HHomeBackground Color:He
LiBeLead Pictures PageBlack White GrayBCNOFNe
NaMgLead Technical DataAlSiPSClAr
KCaLead Isotope DataScTiVCrMnFeCoNiCuZnGaGeAsSeBrKr
RbSrYZrNbMoTcRuRhPdAgCdInSnSbTeIXe
CsBaLaCePrNdPmSmEuGdTbDyHoErTmYbLuHfTaWReOsIrPtAuHgTlPbBiPoAtRn
FrRaAcThPaUNpPuAmCmBkCfEsFmMdNoLrRfDbSgBhHsMtDsRgCnUutUuqUupUuhUusUuo
Lead     

Lead

Atomic Weight 207.2
Density 11.34 g/cm3
Melting Point 327.46 °C
Boiling Point 1749 °C
Full technical data

Lead pipes have been in use for thousands of years. In some cases the same pipe the whole time. This exotic six-way union was hand made by an apprentice decades ago, and it duly impressed the master.

Scroll down to see examples of Lead.
The Elements book Mad Science book Periodic Table Poster  Click here to buy a book, photographic periodic table poster, card deck, or 3D print based on the images you see here!
Lead Lead pipe

Larger | Spin | 3D
Lead pipe.
If you were playing a real-life game of Clue(TM) and you needed a lead pipe, this is the pipe for you. Crusty because it's a well-used sink drain from an 1890's house.
Source: Dan Klarmann
Contributor: Dan Klarmann
Acquired: 21 April, 2009
Text Updated: 23 April, 2009
Price: Donated
Size: 14"
Purity: >90%
Lead Car battery plates

Larger | Spin | 3D
Car battery plates.
These are the lead plates from one cell of a lead-acid battery of the type commonly used in cars (actually this is from a 24V cell because that's the only kind I was able to find without any acid in it). In an operational battery these plates would be soaking in sulfuric acid, making dis-assembly a bit dicey.
Source: eBay seller trifectasales
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 21 April, 2009
Text Updated: 21 April, 2009
Price: $20
Size: 8"
Purity: 90%
Lead Roman sling bullets

Larger | Spin | 3D
Roman sling bullets.
From the source:
Sling as a weapon is relatively not well known although was used effectively by the middle east peoples and Egyptians since the most ancient times. At the beginning projectiles were raw stones, later carved and around the V C. BC some were made of lead. Excellency as a slinger could only be achieved by means of an intensive training since the more early childhood.
Onasandrius wrote the 1st C. BC in his book "Strategy". "Sling is the deadly weapon used by light infantry because lead is of the same color than air and therefore not visible, impact is unexpected and not only hard but the bullet penetrates deeply into the flesh".

Balearic derives from the Punic "Bale Yarch" literally means "Masters in throwing". Most probably they learned this technique from the Phoenicians or Greeks.
They fought in the 1st and 2nd. Punic war in favor of Carthage but after the Roman conquest served under Roman's legions. On the legions battle order they were in charged to start the hostilities from the flanks even before than the longbow men could do it. When enemy contact was imminent both longbow men and slingers retreated between lines to allow the infantry and Calvary to fight.

While a longbow had an effectiveness up to 100 mts. the Balearic slingers launched projectiles to more than 200 meters far.

Since they were a few years old started the training that will last forever. The first notice of an armored ship was due to Balearic slingers. On the 123 BC. Quintus Caecillius Metellus begun the conquest of the island of Majorca. Believed or not the slingers were able to sink the Roman ships from the coast shooting to the ship hull waterline with lead bullets like this one and other of higher calibers. Quintus had to protect his ships with shields. Only after two years Majorca was finally conquered.

They wore three slings. A large one tighten to his waist (to be used in distances of more than 60 mts.), a small one tighten around his forehead (20-25 mts.) and a medium size one always on the hand (up to 60 mts.). They carried the bullets in a goat fur bag hanging from his shoulder. With the large one they could launch 500 grs. stones (like a tennis ball) able to destroy shields and wood defenses. With the small and medium size slings the lead bullets could perforate at short distances (up to 60 mts.) thin armors and helmets. The sling as a weapon was widely used not only by Balearic warriors but by other Iberian warriors and also by Roman auxiliary troops like Greeks, Sicilians, North Africans but after the Roman conquest of the Balearic Islands elite slingers were always Balearic as those fighting in the Julius Caesar legions. Bullets in Spain are usually found on the known battle fields of the Roman conquest. Roman bullets are commonly engraved Iberian never.

