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May 27, 2024
PI Global Investments
Precious Metals

How precious metals were brought to Earth and preserved in a magma ocean

When giant impacts brought Earth its precious metals such as gold and platinum long ago, those metals remained near our planet’s surface thanks to a molten magma ocean. This ocean, formed by the impact itself, was able to trap the metals and keep them safe.

The gold in our jewelry, the platinum in our computer electronics, the iridium in our OLEDs (organic LEDs) — all of it — has had a long and tumultuous journey. These elements originally formed from the mergers of neutron stars that resulted in violent kilonova explosions. Then, they seeded the giant molecular cloud of star-forming gas and dust that eventually formed our solar system billions of years ago.

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