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#1
Old 05-26-2004, 12:21 AM
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Titanium vs. Platinum - Price per Ounce

What is more expensive per ounce [b]pure[/p] titanium or pure platinum?
#2
Old 05-26-2004, 12:33 AM
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Titanium is the 9th most abundant element in the earth's crust. It is not that easy to refine or work with, but it is far less expensive than platinum.
#3
Old 05-26-2004, 03:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astro
Titanium is the 9th most abundant element in the earth's crust. It is not that easy to refine or work with, but it is far less expensive than platinum.

Cite? For some reason I could've sworn Titanium was man made.

In fact, I know for sure we learned in school that Titanium was the only mad made element but I went to a pretty disgusting school. A lot of things I learned there turned out to be complete BS.
#4
Old 05-26-2004, 04:19 AM
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- - - Not certain about the details, but Titanium is the ingredient that makes white beach sand white. It is expensive not because it is rare, but because it has to be smelted out electrically--any type of burning fuel introduces contaminants into it that prevent it from solidifying... or something.....
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#5
Old 05-26-2004, 04:23 AM
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I know if you want something really white (like a car paint) chances are it contains Titanium Oxide. I had a friend who worked in the plant that made the stuff. It is definitely not man made (if you mean as in created in a nuclear reactor).

The following would support it being widely distributed on the earth's surface:
http://webelements.com/webelemen...t/Ti/geol.html
#6
Old 05-26-2004, 06:36 AM
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Courtesy of a titanium ring site, here are some titanium facts and history.
#7
Old 05-26-2004, 06:42 AM
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My wedding ring will be titanium, because it matches my earrings and my watch. A titanium ring, size 9, with a 7mm band costs around $120 at the mall. Similar platinum rings go for 10 times that.


* Don't worry, we were just researching styles, and will not get raped at the mall. *
#8
Old 05-26-2004, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougC
- - - Not certain about the details, but Titanium is the ingredient that makes white beach sand white. It is expensive not because it is rare, but because it has to be smelted out electrically--any type of burning fuel introduces contaminants into it that prevent it from solidifying... or something.....
~
I think you are slighlty confused here. Sand is a mixture of silica (the shiny crystal bits) and grains of rock, shell ect. the whiteness of sand is caused by multiple scattering of the light by the silica particles.

Titania is a whitening agent in paints and plastics. It is man made.


Here is a historical record of all metal prices for the last thirty or so years (pdf).
http://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pu...prices1998.pdf

Titania sponge (93% pure) is about $4 /lb. If you wanted to produce the pure metal I would guess you are looking at 3x that. Platinum is about $400/ounce. No contest
#9
Old 05-26-2004, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scm1001
I think you are slighlty confused here. Sand is a mixture of silica (the shiny crystal bits) and grains of rock, shell ect. the whiteness of sand is caused by multiple scattering of the light by the silica particles.
Nitpick: There are many types of sand. Silica sand is usually a darker tan color than aragonite, or coral sand, calcium carbonate, which is really bright white. FTR, the link is vastly overpriced, as the same sand is sold as South Down Play Sand at Home Depot in some parts of the country. Other locations sell silica sand which is inferior for reef aquaria.
#10
Old 05-26-2004, 07:32 AM
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Platinum is very expensive. It's one of the best catalysts there is. As far as I know, it's the catalyst in Hydrogen fuel cells on rockets. I remember reading somewhere that if it wasn't so rare and expensive, we would be using Hydrogen cells a lot more. But then again, that was out of Reader's Digest
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#11
Old 05-26-2004, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cisco
Cite? For some reason I could've sworn Titanium was man made.

In fact, I know for sure we learned in school that Titanium was the only mad made element but I went to a pretty disgusting school. A lot of things I learned there turned out to be complete BS.

I just want to reiterate here that titanium is NOT a man made element. It wasn't purified (99.9%) until 1910, but the element and compounds containing it are found in moon rocks, meteorites and M-type stars, as well as on earth.