Two fine examples of almond shape small caliber war sling lead bullets to be used with the small sling. Have a good ballistic coefficient (C) according to their caliber. With concretions. Ca 150 to 45 BC

From left to right:

Measures: Thick: 16x9 mm. Length: 29 mm. Weight: 18.3 C=117
Thick 14 x10 mm Length: 29 mm Weight: 21.5 C=149

Ballistic coefficient C = P/D**2 Being P weight in Kg. and D diameter in mts. An standard rounded lead bullet of the Napoleonic wars had a C of 104.

Source: eBay seller luajam
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 16 April, 2009
Text Updated: 17 April, 2009
Price: $46
Size: 1"
Purity: >90%
Lead Napoleonic rifle balls

Larger | Spin | 3D
Napoleonic rifle balls.
From the source:
Three rounded lead bullets from the Napoleonic wars in Spain 1808 to 1814.

The primary individual firearm during the Napoleonic wars in Spain was the musket but for first time regular army units used the rifle. Some regiments of the expeditionary British army equipped the first models of the Baker rifle. The problem was that after a few shots the barrel had to be cleaned therefore their role was limited to skirmishing and snipering functions. Dragon pistols and pistols were widely used by some Calvary units and the Spanish guerrilla which on top used a variety of all available types of firearms including some of civil use such as carbines, blunderbusses, hunting rifles and shotguns.

Two .625 (16 mm.) cal. bullet from an English Baker rifle type. Weight: 24.2 gr.

One .58 (14.7 mm.) cal. bullet probably from Spanish guerrilla hunting Tulle type rifle Weight: 17 gr.

The one pictured here is one of the larger two in the lot of three I got from this seller.
Source: eBay seller luajam
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 16 April, 2009
Text Updated: 17 April, 2009
Price: $8
Size: 0.625"
Purity: >90%
Lead Lead pipe non-plumbing

Larger | Spin | 3D
Lead pipe (non-plumbing).
Oh, this is too funny. First, it's a lead pipe. But not that kind of pipe, this is a pipe for smoking, made out of lead. I got it from an eBay seller in Thailand, which I guess is less concerned about inhaling lead fumes than others countries are.
And what might you smoke in a lead pipe in Thailand? Why, hashish of course, which is precisely what was unmistakably still present stuffed into the bowl of this pipe when it arrived. I can only be thankful that it was packed so tightly that no one in customs noticed that someone was mailing me hashish from Thailand. Oh lordy, that would have been a fun one to explain. Incidentally, padded envelopes from Thailand are incredibly festive, with colorful decorations on them. Maybe it's the hash.
Source: eBay seller easternages
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 16 April, 2009
Text Updated: 17 April, 2009
Price: $19
Size: 2"
Purity: >90%
Lead Cat's whisker detector closeup

Larger | Spin | 3D
Cat's whisker detector closeup.
A closeup of a the galena crystal from a cat's whisker radio detector.
Source: eBay seller jrschades
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 15 April, 2009
Text Updated: 15 April, 2009
Price: $24
Size: 0.5"
Purity: 86%
Lead Lead pipe reamer

Larger | Spin | 3D
Lead pipe reamer.
Lead is so soft that pipes made of it can be reamed out (have their diameter increased or burrs removed) with a simple iron hand tool like this.
Source: eBay seller wvtools
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 2 April, 2009
Text Updated: 3 April, 2009
Price: $12
Size: 8"
Purity: 0%
Lead Plumbing lead ingot

Larger | Spin | 3D
Plumbing lead ingot.
I bought this ingot in an Ace Hardware store a few years ago. Lead is actually still used sometimes for joining old card iron drain pipes.
Source: Hardware Store
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 2 April, 2009
Text Updated: 3 April, 2009
Price: $10
Size: 5"
Purity: >98%
The Elements book Mad Science book Periodic Table Poster  Click here to buy a book, photographic periodic table poster, card deck, or 3D print based on the images you see here!
Lead Civil war rifle bullet

Larger | Spin | 3D
Civil war rifle bullet.
A civil war-era rifle bullet, encased in oxide from having been buried for many years.
Source: eBay seller cvrelics
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 2 April, 2009
Text Updated: 7 April, 2009
Price: $5
Size: 1"
Purity: >90%
Lead Cat's whisker detector closeup

Larger | Spin | 3D
Cat's whisker detector closeup.
A closeup on the galena crystal in the cat's whisker radio detector shown in the previous sample.
Source: eBay seller jrschades
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 28 March, 2009
Text Updated: 29 March, 2009
Price: $24
Size: 3"
Purity: 86%
Lead Cat's whisker detector

