Background | Name | Sources | Uses | Substitutes and Alternative Sources Platinum Group Metals (includes platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, osmium, and ruthenium): They commonly occur together in nature and are among the most scarce of the metallic elements. Platinum is used principally as catalysts for the control of automobile and industrial plant emissions, as catalysts to produce acids, organic chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. PGMs are used in bushings for making glass fibers used in fiber-reinforced plastic and other advanced materials, in electrical contacts, in capacitors, in conductive and resistive films used in electronic circuits, in dental alloys used for making crowns and bridges. in jewelry. Russia and South Africa have nearly all the world’s reserves. The sample in the photo is Sperrylite; it is of very rare occurrence but of interest as the only native compound of platinum.