Platinum belongs to the transition metals family, which includes the 38 elements found in groups 3 through 12 on the periodic table. The metals in the family are ductile and malleable while conducting electricity and heat.
One of the rarest elements in the Earth's crust, platinum is most commonly found in thin layers of metal ores. Platinum is the least reactive of the metals and resistant to corrosion, even at high temperatures. Roughly one-third of the silvery-grey metal extracted from the Earth is used in the automotive industry in the production of catalytic converters. Other uses for platinum include medical and dental equipment and jewelry.