Holmium 50mm Lucite Cube

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Holmium 50mm Lucite Cube

113.00

This exotic metal is one of the fourteen other metals in the so-called Rare Earths group, none of which play any major role in industry outside of very specialized uses. Each one may have found its niche whether in lasers or as dopants with other elements to impart a desirable property. Holmium's claim to fame is as the Numero Uno among supermagnets beating out fellow Rare Earther neodymium for the title but much less popular due to it needing external activators.

As typically sourced for industrial needs the metal is unfortunately terribly unattractive. The suppliers in China all provide thickened plates that show little variation in color or texture. We have, however, recently been able to find a new supplier providing an exceptionally 99.95% pure version we find much more attractive. 

The branchlike bundles known as dendrites are not due to the aesthetic intentions of the refiner. It is simply how nature decides to rearrange the atoms of the cooling melt according to its lattice structure. Each element (and molecules as well) all possess their own unique pattern. The most immediately obvious is of course water freezing into snowflakes. Another example is bismuth which forms crystals with mesmerizing geometries.

With small differences, holmium like the rest of the rare earth series solidifies into tendril-like fibers that can extend several inches if the conditions are right. More typically the lengths reach up to an inch or two.... the perfect size, as it turns out, to place into the confines of a 50mm block of Lucite!

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