis of this work, was considered a new chemical element.

Experimental Examination of a White Metallic Substance Said to be Found in the Gold Mines of the Spanish West-Indies, and There Known by the Appellations of Platina, Platina di Pinto, Juan Blanca, W. Lewis, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Vol. 48, pp. 638-689, (1754).  This article represents one of the first scientific studies of the physical and chemical properties of the new metal.

Experimental Examination of Platina, W. Lewis, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Vol. 50, pp. 148-166, (1757). This article describes results of a further study of the properties of platinum.

La Platine, l’Or Blanc ou le Huitième Métal [Platinum – White Gold or the Eighth Metal], C. Morin, Le Breton Durand Pissot Lambert, Publishers, Paris, 194 pp. (1758).  One of the first extended reports on the study of platinum, the new white metal from Colombia.

Account of the Discovery of a Mine of Platinum in Colombia, and of Mines of Gold and Platinum in the Uralian Mountains, A. von Humboldt, Edinburgh Journal of Science, Vol. 5, No. 11, pp. 323-325, (1826).  A short description by the famous Prussian naturalist and explorer is presented of the occurrences of platinum in both Colombia and Russia.

Examen du Platine Trouvé en Russie [Examination of Platinum Found in Russia], A. Laugier, Annales des Mines, Vol. 12, pp. 524-525, (1826).  This short article presents some early chemical analyses of samples from the Ural Mountains.

Mineralogische Untersuchung des Russische Platinsandes [Mineralogical Study of Russian Platinum-Bearing Sands], A. Breithaupt, Annalen der Physik, Vol. 84, No. 4, pp. 500-505, (1826).  A study by a famous mineralogist of grains of the platinum-group metals recovered from alluvial sediments in the Ural Mountains.

Untersuchung der Russischen Platina [Study of Russian Platinum], C. Osann, Annalen der Physik, Vol. 84, No. 4, pp. 505-510, (1826).  The author presents another early study of Russian platinum.

Notice sur les Mines d’Or et de Platine des Monts Ourals [Description of the Gold and Platinum Mines of the Ural Mountains], N.J. Menge, Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Vol. 10, pp. 386-383, (1827).  Information is given on the precious metal mines in the central Ural Mountains.

Bemerkungen über die Lagerstätte des Platins am Ural [Remarks on the Deposits of Platinum in the Urals], Author unknown, Annalen der Physik und Chemie, Vol. 89, No. 8, pp. 566-575, (1828).  A description of the platinum mines is presented.

Humboldt’s Account of the Gold and Platina District of  Russia, Author unknown, Journal of the Royal Institute of Great Britain, Vol. 3, (February), pp. 418-419, (1831).  A brief account of the mines based upon a visit by the famous naturalist.

On the Silver, Gold, and Platina of Russia, J. Dickson, Monthly American Journal of Geology and Natural Science, Vol. 1, No. 3, pp. 118-124, (1831).  This article is a journal report of a visit made by a mining engineer to the mining areas for precious metals along the Ural Mountains.

Ueber das Ausbringen des Platins in Russland [About the Yield of Platinum from Russia], P. Sobolewsky, Annalen der Physik, Vol. 33, pp. 99-109, (1834).  The history of platinum production from the Ural Mountains is discussed.  The same article appeared in the Annalen der Pharmacie, Vol. 13, No. 1, pp. 42-52, (1835).

Lagerstätte des Platins im Ural [Deposits of Platinum in the Urals], G. Rose, Neues Jahrbuch für Mineralogie, Geognosie, Geologie und Petrefaktenkunde, Vol. 3, pp. 699-701, (1835).  A description is given of the platinum-bearing sediments in the central Ural Mountains.

Reise nach dem Ural und der Kirgisensteppe in den Jahren 1833 und 1835 [Visit to the Urals and the Krygyz Steppes in the Years 1833 and 1835], K.E von Baer and G. von Helmersen, Beiträge zur Kenntniss des Russischen Reiches und der angränzenden Länder Asiens, Vol. 5, 238 pp. (1841).  The authors provide a description of the gold and platinum alluvial mining areas, and of some of the gemstone deposits in the Ural Mountains.

Notiz ueber das Uralsche Platin [Notice on Ural Platinum], M. Kositzky, Verhandlungen der Russisch-Kaiserlichen Mineralogischen Gesellschaft zu St. Petersburg, pp. 165-177, (1844).  A description of platinum from the Ural Mountains.

