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complex compound formed by dissolving platinum metal in aqua regia (a mixture of nitric and hydrochloric acids) or in hydrochloric acid that contains chlorine. It is crystallized from the solution in the form of reddish brown deliquescent (moisture-absorbing) crystals with specific gravity 2.43 and melting point 60 C (140 F). It is the starting material from which most platinum compounds are made; it is also used in platinum-plating baths