Titanium 50mm Lucite Cube

Titanium (4).JPG
Titanium (4).JPG
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Titanium 50mm Lucite Cube

325.00

Titanium, like all other metals, has a crystalline nature that comes through on the macro scale only when certain conditions are met. While some metals crystallize easily (bismuth being perhaps the best known such example) others are much more finicky about displaying their natural form.

The one constant in achieving those crystals is purity. Even small amounts of contaminants end up disrupting the atomic lattices forcing the bulk of the material to coagulate in an amorphous mess at the microscopic level. Once you hit the 99.99% percent purities, and up from there, is when you can get good crystals at the size human eyes can appreciate without use of microscopes.

Van Arkel and De Boer, two chemists working a hundred years ago, came up with a process for isolating a number of elements into very high states of purity. They took the iodide form of the metal and placed it inside a vacuum with a tungsten wire running down the middle. They turned up the juice and, just like in a light bulb, the filament instantly heated to the point of incandescence. The metal iodide disintegrated under the intense heat depositing the pure metal on the wire... sort of like growing rock candy on a string.

While it's still the best way of getting those high levels of purity, the process, unfortunately, is too slow and costly to use commercially. However, decades ago a Soviet lab made a number of bars of this ultra-pure titanium and what wasn't used for who knows what entered the collector market.

This is a very rare - and beautiful - piece of lab exotica. It was carefully embedded in high quality acrylic and will make for a very special entry in a collection of elements.

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