Sur la Production des Mines d’Or et de Platine de l’Oural et des Gites de la Sibérie, Pendant le Premier Semestre de l’Année 1849 [The Production from the Mines of Gold and Platinum and the Locations in Siberia, for the First Half of the Year 1849], Author unknown, Annales des Mines, Vol. 56, pp. 531-532, (1849).  This short article summarizes the production of these two metals in the first half of this year.

Du Platine, et des Métaux qui l’Accompagnent [On Platinum and its Accompanying Metals], H.S-C. Deville and H. Debray, Annales des Mines, Series 5, Vol. 16, pp. 1-130, (1859). The authors present a discussion of the platinum group metals.

Die Platinindustrie [The Platinum Industry], Author unknown, Aus der Natur, Vol. 23, No. 27, pp. 417-424, (1862). A review is presented on the platinum industry based mainly on production from the Ural Mountains.

Gediegenes Platin [Native Platinum], N. von Kokscharov, Materialien zur Mineralogie Russlands, Vol. 5, pp. 177-190, (1866).  This chapter from a book provides details on the physical properties and chemical composition of platinum samples from the Urals.

The Demidoffs and the Mining Industry of the Ural, Author unknown, The Practical Magazine, Vol. 1, No. 6, pp. 406-409, (1873).  An account is presented of gold and platinum mining on the estates of the Demidoff family in the central Ural Mountains.

Association, dans l’Oural, du Platine Natif à des Roches à Base de Péridot; Relation d’Origine qui unit ce Métal avec le Fer Chromé [Association, in the Urals, of Native Platinum with Peridot-rich Basic Rocks; Relationship of the Origin of this Metal to Chrome-Iron (Chromite)], G.A. Daubrée, Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Séances de l’Académie des Sciences, Vol. 80, No. 11, pp. 707-714, (1875).  This author points out the close association of platinum with chromite in basic igneous rocks, and he suggests they may have a common geologic origin.

Notes sur l’Industrie de l’Or et du Platine dans l’Oural [Notes on the Gold and Platinum Industry of the Urals], M. Laurent, Annales des Mines, Vol. 18, pp. 537-579, (1890).  A detailed description of the gold and platinum mining industry of the Ural Mountains is given.

Ueber das Vorkommen und die Production des Platins am Ural [On the Occurrence and Production of Platinum from the Urals], R. Helmhacker, Berg- und Huettenmaennische Zeitung, Vol. 50, No. 17, pp. 157-161, (1891).  A report on the mining of platinum in the Ural Mountains.

Discovery of Platinum in Place in the Ural Mountains, R. Helmhacker, Canadian Record of Science, Vol. 5, No. 6, pp. 366-367, (1893).  For nearly 70 years, platinum had been recovered only from alluvial washings in the Urals, and its mode of occurrence “in place” was a matter of conjecture among geologists.  The discovery of platinum grains found embedded in an olivine gabbro, and often closely associated with chromite ore, which suggests that this type of ultramafic rock was the rock matrix in which the platinum formed.

The Occurrence and Treatment of Platinum in Russia, H. Louis, The Mineral Industry … to the End of 1897, Vol. 6, pp. 539-552, (1898).  This article presents a more detailed description of the geologic occurrence of platinum deposits in the central Urals, and of the mining methods used to recover the material from alluvial deposits along streams and embedded in sediments.

Die Platinlagerstätten im Ural [The Platinum Deposits of the Urals], A. Saytzeff, Zeitschrift für Praktische Geologie, Vol. 6, (November), pp. 395-398, (1898).  Based on a field study conducted in 1897, the author describes the geologic setting of the alluvial platinum deposits and the principal mines in the central Ural Mountains.

The Occurrence of Platinum in the Oural Mountains, R. Helmhacker, Mining and Scientific Press, Vol. 77, No. 11, pp. 252-253 and No. 12, p. 280, (1898).  A description is given of the main alluvial deposits and their geologic setting.  A similar summary by this author appeared in the Berg- und Huettenmaennische Zeitung, Vol. 57, No. 48, pp. 469-470, (1898).

Notes on Gold and Platinum Mining in the Ural Mountains, D.A. Louis, Transactions of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, Vol. 8, pp. 208-216, (1900). The author gives a short account of mining in the Central Ural Mountains.

The Platinum Deposits of the Tura River-System, Ural Mountains, Russia, C.W. Purington, Transactions of the American Institute of Mining Engineers, Vol. 29, pp. 3-16, (1900).  The author describes the alluvial platinum deposits along the Tuva River system, located in the Goroblagodat District about 210 kilometers north of the Nizhny Tagil District (near where platinum was first found in 1819).  The 80x80 kilometer area around this river system was, in the 19th century, the principal platinum-producing region of the world.

