Ruthenium is named from the Latin Ruthenis, Russia and was first recognized as a distinct element in 1844. Ruthenium is a member of the platinum group and occurs naturally with other members of the group in ores found in the Ural mountains and in North and South America. It is also found along with other platinum metals in small but commercial quantities in pentlandite of the Sudbury, Ontario, nickel mining region, and in pyroxinite deposits of South Africa. Ruthenium is a hard white metal and is one of the most effective hardeners for platinum and palladium.