I've never heard of "Titania" though except as a moon of Uranus, and in association with various artists.
#12
Old 05-26-2004, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigene
I've never heard of "Titania" though except as a moon of Uranus, and in association with various artists.
Titania was the fairy queen in "A midsummer night's dream", and the uranian moon was named after that character... (I think all the major moons of uranus were named after fantasy spirits in shakespeare) but that isn't really relevant to the discussion.
#13
Old 05-26-2004, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eleusis
My wedding ring will be titanium, because it matches my earrings and my watch. A titanium ring, size 9, with a 7mm band costs around $120 at the mall. Similar platinum rings go for 10 times that.


* Don't worry, we were just researching styles, and will not get raped at the mall. *
Look into the different alloys available. My titanium band is a softer alloy so while it seems to be quite strong it scratches fairly easily. Given how I am with jewelry it no longer resembles the original satin finish but that doesn't bother me.
#14
Old 05-26-2004, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigene
I've never heard of "Titania" though except as a moon of Uranus, and in association with various artists.
thats cause you aint a chemist!

titania here http://azom.com/details.asp?ArticleID=1179
#15
Old 05-26-2004, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigene
I've never heard of "Titania" though except as a moon of Uranus, and in association with various artists.
Have you heard of silica and alumina?
Same deal; titania is an oxide of titanium, silica is an oxide of silicon and alumina is an oxide of aluminium - or aluminum, if you prefer .

Seeking deep onto the recesses of my brain, I seem to think that titania is a dioxide, as is silica while alumina is a trioxide, with 2 aluminium molecules, but I might be mistaken*.
*Fairly likely, actually.
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#16
Old 05-26-2004, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scm1001
thats cause you aint a chemist!

titania here http://azom.com/details.asp?ArticleID=1179
Okay, well that's interesting. So... titanium is an element which is found in nature, and titania is a name for titanium dioxide, a compound of titanium which is NOT found in nature.

Does that pretty much sum up the 'found in nature' extent of this thread?
#17
Old 05-26-2004, 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scm1001
I think you are slighlty confused here. Sand is a mixture of silica (the shiny crystal bits) and grains of rock, shell ect. the whiteness of sand is caused by multiple scattering of the light by the silica particles.

mmm I spoke too soon. There are many sand deposits round the world that contain significant amounts of titanium, either as rutile (black/brown) or rutile (white). These rutile beaches would then be an example of titania compounds scattering.

However, the majority of beaches are either calcium carbonate or silica based.
#18
Old 05-26-2004, 09:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisk
Okay, well that's interesting. So... titanium is an element which is found in nature, and titania is a name for titanium dioxide, a compound of titanium which is NOT found in nature.

Does that pretty much sum up the 'found in nature' extent of this thread?
actually wrong way round. Titanium as a metal is never found in nature. Titanium compounds (including titanium dioxide as rutile) are.
#19
Old 05-26-2004, 10:07 AM
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Isn't Titanium known for it's strength yet relatively light weight? Thus it's use in sports equipment i.e. golf clubs, tennis racquets, etc. It does make the equipment more pricey than average but I wouldn't put it in "precious metal" status.
Platinum on the other hand is very strong and very heavy, considered a "precious metal" and costs more than gold. Check out the prices on simple platinum wedding bands.
#20
Old 05-26-2004, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cisco
Cite? For some reason I could've sworn Titanium was man made.

In fact, I know for sure we learned in school that Titanium was the only mad made element but I went to a pretty disgusting school. A lot of things I learned there turned out to be complete BS.
You're thinking of technetium.
#21
Old 05-26-2004, 10:54 AM
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To the OP: your best bet is to check futures prices. Platinum's traded at NYMEX while Titanium is supposedly traded at the LME, but I couldn't find anything on their web site. I believe that Platinum's more expensive.
#22
Old 05-26-2004, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scm1001
actually wrong way round. Titanium as a metal is never found in nature. Titanium compounds (including titanium dioxide as rutile) are.
I wasn't talking about titanium as a purified metal... I spoke of titanium the element, which is found in ALL of its compounds. This does get kinda confusing to me.

But IMO it doesn't make sense to speak of an element as 'man-made' if all we've done is to refine it out of stuff that was already there in the earth. The only truly man-made elements are the ones that were developed through nuclear operations.