Larger | Spin | 3D
Cat's whisker detector.
This appears to be a modern reproduction of an antique cat's whisker detector used in crystal radio sets. The dark sparkly crystal is galena (lead sulfide), and the copper wire touching it is the "whisker". If the wire touches the crystal just right the junction operates as a diode, allowing electricity to flow in one direction only. This allows the device to convert an amplitude-modulated radio signal into an audio signal you can hear.
Source: eBay seller jrschades
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 28 March, 2009
Text Updated: 29 March, 2009
Price: $24
Size: 3"
Purity: 86%
Lead Leaded glass teardrop

Larger | Spin | 3D
Leaded glass teardrop.
33% lead content leaded glass. That's the highest percentage of lead I could find on eBay: Leaded glass is often identified by how much lead is in it because the more lead, the higher the index of refraction and thus the more sparkle.
Source: eBay seller originalbuy
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 11 March, 2009
Text Updated: 12 March, 2009
Price: $4
Size: 1.5"
Purity: 33%
Lead Broken leaded glass vase

Larger | Spin | 3D
Broken leaded glass vase.
This vase arrived broken, which normally might be a problem, but I actually kind of like it this way, as a lead sample. It was advertised as 24% lead crystal (by which is meant glass). This is typical for the lead content of this type of high-index-of-refraction glass. Kind of neat that you can see right through something that is one quarter lead.
Source: eBay seller racingfreaks
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 11 March, 2009
Text Updated: 12 March, 2009
Price: $6
Size: 6"
Purity: 24%
Lead Mini tin-lead casting alloy ingots

Larger | Spin | 3D
Mini tin-lead casting alloy ingots.
I'm pretty sure this is some kind of tin-lead alloy, it came with a set of tin soldier molds I got on eBay years ago. You're meant to break off as much as you need for the soldiers you want to cast. The whole thing is tiny, each bar is less than half an inch wide.
Source: eBay
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 28 February, 2009
Text Updated: 1 March, 2009
Price: Unknown
Size: 3"
Purity: <80%
Lead Lead BB gun pellets

Larger | Spin | 3D
Lead BB gun pellets.
A different brand of BB gun pellet (see previous sample). Note the somewhat different shape, but also the different style of lighting. The surface texture of these is not really that different from the other sample, but the lighting is much softer (more diffuse). Notice how this completely changes their appearance.
Source: Walmart
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 28 February, 2009
Text Updated: 1 March, 2009
Price: $5
Size: 0.125"
Purity: 95%
Lead Lead BB gun pellets

Larger | Spin | 3D
Lead BB gun pellets.
These pellets are used in BB guns in place of BBs. They are supposed to fly straighter, I think.
Source: Walmart
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 28 February, 2009
Text Updated: 1 March, 2009
Price: $5
Size: 0.125"
Purity: 95%
Lead Lead crystal fragrance lantern

Larger | Spin | 3D
Lead crystal fragrance lantern.
Lead crystal isn't really crystal, it's just glass (which is defined specifically as not being a crystalline material). But it does actually contain lead, and is normally described by its percentage of lead (more is better, because it gives a higher index of refraction and thus more sparkle, which is attractive to humans and magpies). This one is 24% lead. (Yet still completely transparent, isn't that amazing?)
Source: eBay seller effusionality
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 28 February, 2009
Text Updated: 1 March, 2009
Price: $31
Size: 8"
Purity: 24%
Lead Bags of lead shot

Larger | Spin | 3D
Bags of lead shot.
These are pretty bags of antique lead shot. Unfortunately they turned out to contain nothing but sand, something I could have told you just by picking one up: No way do they weight 25 pounds as it says on the bags. I wasn't actually that unhappy about it since the bag is what I was interested in, but when I reported the contents to the eBay seller he immediately refunded all my money, saying he got them at an estate sale and had no idea they were not genuine. You meet the nicest people on eBay.
Source: eBay seller badgerlaunch
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 8 February, 2009
Text Updated: 8 February, 2009
Price: $0
Size: 4"
Purity: <0.001%
The Elements book Mad Science book Periodic Table Poster  Click here to buy a book, photographic periodic table poster, card deck, or 3D print based on the images you see here!
Lead Cast lead disk

Larger | Spin | 3D
Cast lead disk.
This simple cast lead disk was meant as a replacement lid for large lead pig.
Source: Anonymous
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 8 December, 2007
Text Updated: 8 December, 2007
Price: Confidential
Size: 5"
Purity: 99%
Lead Lead pig for technetium

