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Offline EccentricHeather

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Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2006, 08:51:53 PM »
Thanks!  It looks like he has just about everything.  I agree on the fluorine; that stuff is so nasty that I would prefer to have it as a compound.  Even chlorine and bromine worry me, but it looks like his samples are well-sealed so I might order them.  Perhaps I'll find another source for the alkali metals.  I already have sodium, and United Nuclear has potassium in 5-gram samples (I'll probably order some soon in case it goes away).  For the others, I'll keep looking, and since rubidium and cesium are so dangerous I might go for compounds in those cases.  Lithium must be available somewhere; maybe I should check the local chemical shop where I got the sodium.

Heather

Offline pantone159

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Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2006, 09:20:40 PM »
Lithium must be available somewhere; maybe I should check the local chemical shop where I got the sodium.

You could try and remove it from lithium batteries, I think they contain metallic Li.  (I haven't tried this myself.)

Beware:  People might think you are a meth-cook for doing this, so be discreet.  :)

Offline mickal555

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Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2006, 12:39:02 AM »
Hey,

I'm trying to collect the elements, I havn't got anyhing too interesting yet though... The tungston I've got is nice though :D

I've got a section on my website about my collection:

http://www.scotsons-shack.com/elements/index.htm

Offline EccentricHeather

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Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2006, 09:43:30 PM »
The meth problem certainly is making things difficult for legitimate amateur chemists.  It seems like just about everything is a meth precursor.  I know of some, but as I search for other things that I might want, I keep running up against this.  It's frustrating.  I'm also nervous about having too many of these chemicals around - people might get the wrong idea.  Hopefully having them in tiny quantities will help alleviate that problem.  Maybe I should concentrate on playing with lanthanides and their salts - I don't think any of them are useful for any nasty drugs!

Meth is nasty stuff; I have a friend who got addicted to it, and it has basically ruined her life.

Anyway, I've been through the Metallium website and I've chosen a number of things for my first order.  I'll get the difficult ones first to get them out of the way.  And if I ever drive to Massachusetts, I can buy the alkali metals from them.

Thanks for all your help - this looks like a good forum.  As I get back into the chemistry hobby, I'll have to look around here.

Heather

Offline pantone159

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Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2006, 01:54:04 AM »
And if I ever drive to Massachusetts, I can buy the alkali metals from them.

Ha, I did exactly that.

Offline constant thinker

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Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2006, 08:31:46 PM »
Mark K, you drove from Texas to Massachusetts. :o
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Offline EccentricHeather

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Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2006, 09:59:50 PM »
So far, I have had good luck with this.  My collection now includes boron, fluorine (as calcium fluoride), sodium, aluminum, silicon, red phosphorus, sulfur, chlorine, manganese, iron, nickel, copper, zinc, gallium, arsenic, bromine, strontium, silver, cadmium, indium, antimony, iodine, barium, cerium, praseodymium, dysprosium, holmium, platinum, gold, mercury, thallium, bismuth, and americium (in smoke detectors).  Potassium and uranium are on the way and should arrive soon.

Aside from the ones I mentioned earlier, sources include Metallium for most of them; a local rock shop for boron crystals and silicon; United Nuclear for potassium and uranium; and Home Depot for smoke detectors (americium).  Unfortunately, United Nuclear ran out of thorium before I could get any, but I managed to get some of the last of their uranium.  Thorium metal might be hard to get if United Nuclear doesn't get any more, but thorium ore is easy to get, so I'll have to be satisfied with that until something better shows up.

Regarding uranium, apparently the oxide can spall off and become airborne as it forms - considering that I don't want alpha-emitting dust in the air, it might be wise to store it in mineral oil.  Has anyone else here had issues with uranium oxide formation?  In a small sample, it's probably not a huge problem, but better safe than sorry.

I plan on getting pictures before long; when I do, I will post them.

Thanks for the suggestions in this thread - it has been helpful.

Heather
« Last Edit: December 21, 2006, 10:30:38 PM by EccentricHeather »

Offline pantone159

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Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2006, 03:43:17 PM »
Isn't this fun!

I keep my U samples in sealed vials which I never open, I don't worry about dust getting into the room then.  I don't bother with oil.  I like how it is very black and ominous looking, from the oxide coating.

