Platinum, gold and silver are considered bullion metals, and are extensively used to make jewelry and coins. Silver is also used in medicines due to its antibacterial properties. Platinum is used as a catalyst and in making electrodes.
Gold is used for coating space satellites, as it is a good IR reflector and is inert. Since gold is inert and possesses useful properties when alloyed, gold is used extensively for dentistry in gold teeth, dental attachments, inserts, and solders.
The World's Cumulative Gold and Silver Production Gold
We'll deal more extensively with the silver to gold ratio in Part 4 of this series, but just for fun let's find out what the ratio is in terms of the total amount of silver and gold ever mined in the history of the world
Platinum is used extensively for jewelry, manufactured into metal gauzes for nitric acid production and as a catalyst to improve the efficiency of fuel cells. In medicine, platinum compounds are important for chemotherapy.
Historically, mercury was used extensively in placer gold mining in order to form mercury gold amalgam with smaller gold particles, and thereby increase the gold recovery rates. Large scale use of mercury stopped in the 1960s. However, mercury is still used in small scale, often clandestine, gold prospecting.
The rock was hard, and the miners used fire extensively to break up the rock. Pottery jugs found down the mines probably contained drinks for the miners, and an altar had been erected in one shaft. Rudna Glava is a well preserved example of mining sites that were rather widespread in the Balkans around 4500 4000 BC.