Larger | Spin | 3D
Lead pig for technetium.
I've listed this set of six lead pigs under both lead and technetium out of desperation. They have no technetium in them, but they used to. They are labeled with the names of various different radio-pharmaceutical preparations used to deliver doses of Tc-99m (metastable Tc-99, an excited state of the Tc-99 nucleus with a half life of just a few hours). They are, in fact, made of pure lead, it's really only the labels that make them interesting.
Source: Anonymous
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 11 August, 2007
Text Updated: 8 December, 2007
Price: Confidential
Size: 3"
Purity: 99%
Sample Group: Medical
Lead Lead pig for technetium

Larger | Spin | 3D
Lead pig for technetium.
I've listed this set of six lead pigs under both lead and technetium out of desperation. They have no technetium in them, but they used to. They are labeled with the names of various different radio-pharmaceutical preparations used to deliver doses of Tc-99m (metastable Tc-99, an excited state of the Tc-99 nucleus with a half life of just a few hours). They are, in fact, made of pure lead, it's really only the labels that make them interesting.
Source: Anonymous
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 11 August, 2007
Text Updated: 8 December, 2007
Price: Confidential
Size: 3"
Purity: 99%
Sample Group: Medical
Lead Lead pig for technetium

Larger | Spin | 3D
Lead pig for technetium.
I've listed this set of six lead pigs under both lead and technetium out of desperation. They have no technetium in them, but they used to. They are labeled with the names of various different radio-pharmaceutical preparations used to deliver doses of Tc-99m (metastable Tc-99, an excited state of the Tc-99 nucleus with a half life of just a few hours). They are, in fact, made of pure lead, it's really only the labels that make them interesting.
Source: Anonymous
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 11 August, 2007
Text Updated: 8 December, 2007
Price: Confidential
Size: 3"
Purity: 99%
Sample Group: Medical
Lead Lead pig for technetium

Larger | Spin | 3D
Lead pig for technetium.
I've listed this set of six lead pigs under both lead and technetium out of desperation. They have no technetium in them, but they used to. They are labeled with the names of various different radio-pharmaceutical preparations used to deliver doses of Tc-99m (metastable Tc-99, an excited state of the Tc-99 nucleus with a half life of just a few hours). They are, in fact, made of pure lead, it's really only the labels that make them interesting.
Source: Anonymous
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 11 August, 2007
Text Updated: 8 December, 2007
Price: Confidential
Size: 3"
Purity: 99%
Sample Group: Medical
The Elements book Mad Science book Periodic Table Poster  Click here to buy a book, photographic periodic table poster, card deck, or 3D print based on the images you see here!
Lead Lead pig for technetium

Larger | Spin | 3D
Lead pig for technetium.
I've listed this set of six lead pigs under both lead and technetium out of desperation. They have no technetium in them, but they used to. They are labeled with the names of various different radio-pharmaceutical preparations used to deliver doses of Tc-99m (metastable Tc-99, an excited state of the Tc-99 nucleus with a half life of just a few hours). They are, in fact, made of pure lead, it's really only the labels that make them interesting.
Source: Anonymous
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 11 August, 2007
Text Updated: 8 December, 2007
Price: Confidential
Size: 3"
Purity: 99%
Sample Group: Medical
Lead Lead pig for technetium

Larger | Spin | 3D
Lead pig for technetium.
I've listed this set of six lead pigs under both lead and technetium out of desperation. They have no technetium in them, but they used to. They are labeled with the names of various different radio-pharmaceutical preparations used to deliver doses of Tc-99m (metastable Tc-99, an excited state of the Tc-99 nucleus with a half life of just a few hours). They are, in fact, made of pure lead, it's really only the labels that make them interesting.
Source: Anonymous
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 11 August, 2007
Text Updated: 8 December, 2007
Price: Confidential
Size: 3"
Purity: 99%
Sample Group: Medical
Lead Linotype printing block

Larger | Spin | 3D
Linotype printing block.
See previous sample for more about where this printing block came from.
This block represents the newest lead-type printing technology (developed around 1900): Each line of type is a single block of lead, which has been cast from a set of individual letter molds assembled in the right order. The lines are then stacked together to form a whole block, in this case for printing the title page of a student report card.
Because I got this at an auction, and because I didn't see any form of Linotype machine at the auction, I don't know exactly what brand or technology was used to create it: I'm using the word Linotype generically to represent an automated line-of-type machine. Since the shop apparently didn't have one of these machines (they are rather large and very complicated, while this was a fairly small and simple printing shop), I wonder if they might have used some kind of typesetting service to make the lines of type for them. But that's just speculation, I have no idea if such services even existed.
Here's a picture that has been mirrored horizontally so you can read what it says (the actual printing block, as seen in the main sample image, is of course mirror-reversed, so the text will come out right when applied to paper):


