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Gilded

Element collecting

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The hobby of the noble; collecting every naturally occurring element. As a hobby it's an expensive one, but hey, atleast there's not a steady flow of new ones like there is with stamps, trading/gaming cards and such. :)

 

I must admit that I have just started and don't really have any elements but my radium and tungsten sample are on their way. :) Any fellow collectors?

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Ooooooh I am a fellow collector. Let’s see... I have Indium, bismuth, tin, Zinc, Magnesium, Aluminum, Copper, and lead. I have them sealed in glass tubes. I just started recently so that’s about it. Those where metals I just had lying around my lab.

 

Most of my money goes into my high voltage hobby though so its hard to get money to buy new elements.

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magnesium is pretty easy to get, search for lab supplies or something like that, lol.

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I think a meter of magnesium ribbon is about 1£ or something (at most stores).

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Mercury... Hmm. You could break a mercury switch and take it from there. :) It's certainly an element that's rather hard to get, since it's so dangerous to the environment. But if someone has it, I bet they're just happy if someone will take it off their hands. Talking of hands, if you want to handle liquid metal with your bare hands, I recommend gallium, as I already did in the cesium-thread. :)

 

PS. I think there was a mercury fountain at a university in Spain or something. :)

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Just out of curiosity why did you pick those elements to start with?

 

where'd you get your magnesium?

 

Ebay. United nuclear also sells is.

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mercury switches are no longer made out of mercury its know some non toxic chemical shame

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Lance, if you asked me, I picked them because I'm getting them for free. :)

 

"United nuclear also sells is."

 

Damn that's a good site! I would probably have spent all my money on their products... If I didn't live here in Finland (they don't deliver radioactive isotopes and chemicals to foreign countries). :( Getting ANYTHING from USA is a real pain in the arse these days.

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Damn that's a good site! I would probably have spent all my money on their products... If I didn't live here in Finland (they don't deliver radioactive isotopes and chemicals to foreign countries). :( Getting ANYTHING from USA is a real pain in the arse these days.

 

Unfortunately it’s becoming increasingly hard for Americans to buy anything from the USA. Untied nuclear is the ONLY site that I could find that would ship magnesium to people outside of schools. Ebay has also stopped allowing the sale of some chemicals like sodium...

 

I would also probably spend all my money there if I had any.

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We still get mercury thermometers here. Whenever someone wants mercury, they go ahead and buy a couple of thermometers.

Magnesium is extremely easy to get, we had lots in our school lab.

Where do you get Gallium and Indium ?

 

Does anyone have a pure sample of Arsenic ?

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If someone in the European area is interested in collecting elements, check out seltenerden.de. Also, eBay is a good source (though as Lance stated, they won't sell "cool" elements like sodium anymore :) ). A good page to check out where elements are used and what their properties are is http://www.theodoregray.com/PeriodicTable , the home of the real periodic table (yes, a wooden table with elements in it), and it's the page that inspired me to get a collection of my own.

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We still get mercury thermometers here. Whenever someone wants mercury' date=' they go ahead and buy a couple of thermometers.

Magnesium is extremely easy to get, we had lots in our school lab.

Where do you get Gallium and Indium ?

 

Does anyone have a pure sample of Arsenic ?[/quote']

the Gallium can be obtained from High temerature thermometers, Arsenic and also Gallium can be obtained from a semi-conductor manufacturers, but you`de need someone on the inside to get it for you, they won`t just sell you the stuff :)

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How about the Rare Earth elements - i mean the lanthanides - is there any way of getting hold of those ?

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Cerium can be extracted from lighter flints, and Thorium from old gas mantles, Uranium from "Hot Rocks" one or 2 of the others from Pitch Blende (but I`ve no idea where or if there`s any public places with hot rocks or pitch blende around).

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Thorium and Uranium are not lanthanides, they are actinides. Most of those are radioactive and I wouldn´t want to handle them :)

 

I was curious about stuff like Promethium, Praseodymium, Lanthanum, Neodymium, Europium, Gadolinium, Terbium, Holium etc. etc.

 

Cerium ions are commonly used oxidiising agents aren´t they ?

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I`m aware they`re Actinides :)

 

but if one wishes to complete their collection, the F block would be difficult, and so I provided a few extra :)

 

Cerium reacts similar to Calcium chemicaly, its function in a flint is to produce a "Whiter" heat.

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In school, I remember being told that some of the lanthanides are used to increse workability of metals at high temperatures and are thus used in such alloys. This invoked two questions :-

 

a) How expensive are these lanthanides to get hold of and how much is it possible to obtain ?

 

b) I was also taught of their general extraction procedures, but never told if there were any commercial mines / quarries where the actual ore / minerals may be found. Where would one go looking for these minerals, i mean geographical area ?

 

 

Note : As far as Thorium is concerned it is available from a particular type of sand that is available in considerable quantities on beaches in a southern state in India. I don´t know of any areas where Uranium is found naturally.

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I`m fairly sure Africa is one of the largest exporters of Uranium, but unless it was a tiny amount (enough for a collection vial) I wouldn`t like to go near the stuff! :)

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Thorium and Uranium are not lanthanides' date=' they are actinides. Most of those are radioactive and I wouldn´t want to handle them :)

 

I was curious about stuff like Promethium, Praseodymium, Lanthanum, Neodymium, Europium, Gadolinium, Terbium, Holium etc. etc.

 

Cerium ions are commonly used oxidiising agents aren´t they ?[/quote']

 

Ebay is a GREAT source for element collecting. Just do a search for the element you want. Somebody is even selling gold foil for like $10 which would be a great alternative to buying solid gold (it’s usually more than $400/oz).

 

I’m pretty sure that flint is a mixture of rare earth metals, not just cerium.

 

Uranium ore can be bought on ebay and united nuclear.

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Dammit people, radiation is nothing to be worried about... or maybe it is. :) Just don't keep too strong gamma-stuff near you, and DON'T, I mean DON'T keep alpha-radiators near aluminum or beryllium. They kick off neutrons, and neutron radiation is something not to be played with. Beta and alpha radiators aren't too dangerous by themselves, just don't eat or inhale them.

 

Ways to own radioactive elements legally (at least in most countries):

Uranium, thorium, radon and such - Uranium or thorium ore (radon etc. as decay products). Uranium is also found in all sorts of old things; they put it in marbles, other glass items and even plates. A good way of getting thorium (as already mentioned) are the lantern mantles, just don't pull a David Hahn. :)

 

Radium, promethium - Antique glow-in-the-dark watch hands

 

Americium, neptunium - Smoke alarm ionization chamber (the little gold matrix thingie)

 

Plutonium - Heh, this is a real tough one, but a wonderful addition to your collection; the mineral unofficially called "muromontite" (beryllium-uranium allanite). Uranium kicks off alpha, that smacks into a beryllium atom, which kicks off a neutron, which then is captured by a uranium atom; forming an atom of Pu. As I mentioned, this sort of samples are not the fun kind, because of the neutrons that escape the mineral.

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