(Come to think of it, even elements such as plutonium we can't say for sure do not exist naturally. We can say that they have not been discovered to pre-exist us on the planet earth. )
#23
Old 05-26-2004, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chairman Pow
To the OP: your best bet is to check futures prices. Platinum's traded at NYMEX while Titanium is supposedly traded at the LME, but I couldn't find anything on their web site. I believe that Platinum's more expensive.
By a huge factor. Platinum is a precious metal currently selling for $800 - $900 an ounce (troy). You will not find titanium in precious metals listings because it is an industrial metal sold by the pound or ton. Expensive enough to be used only for speciality applications but more on the order of a few dollars a pound than hundreds of dollars an ounce.

(current spot price for platinum is quoted at $846/oz as I write. I can't find a good current quote for titanium, but a number of sources list prices for titanium sponge in recent years as $3 or 4/lb).

I suspect it's advertising of things like "titanium" credit cards as a level above platinum that leads to public perception concerning the value of titanium.
#24
Old 05-26-2004, 12:28 PM
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whoops, sorry scm1001, I missed your price quote.
#25
Old 05-26-2004, 03:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yabob
I suspect it's advertising of things like "titanium" credit cards as a level above platinum that leads to public perception concerning the value of titanium.
In the same way, the titanium rings that have been coming out recently create the idea in consumers' minds that titanium is even more special, more rare, than platinum. For my money, plain old sterling looks better than platinum or titanium.
#26
Old 05-26-2004, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisk
(Come to think of it, even elements such as plutonium we can't say for sure do not exist naturally. We can say that they have not been discovered to pre-exist us on the planet earth. )
Actually, we can be sure that Plutonium pre-existed us on the planet earth. Trace amounts of Plutonium can be found in naturally occuring uranium ores, where the Plutonium is created by irradiation with neutrons which are naturally present. However, Plutonium wasn't discovered and isolated as an element until 1940, and then it was made by deuteron bombardment of Uranium. Cite.

In fact, quite a few of the Actinides occur in nature, while others are purely synthetic. Here is an overview;

90Th: Thorium. Found in nature, discovered 1828 by Berzelius
91Pa: Protactinium. Found in nature (part of 238U decay series), discovered in 1913
92U: Uranium. Found in nature (for instance in pitchblende). First isolated 1841
93Np: Neptunium. Trace quantities found in nature due to transmutation reactions in uranium ores. First identified 1940.
94Pu: Plutonium. Again, trace quantities found in uranium ores. First identified 1940
95Am: Americium. Not found in nature. First produced in 1944.
96Cm: Curium. Theoretically could exist in uranium ores, but never detected. First produced 1944.
97Bk: Berkelium. Not found in nature. First produced in 1949.
98Cf: Californium. Not found in nature. First produced in 1950.
99Es: Einsteinium. Not found in nature. First identified 1952.
100Fm: Fermium. Not found in nature. Firsdt identified 1952.
101Md: Mendelevium. Not found in nature. First identified 1955.
102No: Nobelium. Not found in nature. First identified 1958.
103Lr: Lawrencium. Not found in nature. First identified 1961.

So, you see that of the trans-uranium actinides, two exist in nature (Neptunium and Plutonium) and one theoretically should (Curium).

One of the reasons I know some of this stuff so well, is because I actually did some post-graduate work at the GSI (Gesellschaft fuer Schwerionenforschung) in Darmstadt (the heavy ion accelerator is actually located in Weiterstadt, which is an incorporated suburb of Darmstadt). Workgroups at the GSI are actually responsible for creating a couple of nuclei of 108Hs (Hassium), (named after the state of Hessia, where Darmstadt is), 109Mt (Meitnerium) (named after Lise Meitner, who collaborated with Otto Hahn to discover nuclear fission, and was overlooked when he won the Nobel Prize in 1945), and 110Ds (Darmstadtium). However, I was at the GSI from about 1988 to 1990, so that was after the isolation of Hs, and Mt, and before the isolation of Ds. Also, I was in a different workgroup than the one actually trying to synthesize these heavy elements.