Source: Auction
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 1 July, 2007
Text Updated: 1 July, 2007
Price: $1
Size: 3"
Purity: 85%
Lead Lead type printing block

Larger | Spin | 3D
Lead type printing block.
This is a block of type meant for printing report cards for a small school district in a rural area near where I live. I got it at the closing out auction of a small school-supplies printer in a small town. If you look on eBay these days (2007) you'll see hundreds of items like this for sale: Small printers are going out of business left and right. I think most of them are already gone, it's only a few stragglers in small towns and rural areas that have lasted this long. They are being replaced by more efficient, larger operations that were able to keep up with technology. The one I got this item from looked like it had not updated its printing process since the 1950's.
This block represents the oldest lead-type printing technology: Each letter is on an individual block of lead, with lines of type assembled by hand, one letter at a time, with "leading", made of actual lead, in between lines to provide spacing.
Here's a picture that has been mirrored horizontally so you can read what it says (the actual printing block, as seen in the main sample image, is of course mirror-reversed, so the text will come out right when applied to paper):


Source: Auction
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 1 July, 2007
Text Updated: 1 July, 2007
Price: $1
Size: 3"
Purity: 85%
Lead Lead for making type

Larger | Spin | 3D
Lead for making type.
This is lead meant to be melted down and cast into lead type for printing with a letterpress. I got it at the closing out auction of a small printer, see subsequence samples for more details. Lead used for printing has 15-17% antimony mixed in to make it remain exactly the same size when it hardens, rather than contracting slightly as pure lead would, and to make it harder.
Source: Auction
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 1 July, 2007
Text Updated: 1 July, 2007
Price: $1
Size: 3"
Purity: 85%
The Elements book Mad Science book Periodic Table Poster  Click here to buy a book, photographic periodic table poster, card deck, or 3D print based on the images you see here!
Lead Lead Pig

Larger | Spin | 3D
Lead Pig.
This is a storage container, known as a pig, intended for safely holding highly radioactive isotopes used in the medical field for treatment and diagnosis. With the lid on, there is a minimum of one inch of solid lead in all directions between the contents and the outside world. Pigs come in a range of thicknesses and materials, depending on the type and intensity of radiation coming from the object you want to store. Some have just a fraction of an inch of lead, others have more than an inch of depleted uranium (which is a significantly better shielding material than lead, despite being somewhat radioactive itself).
The person I got this pig from has many more like it, as well as other kinds of lead and tungsten shielding products. He doesn't want to be identified publicly, but contact me if you'd like to buy similar objects from him and I can put you in contact. Click the Source link below to see other kinds of things he has available.
Source: Anonymous
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 19 June, 2007
Text Updated: 8 December, 2007
Price: Confidential
Size: 7"
Purity: >99%
Sample Group: Medical
Lead Lead hand

Larger | Spin | 3D
Lead hand.
Another lead hand (see previous lead sample). This one looks hand-made (ha ha) compared to the previous one, which was obviously stamped with a cutting die. It was also obviously well-used, while the previous one was brand new when I got it.
Source: eBay seller buckaru
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 12 May, 2007
Text Updated: 12 May, 2007
Price: $10
Size: 12"
Purity: >99%
Sample Group: Medical
Lead Lead hand

Larger | Spin | 3D
Lead hand.
This hand-shaped piece of heavy, 1/8" thick lead sheet is meant to be used in situations where a doctor or technician has to reach under an x-ray machine or other radiation source while it's on, perhaps to manipulate a patient or adjust something. What I don't understand is why the fingers are cut out individually. They are far too stiff to move or bend in any way while in use, so you would have to keep your fingers carefully aligned with the lead ones. Possibly they are meant to be bent around to facilitate this alignment, but why not just have more of a paddle than a detailed hand shape?
I'm told by a radiologist that the modern practice is to wear a flexible lead-impregnated glove instead, which seems far more sensible.
Source: eBay seller surginstruments
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 11 March, 2007
Text Updated: 12 March, 2007
Price: $25
Size: 12"
Purity: >99%
Sample Group: Medical
Lead Thyroid shield

