The discovery of platinum, element 78, was announced in 1748 by Spanish scientist and colonial administrator Antonio de Ulloa, who had found the metal in the New World. The Spanish named the metal platina, little silver, on account of its resemblance to that metal. The name platina began to appear in English writings in 1752. In 1782, Swedish chemist Torbern Bergman latinized the Spanish name to platinum in his Sciagraphia regni mineralis, which was written in Latin.1 Subsequently, the latinized version of the name caught on.

The chemical symbol for platinum is Pt.

1Oxford English Dictionary, platinum, 3rd Edition, June 2009, Oxford University Press, accessed 4 November 2009,

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