# So, you like to collect elements?

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The Basics (and a bit more) about element collecting

So, you want to start your own collection of elements, the noble building blocks of the universe? Great! First you might want to define what sort you prefer; elements in their everyday use form (spark plugs, lightbulbs, nuclear reactors), perhaps minerals with interesting elements in them or pure (+99%) lab/reagent grade samples, or a mix of these.

Some providers to get you started:

Red Green and Blue Company’s Element Collection page, www.element-collection.com

If you’re lazy, or just want to get a brilliant assortment of ALL naturally occurring elements straight from hydrogen (1) to uranium (92). RGB also provides individual samples at reasonable prices (even thorium and uranium as pure metals!). They seem to ship incredibly fast (took three days for a delivery from UK to get to Finland, and it has a one day notice-sending delay added!).

They ship from: UK it seems, although some eBay auction items seem to be located in US. Look RGB up at eBay!

Speciality: Marvellous set of elements, nice promethium and radium watch dials

Variety: All naturally occurring elements (1-92 atomic numbers)

Smart Elements www.seltenerden.de

A marvellous European element provider. They also have some assortments (noble metal and rare earth, to be exact). Quite reasonable prices, perhaps a bit high for some common elements.

They ship from: Germany and Austria

Speciality: Incredible metal crystals, cheap cesium, extremely beautiful uranium marbles

Variety: Some missing from the 92, such as sodium and potassium, no radioactive elements except for the U-marbles (by the way, bismuth isn’t considered radioactive here )

Metallium Inc. www.elementsales.com

An awesome provider from the US. Nice elements, reasonable prices. Some incredible auctions at eBay (for example, a 50g rhenium pellet starting at about 20$!). They ship from: United States Speciality: Astonishing metal rods and pellets Variety: No gases, except for chlorine. No radioactive elements Emovendo http://www.emovendo.net Another great provider from the United States. Reasonable prices, except for the eBay auctions which are amazing not only for the price but the cool samples. They ship from: United States Speciality: Large samples of some elements (for example, a 2.5kg piece of strontium!) Variety: Mostly metals, some others (like sulfur and selenium) American Precious Metal Exchange http://www.apmex.com Oooh, shiny! Precious metals (silver, palladium, gold, platinum) all the way, with very good prices. They have a minum order of 25$, and don't currently ship internationally (though it seems they are planning to do so in the future).

They ship from: United States (and currently only to US)

Variety: Only silver, palladium, gold and platinum, but many different forms of the metals are available (bullions, coins...)

Sooo… Perhaps you would like to get your hands on some of those elements too? You don’t know what to do with them? Here’s Gilded’s Fairly Good Guide to Element Storing.

1. Remember to have your toxic elements in a safe place, where no small kids or pets can reach them. A good example of these is beryllium and thallium. Beryllium should be of minimal harm if it’s in solid form, and NOT in powder form

2. Reactive gases such as chlorine and fluorine? I recommend a glass ampoule (in which they are mostly sold). These are also good things to keep away from all things that might break or consume them.

3. Metals? Find out if they oxidize in room temperature, those ones should be under mineral oil or argon (or possibly both). Sodium and potassium are good examples of these. Gold, iridium and other very inert metals you can keep just about anywhere, especially somewhere where they can be viewed and lusted after by your guests. Don’t let them steal your gold bars though!

4. You even found yourself some radioactive samples? Keep them in lead boxes (thick iron pots should help a little too). A minimal amount of extra radioactivity never hurt anyone, but still, radioactive is something not to be played with. And don’t, and I mean DON’T keep alpha emitting material near to beryllium or aluminum! Kick ‘em with alpha and they’ll kick you with neutrons! Anyway, dangerously radioactive samples are quite unusual, and regulated too, so you won’t be seeing them that much. Remember: Alpha doesn't even go through a sheet of paper. Beta goes through the paper, but not through a thin metal sheet. Gamma goes through a thick concrete wall with ease, a thick walled lead container is recommended for samples with high gamma activity.