Larger | Spin | 3D
Thyroid shield.
This is a lead-impregnated cloth shield, designed to be worn around the neck to protect the radiation-sensitive thyroid gland from damage when x-rays need to be taken of this general area of the body, but the thyroid itself doesn't need to be visible.
It's quite heavy, because inside is a layer containing a high percentage of lead in some sort of resin material (my percentage below is just a guess).
Source: eBay seller vbb71
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 11 March, 2007
Text Updated: 12 March, 2007
Price: $23
Size: 8"
Purity: 10%
Sample Group: Medical
Lead Element coin

Larger | Spin | 3D
Element coin.
Dave Hamric sells element samples under the name Metallium. He's developed a line of coins struck out of various common and uncommon metals: They are quite lovely, and very reasonably priced, considering the difficulty of creating some of them.
Here is the back side of this coin (click either picture to see it larger):

Click the Sample Group link below to see many other coins made of various elements, or click the link to his website above if you want to buy one like this.
Source: Dave Hamric
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 1 December, 2006
Text Updated: 14 January, 2007
Price: $8
Size: 0.75"
Purity: >99%
Sample Group: Coins
The Elements book Mad Science book Periodic Table Poster  Click here to buy a book, photographic periodic table poster, card deck, or 3D print based on the images you see here!
Lead 6-way pipe union

Larger | Spin | 3D
6-way pipe union.
This amazing bit of plumbing was made by hand out of sheet-lead, according to the hand-written note on blue lined paper that came with it. From the eBay description:
This is a rare unique item - I'm not totally sure about it as I'm no detective - but on family history a very well established Plumbers in Rochdale Ezra Travis & Son (I think - it may not have been Ezra!) closed in the 1960's and my late Father's friend bought the premises and this glass domed example of "a Six way (branches) piece made of sheet lead" was in the office and left behind it was going to be thrown out and my Father brought it home and put it in his den. With it is a foolscap sheet of old blue paper (see photo) which has the heading "a Six way (branches) piece made of sheet lead" This goes on to tell in great detail how this six way junction was achieved. This must have been made during the time all plumbers used lead - before plastic - and it was a real skill.

It also says "Made at Home in spare time" and amongst items used to create it a "coal hammer" (!)
It also says it was shown to Capt E. Edwards R.N. Eng Overseer (this suggests Royal Navy could it have been an apprentice piece?), and two other RN names and ends "who complimented me and advised to being sent to Exhibition (at the) Technical Institute"
Lovely workmanship, though why anyone would want a six-way union is beyond me. They would be trivial to make these days in plastic, but I've never seen one for sale.

I chose this sample to represent its element in my Photographic Periodic Table Poster. The sample photograph includes text exactly as it appears in the poster, which you are encouraged to buy a copy of.
Periodic Table Poster

Source: eBay seller timna91
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 25 January, 2006
Text Updated: 4 May, 2007
Price: $30
Size: 8"
Purity: >80%
Lead Lead type

Larger | Spin | 3D
Lead type.
David Eisenman and Doyle Moore work together on various book projects, and David kindly procured for me some of Doyle's old lead type. Hard to imagine this is how just about everything used to be printed, by stacking up rows and rows of little block of lead, one letter at a time. A "typesetter" used to be a person, not a machine.
Lead type is made from an alloy that contains about 15-17% antimony and a few percent of tin, sometimes a bit of copper. The main function of the antimony is to make the allow remain exactly the same size when it freezes. Most substances including most metals shrink slightly when they solidify, but antimony expands, and when just the right amount is mixed with lead, you get an alloy that neither shrinks nor expands. This is important for forming crisp, accurate copies of the letter molds. Pure lead would also be too soft to do much printing with, and the antimony, tin and copper harden it significantly.
Source: David Eisenman
Contributor: David Eisenman
Acquired: 15 January, 2006
Text Updated: 19 February, 2006
Price: Donated
Size: 1"
Purity: >80%
Lead Student sample

Larger | Spin | 3D
Student sample.
This bead of lead was created by two students, Katie Davidson, 11, and Elliott Smith, 14, at the Bishop Bell school in East Sussex. They heated yellow lead (II) oxide with powdered carbon in a test tube, resulting in the reduction of the oxide to the base metal, which was poured out while the tube was still hot. The purity has not been measured, but as you can see in the photograph there are small crystals in the center. Crystals do not form in lead unless it is reasonably pure.

Reduction of oxides to their underlying metal is the most common way in which metals are extracted from ores. For example iron ore is iron oxide, and it too is reduced by heating with carbon (coke). Reducing iron is difficult: It's quite remarkable that it was achieved so early in the history of civilization (shortly before the iron age, as you might have guessed).

