MINERALS PRECIOUS METAL ORES (GOLD,SILVER,PLATINUM) GOLD A native element and precious metal, Gold has long been prized for its beauty, resistance to chemical attack and workability. As it is found as a native element, has a relatively low melting point (1063 degrees Celsius) and is malleable, it has been used by mankind for thousands of years. Gold is used as a standard for international currency and is also widely used in jewelry, electronics (where its superb properties as a conductor help offset its tremendous cost), dentistry and in photographic processes. SILVER Silver is one of the most famous precious metals, and has been used for ornamental purposes since the earliest of times. Most silver is extracted from silver ores, but considerable amounts are mined from Native Silver. Silver can be found pure, but is usually mixed with small amounts of gold, arsenic, and antimony. A natural alloy of gold and silver is known as Electrum, and is usually classified as a variety of Gold. Silver has many unique physical properties that give it very special status. Silver is the best conductor of electricity, is the second most malleable and ductile metal, and is in greater abundance than all other precious metals with similar properties. Due to its unique properties and intrinsic beauty, it is extensively used industrially and as ornaments. PLATINIUM Platinum is the rarest and most expensive of the popular precious metals. It is much rarer then Gold. Due to its rarity and value, it is not readily available to mineral collectors and is seldom represented in in all but the highest-end mineral collections. Platinum is an exquisite precious metal used in jewelry as ring settings, bracelets, and necklaces. Platinum jewelry is rare, beautiful, and durable, and is therefore highly regarded. Native Platinum is the most significant source of the element platinum, although considerable quantities are also mined from the rare platinum arsenide mineral Sperrylite. The rare metals iridium, osmium, rhodium, and palladium are almost exclusively mined together with platinum in platinum deposits.