In fact, the GSI has gotten as far as 112Uub (Ununbium). What is interesting is that an isotope with 114 protons and 184 neutrons (so that would be 298Uuq: Ununquadium) might have a half-life that can be measured in hours instead of milliseconds. Shell theory predicts an "island of stability" around this nucleide.
#27
Old 05-26-2004, 06:22 PM
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Titanium is valued for it's strength-to-weight ratio. An equivalent weight of Titanium is stronger than steel.

The former Soviet Union, which had (has?) plentiful reserves of refinable titanium ore, made its jets fighters (e.g., the Foxbat) out of Titanium at a time the U.S. was using aluminum and steel alloys. It made for some light and fast airplanes!

However, this does not mean Titanium is stronger than steel, per volume, and I don't have those figures on tensile strength to compare them (nor do I know the comparison to aluminum).

And another however, this does not take into consideration hardness (as measured on the Mohs scale). Titanium is softer than any steel alloy. Not sure if it is softer than iron.

Platinum (from the RL 'plata,' meaning silver) is a rare, soft, precious metal. The appearance of the two metals (whitish silver) is similar, but regarding weight, Platinum is heavy and titanium is light. Platinum is also much softer.

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#28
Old 05-27-2004, 06:27 AM
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#29
Old 05-27-2004, 12:17 PM
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Titanium is a much greyer metal than platinum, appearance wise.

Having recently been in the market for a plain wedding band, and having no interest in gold, I settled on either platinum or titanium. Equivalent, no-frills, half-dome bands cost about $300 in Pt and $90 in Ti. Titanium is very difficult to work with, most rings are not repairable beyond refinishing... simple designs can be resized larger, usually only a single size, by stretching. So, a larger portion of the Ti ring's cost goes to manufacturing (or maybe not, most of the simpler rings are made by cutting off sections of titanium piping).

Just bulk metal, Pt is easily hundreds of times more expensive.
#30
Old 05-27-2004, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisk
The only truly man-made elements are the ones that were developed through nuclear operations.
Even then they can occur in nature, Technetium has been noted in the spectra of some stars.

http://pearl1.lanl.gov/periodic/elements/43.html

I've always worked with it in a dissolved form.

The price of Titanium is given to be $100/lb from this site:

http://pearl1.lanl.gov/periodic/default.htm

Versus their price of $500/ounce for Pt back in 1990.
#31
Old 05-27-2004, 02:06 PM
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$100/lb sounds a bit expensive. That's either out of date, or reflects a premium for very high purity in powdered form. As we noted above, "sponge" prices are in the range of 3 or 4 dollars per pound. "sponge" is the way raw titanium is sold as a commodity, and I suspect that the quotes of $3 to $4 / lb are for buying large quantities. This link gives some quotes from late 2003 for various forms (bottom of the page):

http://articles.findarticles.com/p/a...1/ai_108657042

$5/lb in ingot form, $8/lb in "commercially pure" plate. Again, I suspect you can only get that kind of price if you are buying tons of the stuff.

And it may get cheaper - a lot of the price reflects the difficulty of the current manufacturing process:

http://eere.energy.gov/vehiclesa...titanium.shtml

Quote:
Cost analyses of these processes proved to be very promising. All three processes could deliver titanium powder well below the prevailing market price. Under a range of operating conditions, these processes could even manufacture powder for less than the current selling price of "sponge," which is the output form of the Kroll process.
#32
Old 05-27-2004, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snakespirit
Titanium is valued for it's strength-to-weight ratio. An equivalent weight of Titanium is stronger than steel.

However, this does not mean Titanium is stronger than steel, per volume, and I don't have those figures on tensile strength to compare them (nor do I know the comparison to aluminum).
Strength is a property of the metal that is independent of weight or volume.

Commercially pure titanium has a strength of about 50 ksi, which is less than many common steels. However, like steel, the properties of titanium can be greatly altered by alloying.

Someone may debunk this as an urban myth, but I am under the impression that titanium rings can create a bit of an emergency if they have to be cut off for such things as injuries that cause swelling of the fingers. Tools that work for gold rings won't make a dent in a titanium ring.
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