Reduction of lead oxide is somewhat easier because the temperature required is not as high, and the resulting metal has a low melting point so it flows out easily. But the principle is the same, and in creating this lead the students have reenacted the age old miracle of creating a shiny metal where before there was only a dusty powder. How magical that must have seemed when it first happened many thousands of years ago, perhaps under a campfire built by accident on a suitable deposit of ore. Who first noticed the phenomenon and realized that it was something worth looking into? I bet it was a young person.

I thank Jason Stainer, science instructor at the school, for sending this sample, which is an excellent example of what students can do in science if they are given half a chance.

Source: Jason Stainer
Contributor: Jason Stainer
Acquired: 10 December, 2005
Price: Donated
Size: 0.25"
Purity: >98%
Lead Petit four

Larger | Spin | 3D
Petit four.
This lovely little lead cube started out exactly 1" on edge, but after hammering it's a bit taller than it is wide. Doesn't it look good enough to eat? It reminds me of those little cakes you get at the better sort of party (i.e. the sort of party where they serve little cakes). I cast it out of scrap lead using a graphite cube mold, then hammered it with a dimpling hammer.
Source: Theodore Gray
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 21 May, 2005
Price: $0.10
Size: 1"
Purity: >95%
Lead Lead coin

Larger
Lead coin.
This was listed as a Khmer coin from Cambodia, ca. 1000 AD. I have no way of independently verifying this, but it certainly looks very old to me. Of course my main interest in it is not that it's old, but that it's an example, my only so far, of a coin made of lead.
Source: eBay seller trader55553
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 28 August, 2004
Price: $20
Size: 1.5"
Purity: 90%
Sample Group: Coins
The Elements book Mad Science book Periodic Table Poster  Click here to buy a book, photographic periodic table poster, card deck, or 3D print based on the images you see here!
Lead Lead weights

Larger
Lead weights.
Environmental concerns have prompted a switch from lead to other metals for fishing sinkers, but lead ones like this are still widely available. Click the sample group link below to see what other metals have been used.
Source: Walmart
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 15 July, 2004
Price: $1.50
Size: 0.75"
Purity: >95%
Sample Group: Fishing Weights
Lead Mini element collection

Larger
Mini element collection.
This is a nice little set from the 1960's. The enclosed price list indicates it cost a few dollars, and the enclosed mercury sample indicates it predates current environmental concerns! Here's a picture of the whole 2-box set:
Jr Collection of Elements

Source: Blake Ferris
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 15 July, 2004
Price: $61/set
Size: 1"
Purity: >98%
Lead Museum-grade sample

Larger | 3D
Museum-grade sample.
In early 2004 Max Whitby and I started selling individual element samples identical or similar to the samples we use in the museum displays we build. These are top-quality samples presented in attractive forms appropriate to the particular element. They are for sale from Max's website and also on eBay where you will find an ever-changing selection of samples (click the link to see the current listings).
This cast ball is designed to show what the surface of the metal looks like when hammered: By comparing with similar hammered balls of other metals an idea of the hardness and working characteristics of the metal is given. (We use approximately the same hammering force on each ball, so lead will show much deeper hammer marks than zinc, for example.)
Source: Theodore Gray
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 1 May, 2004
Text Updated: 11 August, 2007
Price: See Listing
Size: 2"
Purity: >99%
Sample Group: RGB Samples
Lead Foundry ingot

Larger
Foundry ingot.
This ingot is one of a bunch I bought from Hall Mark Metals (who also sell on eBay, see source link). These ingots are intended to be melted down for casting or alloying. Lead is pretty cheap, but the shipping will kill you! It cost almost as much to ship them as for the metal itself.
Source: eBay seller hallmarkmetals
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 10 April, 2004
Price: $0.75/pound
Size: 12"
Purity: 99.97%
Lead Museum-grade sample

Larger | 3D
Museum-grade sample.
In early 2004 Max Whitby and I started selling individual element samples identical or similar to the samples we use in the museum displays we build. These are top-quality samples presented in attractive forms appropriate to the particular element. They are for sale from Max's website and also on eBay where you will find an ever-changing selection of samples (click the link to see the current listings).
This sample shows the appearance of the metal when dropped into a bucket of water. The metal is taken to just barely above its melting point, then poured in from close to the water surface, a potentially dangerous operation particularly in the case of aluminum (which can form hydrogen gas that may explode). If the temperature is too high the metal fragments into an almost powder form, so it is a delicate matter to get just the right conditions for the formation of smooth shapes like this.
Source: Theodore Gray
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 6 March, 2004
Text Updated: 11 August, 2007
Price: See Listing
Size: 4"
Purity: >99%
Sample Group: RGB Samples
The Elements book Mad Science book Periodic Table Poster  Click here to buy a book, photographic periodic table poster, card deck, or 3D print based on the images you see here!
Lead Museum-grade sample