BTW - From UN I once got an Am-241 test source, it had the same amount of stuff (c. 0.9 uCi) as a regular smoke detector, but it is easier to mess with it as the source (i.e. get a counter to pick up the alpha radiation).  UN also supplies Na-22 sources, which I count as my antimatter sample in my collection, as Na-22 emits positrons.

As far as Th, you might try RGB, http://www.element-collection.com/
I got 0.5 g of Th metal from them.  It may not have been listed in their catalogue, but I asked them about Th and they could supply a little bit.  (More than 0.5 g would have triggered exorbitant shipping costs for overseas hazmat.)

Element collecting is one of the reasons I got into doing chemistry experiments.  After getting, e.g., a sample of Cu metal, a logical next step was to get some Cu compounds to see how the element behaves.

Offline AfromOz

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Re:Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #23 on: December 23, 2006, 12:58:50 AM »
I'm an element collector. I currently have nine in beautiful home-made ampoules.

How did you get that bromine into an ampoule? I have about 10ml in a glass flask sealed with a ridiculous amount of Parafilm. It's slowly escaping and I don't want to lose it...or inhale too much!

Been able to "get" lots of samples from the school where I work. I'm very pleased with the large amount of chlorine I managed to make (HCl and MnO2). They are a beautiful green in their bottles and no signs of escape ;)

Cheers,

Adam
If it goes pop, OK.
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Offline EccentricHeather

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Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #24 on: December 23, 2006, 02:52:07 AM »
My uranium and potassium samples just arrived.  The uranium is about 15 grams of small chunks.  I have placed it in oil; some of the surfaces are still shiny and I would like to preserve them as they are.  It shows up on my dosimeter, but it isn't all that hot - I have ore samples that are far more radioactive (as would be expected).  The potassium is four small lumps stored in mineral oil - a total of 5 grams.  It has interesting patterns of corrosion on it.  I suspect the oxide and hydroxide are present.  I don't see any sign of peroxides, but perhaps they will slowly build up over time.

Now the big question:  what next?  I'm leaning towards finishing up the right side of the periodic table; there are a lot of interesting elements there.

Heather

Offline woelen

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Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #25 on: December 23, 2006, 10:20:04 AM »
Heather, maybe this eBay-seller is interesting for you.

http://stores.ebay.com/Elements-and-Other-Things_Elements_W0QQcolZ4QQdirZ1QQfsubZ3579553QQftidZ2QQtZkm

He has very affordable Se and Te samples (which I did not see in your list), plus quite some other elements.  I also purchased some items from him and my experience was very good.
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Offline AfromOz

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Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #26 on: December 23, 2006, 11:28:28 AM »
I just started collectiing about a month ago and have the following:

Hydrogen
Lithium
Carbon
Oxygen
Sodium
Magnesium
Aluminium (1cm cube)
Silicon (a 10cm lump)
Sulfur (an ingot with crystals on top)
Chlorine
Potassium
Calcium
Chromium
Manganese (clean it in nitric acid, rinse, dry then put under paraffin)
Iron (a great perfect cube)
Cobalt
Nickel
Copper (another great cube)
Zinc (a bigger cube)
Bromine (for how long? ::)
Silver (pretty thick foil)
Tin (in several forms, including an ingot I made)
Antimony (in large crystal chunks and some toxic powder)
Iodine (100g of crystals)
Barium (a nice heavy cube under paraffin)
Gold (just as flakes)
Mercury (about 400g)
Lead (two ingots, polished and lacquered)
Bismuth (ingots)

Have the following coming:

Beryllium
Boron
Phosphorus
Vanadium
Gallium (wanna do the hand melting routine!)
Selenium
Niobium
Indium (just to see how soft it is)
Tungsten (for melting point)
Gadolinium (for the weird magnetic effects)
Ytterbium (for the spelling)

So, I have a start.

Much to do.  ;) Give myself a year to get the lot  ;D

Cheers,

Adam
« Last Edit: December 23, 2006, 11:49:51 AM by AfromOz »
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Offline EccentricHeather

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Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #27 on: December 23, 2006, 09:57:52 PM »
Heather, maybe this eBay-seller is interesting for you.

http://stores.ebay.com/Elements-and-Other-Things_Elements_W0QQcolZ4QQdirZ1QQfsubZ3579553QQftidZ2QQtZkm

He has very affordable Se and Te samples (which I did not see in your list), plus quite some other elements.  I also purchased some items from him and my experience was very good.

I have encountered his listings, and I suspect I will be ordering from him.  Tellurium and selenium are high on my priority list, so I'll be looking to see what is available.  Thanks.

