Lanthanum 50mm Lucite Cube

Lanthanum (2).JPG
Lanthanum (2).JPG
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Lanthanum 50mm Lucite Cube

65.00

This chunk of metal is lanthanum, a rare earth metal with few major uses but still considered a strategic resource. A political drama ensued a few years ago when China, which is practically the only nation in the world producing rare earth metals, decided to punish Japan by enacting a temporary ban on exports of the REs. Japan, dependent on lanthanum in particular for the batteries that power its Prius and similar electric cars, went into a panic that rippled over the financial world much beyond any trouble the actual holdup may have caused. It was a cautionary tale that highlighted Japan's - and by extension the world's - dependence on a resource a potentially unfriendly country held.

Japan learned its lesson and began investing into diversifying its supply lines from the meager few alternate markets available. In the end, lanthanum itself may have been the biggest victim as electric car makers seek alternate metals to fill one of the very few roles this unfortunate metal played.

This ~20g piece of 99.95% lanthanum metal has thus been rescued from an uncertain future tucked in the innards of a car to be displayed instead in a collection. Its surface blackened through exposure to oxygen (this being the second most reactive of the lanthanides after europium) the bulk of the metal is preserved underneath while preserving all its texture and form.

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