Lutetium Element Number 71 Lu

Lutetium is a little harder to find and difficult metal to acquire. This small piece weighs in at  9.6 grams and was a trade for some gold spot price for spot price.

 Lu 71 Lanthanide, *sometimes considered a transition metal   AW:174.9668  D:9.89  MP:3006  BP:6156

Lutetium is the last element in the rare earth series or Lanthanides. Lutetium has several interesting traits, it is one of the rarest and one of the most expensive Lanthanide. The metal has the highest density of the rare earths, and like other RE metals is never found alone. Lutetium is found in the ore monazite.

Lutetium has few applications partially due to its high production costs. The metal can be used as a catalyst in refineries, and polymerization applications. Lutetium can also combine to produce  Lutetium Aluminum Garnets or LAG, and dope Gadolinium Gallium Garnets or GGG.

Isotopes of Lutetium can be used to date meteors, and some are sources of positrons. Lutetium is an element that just costs too much and is to difficult to obtain to be viable.  I am satisfied with my large sample obtained from a fellow enthusiast.

Nine more grams of Lutetium metal. This chunk has more crystalline structure than the ingot chunk above. I now have a nice hoard of this rare earth metal.

Hafnium Element Number 72 Hf 

 Hafnium is the first element to emerge after  the Rare earth series by atomic number on the table. Hafnium is sometimes considered a refractory metal because it has a melting point above 4000F. Hafnium qualifies for what is known as the wider definition of refractory. Hafnium is actually a  transition metal.  Usually found in Zirconium bearing minerals, Hafnium is so chemically close to Zirconium they are known to be the most difficult elements to separate on the periodic table.

Hafnium has a high neutron capture cross section, and is used in nuclear reactors for control rods. When I purchased my Hafnium crystal rod from China, I was asked to document an end-use agreement. sending photos of my collection within one hour satisfied I am a collector and I was sold 1/2 a kilo. I asked why this is now happening and was told it is security because of its "nuclear uses". The metal seems to be rising rapidly in price.

Hafnium can be used in super alloys with other elements,Iron, Niobium, Titanium, Tantalum to name a few. Rocket engine parts utilize Hafnium alloys. There is a special use in the microprocessor industry as well. 

Hafnium has 5 stable isotopes, and at least 28 known radio isotopes. One metastable isotope of Hafnium, 178m2Hf  was studied for use in weapons. The Isotope was considered for a "induced gamma emission" weapon, or IGE. The idea was to trigger the isotope to release a big-O-pile of stored energy in the form of x ray photons or gamma rays. You can read more about this by searching the "Hafnium controversy".

Although Hafnium has few uses, its use as control rod material in reactors and alloys is very important in advanced industries.

**Big-O-pile is a technical term used when describing amounts of a "bunch-O-stuff.

This crystal rod of Hafnium came from China. The Chinese government has started to require end use agreements for export, making this material a bit more difficult to acquire. This material is just stunning and awesome to hold, one of my prized pieces

 

Electrolytic Hafnium chunks, these are not very attractive, but a common form of pure Hafnium. 

 This is a close up of the large crystal bar, This is just amazing material.