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### Topic: Any other element collectors/makers here?  (Read 45520 times)

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#### billnotgatez

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##### Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #30 on: December 27, 2006, 03:40:39 AM »
jdurg -

#### AfromOz

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##### Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #31 on: December 27, 2006, 10:31:48 AM »
How are you collectors displaying your, um, collections?

I have an unlimited supply of 200ml bottle with plastic caps and are just using a label maker to, um, label them.

I have them in a big plastic box in their respective positions in The Table.

Anything I buy I can use as a tax write off due to my position as a chemistry teacher

heheheee.

Problem though. It seems much stuff may prove difficult to get into Australia so I'm trying to get an initial collection with as much variety in appearance as possible.

There are an awful lot of metals virtually indistinguishable from each other...I still want them.....eventually

Would kill for liquid chlorine. It would probably kill me.

Cheers,

If it goes pop, OK.
If it goes KABOOM, better.

#### jdurg

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##### Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #32 on: December 27, 2006, 11:50:48 AM »
jdurg -

Yes, Borek's E-Bay link is to the russian element collection set that Theodore Gray has referenced at his website.  Not bad if you want tiny samples of the elements, but I think you'd be better off putting together your own set as you'll have much larger, and more impressive, samples.

As for display, I have my elements stored in small glass vials or jars, or glass ampoules, and these samples are labelled and kept in a lockable cabinet to prevent theft as well as accidents.

When I move into a bigger place of residence next year, I'll have a display cabinet created for my samples.
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#### pantone159

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##### Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #33 on: December 27, 2006, 03:28:18 PM »
I keep mine (mostly) in some 24 ml glass vials from I-Chem/Nalgene.  One shelf of a bookcase is dedicated to the display.  Some of the more treacherous ones (alkali metals) are in multiple nested containers for safety and not usually on display.  If you get the metals in a variety of physical forms and shapes, that spices them up a bit.

#### woelen

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##### Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #34 on: December 27, 2006, 04:15:46 PM »
I'm really annoyed that I will never ever be able to complete my collection.

The only ones I'm still missing are:

Rb, Cs, Lu, Rh, Os, Pt, Yb, Th, U

I soon will buy the Lu and Yb samples. They are affordable. I also have a source for Rb and Cs, although they are not really cheap. I just purchased 100 grams of CsBr, which makes for more than 60 grams of Cs, but I also plan to buy some elementary Cs and Rb in glass ampoules.

The metals Rh, Os and Pt I will buy as very thin foils with a good surface area. Of course it is better to buy bulk quantities, but especially Rh is insanely expensive and well beyond my financial resources.

Two elements which I will never obtain are U and Th. Where I live, there is an absolute and 100% tight regulation of ANY radioactive material. I can buy HNO3, KClO3,  red P, I2 and many other chems without problems, but thorium and uranium (and all of their compounds) are absolutely forbidden. Recently, someone's house was raided, because he had a sample of depleted uranium (IIRC almost 30 grams) and the whole street was upset. People were horrified by the nuclear disaster, which could have happened to them  . How the police could know that guy had uranium, I don't know.
Want to wonder? See http://www.oelen.net/science

#### pantone159

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##### Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #35 on: December 27, 2006, 05:36:41 PM »
Two elements which I will never obtain are U and Th.

This isn't as satisfying as a pure sample, but...  In general, regarding the radioactive elements, it is impossible to get pure samples.  You have to settle for some item that contains some (relatively) small number of atoms, the stuff is too evanescent to have a big piece.

So, this way I 'have' Tc/Fr - Tiny amounts in natural minerals, Po - Tiny amount in anti-static brush, Ra/Rn/At - Tiny amounts in old watch hands, Pm - Tiny amount in old luminous paint, Np/Am - Tiny amounts in smoke detector and similar sized test source.

Using the same criteria for Th/U, you can get, for Th camping lantern mantles which use ThO2 to get a bright glow (these are getting replaced by non-radioactive ones, however), and for U there is the fluorescent 'Vaseline' glass as well as the 'Radioactive Orange' FiestaWare dishes.  Can you get any of these in NL?

Of course, it is physically possible to get bulk sized pieces of Th/U, and not to have to settle for traces, but if *legally* this is not possible, then I personally would count the traces.

