Page:Philosophical Transactions - Volume 095.djvu/351

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317
Dr. Wollaston on the Discovery of Palladium.

scarcely to be distinguished or separated from them, excepting by solution of the platina; for the grains of which I speak are wholly insoluble in nitro-muriatic acid. When tried by the file, they are harder than the grains of platina; under the hammer they are not in the least degree malleable; and in the fracture they appear to consist of laminae possessing a peculiar lustre; so that although the greater number of them cannot, as I have before observed, be distinguished from the grains of platina, the laminated structure sometimes occasions an external form by which they may be detected. With a view to be absolutely certain that there exist grains in a natural state, which have not been detached by solution from the substance of the grains of platina, I have separated from the mixed ore as many as enabled me to ascertain their general composition.

Their most remarkable quality is their great specific gravity, which I have found to be as much as 19,5, while that of the crude grains of platina has not, in any experiment that I have made, exceeded 17,7. From this circumstance it might naturally be conjectured that they contain a greater quantity of platina than the grains in general; by analysis, however, they do not appear to me to contain the smallest quantity of that metal, but to be an ore consisting entirely of the metals that were found by Mr. Tennant in the black powder, which is extricated by solution from the grains of platina, and which he has called Iridium and Osmium. But, since the specific gravity of these grains so much exceeds that of the powder, which by my experiments has appeared to be, at the utmost, 14,2, I have thought it might deserve inquiry whether their chemical composition is in any respect different. For this purpose I have selected a portion of them, and have requested Mr. Tennant