Das Platin, seine Gewinnung und seine Verwendung in der Industrie [Platinum – Its Recovery and Its Uses in Industry], G. Siebert, Prometheus, Vol. 13, No. 664, pp. 632-636 and No. 665, pp. 943-648, (1902).  A description and photographs of the platinum washing operations in the Ural Mountains are presented.

The Geological Relations and Distribution of Platinum and Associated Metals, J.F. Kemp, United States Geological Survey Bulletin, No. 193, pp. 67-81, (1902).  This book contains a section of the platinum deposits in Russia, which are concentrated in the Ural Mountains in the Perm District.

Vorkommen und Gewinnung des Platins im Ural [Occurrence and Extraction of Platinum in the Urals], L. St. Rainer, Berg- und Hüttenmännische Jahrbuch, Vol. 50, pp. 255-298, (1902).  A review of the occurrence and mining of platinum along the Ural Mountains is presented.

Les Gisements Platinifères de l’Oural [The Platinum Deposits of the Urals], L. Duparc, Bibliothèque Universelle – Archives des Sciences Physiques et Naturelles, Ser. 4, Vol. 15, (March), pp. 287-301 and (April), pp. 377-402, (1903).  The author describes the alluvial platinum deposits.

The Occurrence of Platinum in the Ural Mountains, C.W. Purington, Engineering and Mining Journal, Vol. 77, No. 18, pp. 720-722 and No. 19, pp. 762-764, (1904).  This article describes the platinum deposits and their geological settings.  It includes several photographs of the mining area.

Einige Beobachtungen in den Platinwäschereien von Nischnji Tagil [Some Observations on the Platinum Washings at Nizhny Tagil], R. Spring, Zeitschrift für Praktische Geologie, Vol. 13, (February), pp. 49-53, (1905).  This article summarizes a geological field study of the alluvial platinum deposits in the vicinity of the village of Nizhny Tagil.

Die Edelmetallgewinnung Russlands [Russian Precious Metal Production], F. Thiess, Zeitschrift für das Berg-, Hütten- und Salinen-Wesen im Preussischen Staate, Vol. 53, pp. 1-6, (1905).  A report on precious metal production (gold and platinum) from regions of Russia including the Ural Mountains.

Platingewinnung in der Ural-Region [Platinum Production in the Ural Region], Author unknown, Deutsche Goldschmiede-Zeitung, Vol. 9, No. 35, pp. 328-330, (1906).  This article from a goldsmith magazine describes the recovery of platinum from the central Urals.

Ueber Platin [On Platinum], E. Joun, Prometheus Illustrirte Wochenschrift, Vol. 18, No. 903, pp. 289-294, No. 904, pp. 305-311, and No. 905, pp. 324-330, (1907). A discussion is presented on the platinum mining industry in the Ural Mountains.

Ueber die Struktur des Uralischen Platins [On the Structure of Ural Platinums], R. Beck, Berichte über die Verhandlungen der Königlich Sachsischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig, Vol. 59, pp. 387-396, (1907).  The author discusses some of the minerals found with platinum in the Ural deposits.
Dredging for Platinum in the Urals, Russia, L. Tovey, Engineering and Mining Journal, Vol. 86, No. 15, pp. 701-705, (1908).  The author describes, and provides several photographs, of dredging equipment and other methods used to recover platinum from several rivers systems.  The same article appeared in The Mineral Industry for 1908, pp. 718-722, (1909).

Gold- und Platingewinnung im Ural [Gold- and Platinum-Production in the Urals], A. Petrovic, Österreichische Monatsschrift für den Orient, No. 6, pp. 61-62, (1908).  A short summary of gold and platinum production from the Ural region is given.

The Russian Platinum Industry, E. de Hautpick, The Mineral Industry in 1908, pp. 715-718, (1909). A summary of the platinum industry is presented.

The Origin and Geological Study of the Platinum Beds of the Urals, E. de Hautpick, Mining Science, Vol. 61, No. 1579, pp. 421-422, (1910).  The author discusses the geological occurrence of platinum.

The Russian Platinum Industry, Unknown author, Mining Science, Vol. 61, No. 1578, p. 391, (1910). The local mining industry is briefly discussed.

Das Weisse Gold [White Gold], W. Herbert, Die Woche, Vol. 12, No. 49, pp. 2099-2103, (1910). The efforts to recover platinum from sediments in the Ural Mountains is described.