#### EccentricHeather

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##### Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #36 on: December 28, 2006, 10:18:17 PM »
It's a shame people are so irrationally afraid of radioactivity.  Uranium and thorium are considerably less hazardous than many well-known chemicals, but it is hard to convince people of this.  I am finding that thorium is difficult to get in pure form, and I'm lucky that I was able to get some uranium.  For the other radioactive elements, I'll have to be happy with tiny amounts in mineral ore or commercial products.

I'm waiting for governments to start banning bismuth because it was recently discovered that it is barely radioactive.  If they become that irrational, then they also need to ban potassium, indium, carbon, and others that are slightly radioactive thanks to naturally-occurring radioisotopes in the mix.

So far, in the U.S., it is still legal to own very limited quantities of radioactive material.  (This may well vary by local jurisdiction.)  I wonder if this will get tightened up thanks to terrorism, the polonium scare, and irrational fear.

Heather

#### jdurg

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##### Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #37 on: December 30, 2006, 11:40:23 PM »
You actually get a pretty good dose of radiation from pure samples of many other elements.  It may be kind of shocking, but pure rubidium (27.8% radioactive), indium (95.7% radioactive), and rhenium (62.6% radioactive) are substantially radioactive.
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#### Buck Element

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##### Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #38 on: December 31, 2006, 03:19:49 AM »
WOW! This forum is so great!

I was sitting around thinking of how my obsession for collecting the elements is different, maybe even a little strange; then the idea hit me that I am proud to say I am an element collector.  It is one of the most intelligent pursuits and in my opinion, qualifies as an extreme hobby.  But I was feeling a little alone except for my competitors on eBay, stories of kindred souls (on Theodore Gray's site) and other distant big-time collectors.  So I thought why not Google "I am an element collector" and see what comes up - WHAM this site came up on top!

Most of my life I have loved to handle and possess blocks, cubes, and cylinders of pure elements.  I collected what I could here and there, randomly.  Then back in September I stumbled across an eBayer selling huge blocks of Cr (2,214g) & Mo (1,837g). These I had to have. I decided whatever the cost I was going to get these two pieces and did.  From then on I've become totally obsessed with collecting additional specimens.  So far I have managed to collect 34 elements mainly through eBay (but United Nuclear will always have my undying loyalty).  I do agree that, in addition to acquiring elements through direct purchases, building an element collection from one’s own chemical abilities or scavenger skills is where it’s at.

So this has reawakened my childhood “mad scientist” days but of course with a more refined appreciation for the meaning of these elements both from on the infinitesimal atomic level to pondering the unbelievable concept that these few elements make up pretty much everything in our physical universe.  I know this sounds really out there, but for me, it is like seeing God in these elements.  So, as you can probably tell, I am really happy with my passion for collecting elements and only regret that I didn’t hold onto my childhood fascination with chemistry making it my profession rather than a late blooming hobby.

I’ve read a bunch of your postings and now I’m going to get back to the rest of them.  Good to meet you all!  I am looking forward to hearing about your collections and related stories.

#### AfromOz

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##### Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #39 on: December 31, 2006, 02:55:13 PM »
Yup, element collecting is fun!

Schools around mine have closed and I've been sent in to grab what is useful from their aged labs.

Great to find lithium, potassium, huge bottles of sodium and one of my favourites, a large chunk of barium under oil that was probably over 50 years old. Gave it a great clean.

The huge slabs of silicon I picked up, complete with assay were also a favourite.

My method is 50% for the school and the remainder for me.

I'm now keeping slightly reactive metals under paraffin. Manganese looks like rubbish unless freshly deoxidised and protected. Lead looks great protected!

And I'm collecting the mercury that no one seems to want anymore

Go for it!

Cheers,

If it goes pop, OK.
If it goes KABOOM, better.

