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Platinum (Pt), a transition metal, was well-known in South America by metalworkers, long before Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic. Platinum was used in jewelry and ornaments, and valued because it did not tarnish like silver. The Spanish called this white metal platina, or "little silver." Readers examine the many applications of platinum in industry, including its use as a catalyst in catalytic converters and in electrical components, making crucibles and containers, and making medicines to treat cancer. Platinum's place on the periodic table is also investigated, as well as its many physical and chemical properties.