5. Allergy? If someone’s allergic to a certain metal or some other elements, keep the allergy causing samples in glass ampoules. If it isn’t in powder form, you shouldn’t have a problem with allergic reactions (unless the person actually sleeps in the pile of metal dust).

6. Use common sense, and element collecting can be fun, interesting and SAFE!

www.theodoregray.com/PeriodicTable - brilliant element collection (it's an actual TABLE)

www.webelements.com - nice information about elements

***this is not a Complete listing, Its currently work in progress. and will be updated regularly as and when New sources and data arrive.***

10-29-2004 Added American Precious Metal Exchange to the provider list (thanks jdurg!)

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Very nice. I've been collecting elements for a while now, and I have a sample of every non-radioactive element except fluorine. (For that I have some fluoride salts). I even have multiple allotropes of the elements, like carbon and phosphorus, which exist in different forms at room temperature. One thing I quickly learned is that smaller is better. Having 50 grams of sodium, for example, is just a hassle and incredibly dangerous compared to having maybe 5 or 6. The smaller amount is less dangerous, easier to store, cheaper, and shows off the same properties as the higher amounts. As I've gone on in my collecting, I've also learned that it never really stops. You're constantly going to be upgrading samples when you get a chance, and spending quite a bit of money to do so. Collecting elements is NOT cheap. On the plus side, however, it's incredibly fun and there is a stopping point. Over time you'll also meet some interesting people. A few weeks ago I met Dave Hamric in person after buying many, many, many things from him. (He is the head of Metallium, Inc.) It was a great day spent generating chlorine gas, purifying it, drying it, and sealing it up in an ampoule. On that day we were able to make quite a few chlorine ampoules, and he was able to seal up my bromine and iodine into matching ampoules as well. (Unless it's permanently sealed, bromine and iodine will eat their way through everything. The only way to display them with the rest of your elements is to have them sealed in an ampoule. Otherwise you'll need to store them far away and deal with how they corrode whatever's around them). We had a great deal of fun and I was able to upgrade quite a few samples. I HIGHLY suggest purchasing from Dave if you're in the USA because his samples are fantastic and constantly improving, and his prices are very reasonable. If you're ever in the Boston, MA area, send him off an e-mail and see about stopping by.

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I think it would also be a neat idea to have people list which elements they have extra of and would be willing to trade/sell. I just picked up a few bismuth crystals, so now I have a bunch of extra bismuth metal pellets. The pellets are 1 cm in diameter and 7 mm tall. They're good for melting down or just having around as a pure sample. I have 10 pellets and can part with about six of them.

I also have a tiny, 2 mL ampoule of chlorine gas. I purchased it a long while ago and have since obtained a MUCH bigger ampoule of chlorine. As a result, I have no need for this one and am willing to trade/sell it.

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This isnt a "Chatty" thread, its purpose is to provide info with regards to Element collecting and Sources, we already have a thread about this which you may chat about things in, this one is to be strictly Data Only, sources are welcome when verified

the above few posts will be deleted within 24 hours, giving ALL time to read and understand this threads purpose

contributions towards this topic will be added to the original post, the aim here is to have ONE single post with ALL the info needed

Edit: the prunings been done, we have an existing thread for questions/answers on this topic, please keep all posts here Concise and Informative with regard to obtaining Elements and sources.

Cheerz

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If you are in the U.S.A., check out www.apmex.com. They are a precious metals/coin trading company which offers FANTASTIC prices on gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. They sell the precious metals at a very small percentage over the spot price, but much cheaper than what you can find on E-Bay. Their minimum order is only 25.00 dollars, so it's not like other PGM dealers which require you to buy multiple ounces at a time. If you're in the USA and are looking for a good source of gold and platinum, check out their site. (I highly recommend picking up one of the 5 gram bars of platinum. It's a bit pricey at around 150 bucks, but it's amazingly heavy for its size and really shows off the beauty of platinum. Another good deal is their 1/10th ounce random coin deal. At only about 26 dollars per gram of platinum, you can't get a better deal than this. They'll give you any random 1/10th ounce Pt coin they have for a very small price. I picked up two of those and the 5-gram bar for nearly the going price of the metal. I'm still in awe).