#### jdurg

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##### Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #40 on: December 31, 2006, 06:21:44 PM »
Well it's nice to see so many people out there collecting elements.  It is indeed a fun hobby, and while for a while some will think you're a bit "odd" for doing it, they'll show some interest in it.  I have a friend who can print out massive landscape printings on a gigantic vinyl printer.  I gave him a collage of the photos in my collection, and some elements which I do not/can not posses and had him print out a huge poster for me.  It looks great and it's hanging up on the wall behind me in my office at work.  I constantly have people stopping by and looking at it and saying "That's what <insert element name here> looks like?!"  It's great.  Knowing that there is a point where your collection is "completed" and that there aren't new parts to collect every day makes it fun as well.  When you can accomplish a goal it makes things feel "full".  Sure I'll always be upgrading samples and adding additional samples, but to know that I can go into my cabinet and pull out a sample of any element I want to feels really good.  (I can't wait to get my one-ounce osmium button next year!!!).
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#### Buck Element

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##### Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #41 on: January 12, 2007, 02:20:18 PM »
Hi! Hope everyone is having fun so far in 07!

It's been good so far in my element collecting efforts...I've been VERY lucky...

Managed to win an Ivan Timokhin made pressurized ampule of chlorine on eBay.
I paid only $3,300 for it... no j/k kidding; I paid$83 for it.
Along with 100g of Ga at $1g. So now it's off to the more difficult ones ie, As, Ba, Cs, Li, Sr... Any ideas or hints would be greatly appreciated! Also it has become painfully obvious that I've got to start making a lot (a whole lot more) more money; this hobby can get expensive quickly. I agree that element collecting does become an obsession. As soon as I had acquired one form of the more readily available elements, I subconsciously switched into a continuous search mode, always on a yellow alert status whereever I am, to pick up new acquisitions in other forms, weights and higher levels of purity. I love it though... #### AfromOz • Regular Member • Posts: 28 • Mole Snacks: +1/-0 • Gender: • Chemistry teacher in Melbourne, Australia ##### Re: Any other element collectors/makers here? « Reply #42 on: January 12, 2007, 04:01:48 PM » ^^ You're so right about element collection becoming obsessional! Just did a major eBay attack to overspend on titanium, germanium, yttrium, zirconium, molybdenum, cadmium (great sample!), hafnium and whatever Ta stands for! I will collect all available within 2 years. GREAT FUN! And surprisingly, people are interested. They compare it to collecting stamps. BUT! Luckily there are finite elements and infinite stamps. Cheers, Adam. If it goes pop, OK. If it goes KABOOM, better. #### jdurg • Banninator • Retired Staff • Sr. Member • Posts: 1366 • Mole Snacks: +106/-23 • Gender: • I am NOT a freak. ##### Re: Any other element collectors/makers here? « Reply #43 on: January 12, 2007, 08:37:12 PM » Yes, you do need a pretty good income to complete a collection. The Platinum Group Elements will be your most costly samples. Obtaining a Troy Ounce of each Platinum Group Metal will cost you approximately$10,000 at the current going rate for these metals.  With the fact that China is moving into the world economy, as well as many other countries which are becoming technologically advanced, the demand for precious metals is going to skyrocket.  I was VERY fortunate in that when I bought my rhodium metal sample (10-grams) Rh was only about $600 an ounce, I believe, so it cost me around$200.  That $200 investment is now worth close to$1,800!     (I think these prices are correct.  It's been so long that the cost at the time is a bit fuzzy for me).

What I found is that element purchases tend to happen in bunches.  I'll pick up one sample, then within the next few weeks pick up five or six more.  Yes my collection has been complete for quite some time now, but complete doesn't mean "done".  I'm always on the lookout for nice samples at great prices.  I'm only an unoxidized sample of Potassium away from having completely clean and oxide free samples of EVERY alkali metal.  I have five gram ampoules of Cs and Rb, and after seeing those I'd like to one day have five gram oxide free samples of Li, Na, and K in similar sized containers just to show off the density differences.
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#### Buck Element

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##### Re: Any other element collectors/makers here?
« Reply #44 on: January 12, 2007, 10:52:52 PM »
Hi again.  Jdurg, I just posted a reply to your last posting, with a photo, stating I know a collector who wants to sell (as of 1/2/07) an ampule of unoxidized K, but that posting has not shown up here yet.
While waiting for that post to show up here, I emailed the seller to let him know of your interest in such an item.   I turned it down on 1/2/07 because I was (and still am) satisfied with my sample of K.   Let me know if you want to communicate with this collector if he's okay with it I'll get out of the way and let you two work it out.