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Platinum.  A heavy, gray-white precious metal. Platinum has great strength, it never tones or corrodes, but has a very high melting point. Once used for coins (in Russia, 1828-1845 where platinum is found in the Ural mountains) it became a jewelry item when its value surpassed that of gold. (White gold derives its color somewhat by alloying small amounts of platinum with gold.) The first U.S. medal struck in platinum was in 1937. Recent medals have been struck in pure platinum as a bullion medal. Canada was first to issued a platinum bullion coin, along with its Maple Leaf gold. The United States first issued a platinum American Eagle in 1996. While platinum is not included in medal rank, platinum objects have been awarded (when inscribed it has a smooth, fine surface for engraving). Platinum and iridium are common impurities found with native gold.

CLASS 05.4

                  Platinum Bullion Coins                 


      Country      Type           Weights*               


    Australia    Koala        1 kilo; 10, 2, 1, 1/2,     

                              1/4, 1/10, 1/20 ounce      


    Canada       Maple Leaf   1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/10, 1/15,   

                              1/20 ounce                  

                 Polar Bear   1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/10 ounce    

                 Snowy Owl    1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/10 ounce    

                 Cougar       1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/10 ounce    

                 Fox          1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/10 ounce    

                 Otter        1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/10 ounce    


    China        Panda        1/10, 1/20 ounce           


    Isle of Man  Noble (ship) ?  1, 1/2, 1/5, 1/10,      

                 Persian Cat  ?  1/20 ounce              

                 Babtail Cat  ?                          

                 Turkish Cat  ?                          

                 Alley Cat    1/5 ounce                   


    Russia       Double Eagle  1 Rouble 1844             

                 Ballerina  1/2, 1/4, 1/10 ounce         


    United States Eagle                                  

excerpted with permission from

An Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology

For Artists, Makers, Collectors and Curators


Roger W. Burdette, Editor

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