January 12, 1716 – Birth of Antonio de Ulloa y de la Torre-Giralt, discoverer of platinum


Spanish scientist, soldier and sailor who during a trip to Ecuador discovered in the gold mines of the Pinto River in Peru, a new mineral that he called "Platina de Pinto" because of its resemblance to silver and because he had found it in that river. However, he eventually stuck with the platinum name. Antonio de Ulloa was the first to carry out a rigorous analysis and description of this element with atomic number 78 in the periodic table.

On his way back to Spain he was captured by the English and taken to England. He took advantage of his stay there to complete his knowledge and publish some studies on the new mineral..

Meanwhile, in 1741, Charles Wood brought the first samples of platinum to England and, following Ulloa's publication in 1748, the properties of this highly valuable element began to be studied in England and Sweden. Because of this fact, British historians say that platinum was discovered by Wood and not by Antonio de Ulloa.

If you want to know more about this scientist, click on the following link: Antonio de Ulloa y de la Torre-Giralt

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