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Monday, 1 September 2014

Spot the Frippet: platinum.

The metal platinum is rare, precious, and difficult to spot. But luckily a platinum blonde:


is pretty much unmissable.

Also numerous are platinum discs. There are lots of them, though just how many depends upon where you are. A platinum disc is a recording that's sold a million copies in the USA. In Britain, though, an album only has to have sold 300,000 copies (600,000 for a single) for it to be called platinum.

Then there's platinum metal, which anyone with any sense would assume to be, well, the metal that's called platinum, but probably isn't: it can be ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium or iridium, as well. 

So, anyway, where can you spot platinum? About thirty per cent of the platinum mined goes into jewellery, so you could scan people's fingers; about fifty per cent goes into the catalytic converters of vehicles.

Rather wonderfully, some of that platinum gets puffed out with the vehicles' exhaust fumes.

So the easiest way to spot some platinum is to find some dust on a road near you. A year's worth of dust from a kilometre of road might yield as much as a £1000's worth of platinum.

Good grief. That's even better than the streets being paved with gold.

Has anyone got a metal detector?

Spot the frippet: platinum. This word comes from the Spanish platina, little silver.


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