Le Platine et les Gites Platinifères de l’Oural [Platinum and Platiniferous Deposits of the Urals], L. Duparc, Bibliothèque Universelle – Archives des Sciences Physiques et Naturelles, Vol. 31, (March), pp. 211-230, (April), pp. 322-345, (May), pp. 439-456, and (June), pp. 516-533, (1911).  This article gives a detailed geologic description of the principal platinum deposits of the Urals based on extensive field studies of the occurrences themselves.  A subsequent article by this author on the Ural platinum deposits appeared in the Mémoires de Compte Rendu des Travaux de la Société des Ingénieurs Civils de France, pp. 88-134, (1916).

La Composition des Principaux Minerais de Platine de l’Oural [The Composition of the Principal Platinum Minerals of the Urals], H.C. Holtz, Laboratoire de Chimie Analytique de l’Université de Genéve, (1911).  Results of a doctoral thesis on the analysis of the chemical composition of the platinum minerals.

Gold and Platinum Alluvial Deposits in Russia, L. Perret, Transactions of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, Vol. 21, pp. 647-690, (1912).  The author reviews the alluvial deposits of precious metals in several parts of the country.

Platinum: The Most Precious of the Metals, H.F. Keller, Journal of the Franklin Institute, Vol. 174, No. 1043, pp. 525-548, (1912).  A report of a public lecture on the history, unusual properties, and industrial uses of platinum.

Das Platin im Bergbau, Handel und in der Industrie [Platinum in Mining, Commerce and Industry], E. Carthaus, Himmel und Erde, Vol. 24, No. 10, pp. 445-457, (1912).  A review is given of platinum mining in the Ural Mountains and the industrial use of this metal.

Alluvial Mining in the Urals, J.P. Hutchins, Mining Magazine, Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 52-62, (1914).  This article describes the methods to recovery gold and platinum from alluvial deposits.  A similar article by this author appeared in the same year in Engineering and Mining Journal, Vol. 98, No. 20, pp. 857-862.

Sur L’Analyse de Quelques Platines de L’Oural … [Analyses of Some Platinum (Samples) from the Urals], I Koifman, Bibliothèque Universelle – Archives des Sciences Physiques et Naturelles, Vol. 40, pp. 22-38, (1915).  The author presents chemical analyses of various platinum-group minerals from the Ural Mountains.

The Urals and their Mineral Wealth, T.H. Preston, Mining Magazine, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 197-201, (1916).  A review is presented of mining activities along the Ural Mountains.

Some Interesting Facts about the Production of Platinum in Russia, A.R. Merz, Jewelers’ Circular, Vol. 77, No. 17, pp. 54-55, 57 and No. 18, pp. 61, 65, (1918).  This article reviews platinum production in the Ural Mountains.  It contains year-by-year data on platinum production and export.

Platinum Riches of Russia, Author unknown, Russia – A Journal of Russian and American Foreign Trade, Vol. 3, No. 6, pp. 24-30, (1918).   A review is presented of the history of Russian platinum and of the main deposits in the Ural Mountains.

Russia’s Production of Platinum, A.R. Merz, Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, Vol. 10, No. 11, pp. 920-925, (1918).  Publication not seen.

The Production of Precious Metals in Russia, P.A. Ivanoff, Russian Economist, Vol. 1, No. 1, pp. 27-39, (1920). The author summarizes the production of platinum, gold and silver mainly for the years preceding World War I until 1920.

“Le Platine et les Gites Platinifères de l’Oural et du Monde” [Platinum and the Platinum Deposits of the Urals and of the World], L. Duparc and M.N. Tikonowitch, Lithographie Sonor, Geneva, (1920).  This book gives a detailed description of the Ural deposits, including a number of photographs of the mining areas.  A summary of the book appeared in La Revue Scientifique, Vol. 59, No. 5, pp. 101-107, (1921).

Die Primären Plattinlagerstätten des Urals und ihre Seifen [The Primary Platinum Localities of the Urals and their Alluvial Deposits], L. Duparc and M.N. Tikonowitsch, Zeitschrift für Praktische Geologie, Vol. 29, (September), pp. 135-137 and (October), pp. 155-157, (1921).  The authors summarize the geological settings of the main platinum deposits in the Central Urals.

Russian Placer Mining, L.A. Perret, Mining and Scientific Press, Vol. 122, No. 12, pp. 391-395, No. 13, pp. 415-418, and No. 14, pp. 457-460, (1921). The author discusses a number of technical aspects of placer mining in the Ural Mountains and in Siberia.

Platinum in the Urals, R.S. Botsford, Mining and Metallurgy, Vol. 4, pp. 595-600, (1923).  A review of the Ural platinum occurrences and mining.