Gallium is a lot of fun, but unlike mercury, it sticks to almost everything.  Don't melt it directly in your hand unless you want a mess.  I have it in a clear plastic bottle, and I have used my hairdryer to melt it.  I might order more in the future; eventually, I would like to fill up the bottle.

Heather

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Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #28 on: December 25, 2006, 05:41:31 PM »
Periodic table on sale

Just in case listing is not there I have attached picture - item was sold by dang-good-stuff and he posted the picture, no idea about copyrights - looks like the seller took the picture himself.
« Last Edit: December 25, 2006, 06:11:27 PM by Borek »
ChemBuddy chemical calculators - stoichiometry, pH, concentration, buffer preparation, titrations.info

Offline jdurg

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Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #29 on: December 26, 2006, 11:12:21 PM »
Yes, element collecting is a great hobby and it's nice to see so many people are now getting into it.  There are a LOT more of us out there than one would think.  At work, I have a poster printed out of the elements in my collection hanging on the wall behind me.  It's remarkable how many people stop by and just stare in wonder and amazement at the photos.

The one thing I've learned the most about this hobby is that you can NEVER actually stop.  As soon as you get a sample of everything, you start wanting to upgrade and get more and more and more.  This can cost you quite a bit of money, but the nice thing is that you know those elements will always be there and it's not like coins or baseball cards or comic books where the number of samples available is constantly dwindling. 

Now to get to some of the questions posed here and to make some comments:

Ivan - Nice to see you here!!!  I've obtained a sample of lithium metal and a liquid chlorine ampoule from Ivan and I'm VERY impressed.  The Li and Cl2 are proudly displayed in my collection and are a nice contrast to my existing samples (gaseous chlorine and oxidized lithium lump).  It was a pleasure dealing with Ivan and I will work with him again in the future as should anyone who wants to get some great samples and interact with a great individual.

Heather - Hehe.  You have fallen victim to the hobby of collecting the elements.  It's a fun hobby, but one that you can never escape.  Wherever you go and whatever you look at, you'll see it as an element and wonder how you can get that into your collection.  As has already been pointed out to you, Dave Hamric is a fantastic source of elements and a great guy as well.  Every year I make my way up to his place in Massachussetts and upgrade some samples as well as help him develop new ways to generate and store existing samples.  This past September I went up there and we worked out a method for creating brown, amorphous silicon.  He's currently working on ways to improve the production and will soon be selling this allotrope.  If there is ever ANY sample that you want, just drop him an e-mail and ask about them.  Many things can be cast in acrylic resin to make them ultra-safe and able to be shipped.  You just need to ask.

Allotropes - Allotropes of the elements are also fun to collect.  It's always neat to see the many forms that elements can take at room temperature.  Phosphorus takes the cake for me as I have the white, red, black and violet forms and my photograph of those forms is now being published in a general chemistry textbook.  I can't wait for it to come out.   ;D  Carbon is also another good one to get multiple allotropes of as you can get graphite, amorphous, diamond, and buckyballs too.  It's generally things like boron, silicon, tin and arsenic that are usually ignored in terms of allotropy.

Radioactives - Radioactive elements are a bit of a concern for storage, but as long as you don't collect massive amounts of them you're fine.  I have a sizeable chunk of uranium metal and it just amazes me how dense the stuff is.  My Uranium and Thorium and stored in sealed glass ampoules which basically block out all of the alpha and beta particles and leave the gamma rays to come through.  Those are blocked and/or slowed down by the lead sheeting in the boxes that the samples are stored in.  I have a promethium watch hand in my possesion, and on its way to me are five radium based watch hands.  I'll have these stored away in a lead lined box as well.  The tritium sample I have is worryless as no radiation can escape the key-chain.  Still, I keep it a point to not expose myself to the samples too often and only "admire" them on rare occasions.  Plus, I keep myself a good distance from them to minimize the exposure.  Really, at the sample levels we're talking about here the danger really isn't all that much.  (Things like the americium and possibly neptunium in your smoke detector are so small in size that they really aren't even worth mentioning as "potentially dangerous").

So have fun collecting the elements.  The Platinum Group Metals will drain your bank account, but it's always fun to add a new sample to your collection.  Then, when your collection is completed like mine is, you can relax and enjoy what you've accomplished and upgrade/add to it when you come across a great sample for a great price.   ;D
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