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If you have any suggestions for the provider list, please PM me, don't post, as this isn't a "chatty" thread as YT said.

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some of them i strongly advise you to research before you go about trying to obtain them.

some important notes:

-dont go above bismuth until you have significant knowledge of radioactive materials/unless you wish to irradiate yourself

-read up on the halogens before you try to obtain them; they aren't too pleasant

-before you get angry at the fact that you electrolyzed alkali salts/hydroxides and the resulting metal readily oxidized, figure out a good means for preventing this oxidation (try inert liquids like motor oil or mineral oil, or inert atmospheres like helium, argon, etc)

-be careful with the transition elements, as there are some pretty nasty carcinogens among them, and many are really expensive

-unless you are really wealthy and dont care about your money, scrap the lanthanides

-europium looks cool, but is also remarkably expensive

-some elements you may want to breathe away from, as they may have high vapor pressure (eg mercury, bromine)

-wash your hands before and after you touch most elements

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As stated many more times before, there is an actual thread for the DISCUSSION of element collecting. Perhaps YT should lock this one.

"-unless you are really wealthy and dont care about your money, scrap the lanthanides"

Hmmh. Got myself a lanthanide collection for 119 dollars. Didn't have promethium, but had scandium and yttrium instead. Even though they are "rare earths", only a few of them are actually rare.

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As stated many more times before' date=' there is an actual thread for the DISCUSSION of element collecting. Perhaps YT should lock this one.

[/quote']

Good call!

Ill lock this, and tidy it up for Content when I get a quiet 5 mins.

the idea is that anyone that wishes to Add new sources for element collecting can do that by PMing me, then well set up a window where itll be Unlocked for the post to be made. That way we keep it all neat and tidy as a hand resource for all, without having to trawl through needless posts in the hope of getting a bean of information

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Hey Everyone. Here's another quick update to our list of sources for element collectors. This one is for a guy out in Austria who has some great element samples for sale at a great price. The site listed below is completey in German, but Alexander understands and converses in English without any problems. When looking at his site, you will see some items that you really can't get any place else. (Or at least I haven't seen available any place else). There is a 7-gram ampoule of what looks to be VERY pure arsenic for only 70 Euros. That's a good amount of this sample for a relatively low price. He also has amorphous red selenium which I have not seen available for sale elsewhere. Alexander also has a fluorine gas ampoule. It's an ampoule filled with a mixture of 100% anhydrous fluorine gas and helium in a 33%F2/67%He ratio. A tube I picked up shows the slightest sign of fluorine gas attack at the ends, but otherwise everything is just fine. Alexander also sells beautiful ampoules of sodium and potassium metal where the metal is as reflective as a bright new mirror. Well worth the money.

The only problems I've noticed with the site is that he only accepts payment s in Euros and he does not have a PayPal account yet. So the only methods of payment are a bank wire transfer or cash. I went the bank wire transfer method, and the amount of fees charged by both banks for the international transfer was nearly as much as the cost of the items I bought. The other method is to get a bank check written out in Euros that can be cashed at an Austrian bank. So right now, the payment is a bit of a pain in the butt, but the detail and quality of the items purchased kind of evens out the hassle. So click on the link below to see what he has to offer.

http://www.elemente.at.cx/

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yes, 5 more years from now itll be 100 years old!

for scale and a better view:

Germany 1913, its seen 2 World Wars and its Still intact!

WOW, a matter of a few hours putting this on the net and Iv already been offered several hundred dollars for it!!!

Im quite astonished!

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WOW, a matter of a few hours putting this on the net and Iv already been offered several hundred dollars for it!!!

Im quite astonished!

Sweet! I take it that's a bit of profit, yes?

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