Les Gites Platinifères de l’Oural en Relation avec ceux du Transvaal [The Platinum Deposits of the Urals in Relation with those of the Transvaal], L. Duparc, Schweizerische Mineralogisch und Petrographische Mitteilungen, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 147-173, (1925).  A comparison is presented of platinum deposits in the Urals and the Transvaal region of South Africa.

L’Oural au Point de Vue Géophysique, Géologique et Minier [The Urals from the Geophysical, Geological and Mining Point of View], L. Duparc, Verhandlungen der Schweizerischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft in Freiburg, Vol. 108, pp. 54-58, (1927).  A short review of the geological importance of the Ural Mountains.
Discovery and Early History of Platinum in Russia, B.N. Menschutkin, Journal of Chemical Education, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 226-229, (1934).  Publication not seen.

Faraday’s Lecture on Platinum: The Centenary of a Classic, Author Unknown, Platinum Metals Review, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 26-29, (1961).  An abridged version of a one-hour lecture on platinum that was given to members of the Royal Institution by the famous 70 year-old English scientist and experimentalist Michael Faraday on Friday 22 February 1861.  He referred to it as a “beautiful, magnificent and valuable metal”.  An audio version of the complete lecture can be heard at https://librivox.org/the-chemical-history-of-a-candle-by-michael-faraday/.

Nineteenth Century Platinum Coins: An Early Industrial Use of Powder Metallurgy, H-G. Bachmann and H. Renner, Platinum Metals Review, Vol. 28, No. 3, pp. 126-131, (1984).  When large quantities of platinum were found in the early 1820s in the Ural Mountains, there was at the time no significant industrial use of the metal, and the Russian government decided to use it for coinage purposes (as three, six and twelve rouble coins).  Between 1828 and 1844, some 950,000 ounces of platinum were converted into coins which were to be used in place of gold and silver coins.  These platinum coins met with little acceptance by the Russian public, however, and the government eventually called back and withdrew all of them still in circulation.  After 1845, demand for platinum decreased in Russia, although small amounts were still used for other applications including jewelry.

The Use of Platinum by Carl Fabergé: New Evidence from the Design Books of Holmström, S.R. Dale, Platinum Metals Review, Vol. 37, No. 3, pp. 159-164, (1993).  This article describes the use of platinum by Carl Fabergé, the famous designer and creator of jewelry and decorative objects, based on project notebooks kept by his chief workmaster, August Holmström.

Russia’s Platinum-Group Metals: A Current Survey, D.B. Doan and A.R. Bond, International Geology Review, Vol. 36, No. 1, pp 92-100, (1994).  This article reviews the sources and means of production of the platinum-group metals within Russia.

Low-Temperature Origin of the Ural-Alaskan Type Platinum Deposits: Geological, Mineralogical and Geochemical Features, E. Pushkarev and E. Anikina, Proceedings of the 9th Platinum Symposium, (2002).  Platinum mineralization at Nizhny Tagil appears to have formed in association with chromite over a range of temperatures down to conditions much lower than those of the main magmatic event that produced the ultramafic igneous host rocks.

New Discoveries of Platinum and Palladium in the Central Urals of Russia, W.B. Anderson and M.P. Martineau, Proceedings of the 9th Platinum Symposium, (2002).  This short article presents a summary of the geologic occurrences of platinum in the Central Ural Mountains.

175 Years of Manufacture of Platinum Metals in Russia, Author unknown, Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry, Vol. 76, No. 11, pp. 1924-1931, (2003).  This editorial summarizes the history of platinum production and use in Russia.

Primary Platinum Mineralization in the Nizhny Tagil and Kachkanar Ultramafic Complexes, Urals, Russia: A genetic model for PGE concentration in Chromite Rich Zones, T. Augé, A. Genna, and O. Legendre, Economic Geology, Vol. 100, No. 4, pp. 707-732, (2005).  This is a geologic field study of platinum-bearing ultramafic complexes in a portion of the Ural Mountains that has historically been one of the major producers of this valuable element.  High platinum contents appear to be associated with the presence of concentrations of chromite in these basic igneous rocks.

Nature of the Ural Platinum Belt and its Chromite-Platinum Metal Deposits, K.S. Ivanov, Y.A. Volchenko and V.A. Koroteev, Doklady Earth Sciences, Vol 417A, No. 9, pp. 1304-1307, (2007).  This article provides a recent summary of the geological occurrence of the platinum deposits in the Ural Mountains.

The August 2008 issue of Elements magazine is devoted to a recent review of the platinum-group elements.

Dr. James Shigley is a distinguished research fellow at the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, California.