Larger | 3D
Museum-grade sample.
In early 2004 Max Whitby and I started selling individual element samples identical or similar to the samples we use in the museum displays we build. These are top-quality samples presented in attractive forms appropriate to the particular element. They are for sale from Max's website and also on eBay where you will find an ever-changing selection of samples (click the link to see the current listings).
This "crystal nest" is formed by allowing a cup of the molten metal to half-solidify, then pouring the liquid center off. Different metals form surprisingly diverse types of crystals using this very simple technique. The size and shape of the crystals is very sensitive to the purity of the material: This bullet lead is relatively low purity and therefor forms relatively small crystals: As a rule the higher the purity, the larger the crystals, with the most spectacular example being bismuth of 99.99% or better purity.
Source: Theodore Gray
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 6 March, 2004
Text Updated: 11 August, 2007
Price: See Listing
Size: 3"
Purity: >99%
Sample Group: RGB Samples
Lead Museum-grade sample

Larger | 3D
Museum-grade sample.
In early 2004 Max Whitby and I started selling individual element samples identical or similar to the samples we use in the museum displays we build. These are top-quality samples presented in attractive forms appropriate to the particular element. They are for sale from Max's website and also on eBay where you will find an ever-changing selection of samples (click the link to see the current listings).
This ingot is designed to show what the surface of the metal looks like when hammered: By comparing with similar hammered ingots of other metals an idea of the hardness and working characteristics of the metal is given. (We use approximately the same hammering force on each ingot, so lead will show much deeper hammer marks than zinc, for example.)
Source: Theodore Gray
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 6 March, 2004
Text Updated: 11 August, 2007
Price: See Listing
Size: 4"
Purity: >99%
Sample Group: RGB Samples
Lead Museum-grade sample

Larger | 3D
Museum-grade sample.
In early 2004 Max Whitby and I started selling individual element samples identical or similar to the samples we use in the museum displays we build. These are top-quality samples presented in attractive forms appropriate to the particular element. They are for sale from Max's website and also on eBay where you will find an ever-changing selection of samples (click the link to see the current listings).
This ingot shows two kinds of surfaces, one where the metal cooled in contact with a graphite mold, and the top that was in contact with the air. The top surface is particularly interesting in that it shows the degree of contraction when the metal cools (which shows as a depression in the case of aluminum), and sometimes crystal structures that give the surface a wrinkled appearance as in copper or tin. This particular lead ingot has been wire-brushed after casting as this is the best way to create a bright metal surface: Unless protected from oxygen it will dull to the darker color usually associated with lead in a few months.
Source: Theodore Gray
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 6 March, 2004
Text Updated: 11 August, 2007
Price: See Listing
Size: 4"
Purity: >99%
Sample Group: RGB Samples
Lead Lead vapor Raman cell

Larger
Lead vapor Raman cell.
This cell was made as part of an experiment to create an exotic space-based laser. It didn't work (kind of like the rest of the whole "Star Wars" program we all spent so much money on). Oh well, what's a few billion dollars here or there if we get some good surplus junk out of the deal, right? The source of this sample supplied the following information:
These Raman cells were looked into for the "Star Wars" project. Supposedly an excimer laser zapped through the cell that turned the beam to a deep blue laser pulse with very high power in the megawatt range. The deep blue light could penetrate to abysmal depths and communicate (arming codes etc) to submarines without being intercepted very easily was the idea. The cell is made of high grade quartz and must have been "fun" to make. You can see one reason why the project was scrapped: the intense UV light caused the cell to solarize (small dime size burn) and at the high temperature left pure silicon in the beam path. On earth it would be a simple matter of changing out the cell when it went bad, but in space... Not to mention the power consumption of a megawatt pulse class excimer laser, even bigger size nuclear rtg units would be straining to power the laser, not to mention excimers are notoriously finicky about cooling and gas mixture issues. In all they wasted about $250,000,000 dollars on this part of project or so I have been told.
Lead vapor: What a concept!
Source: eBay seller heruur
Contributor: eBay seller heruur
Acquired: 24 December, 2003
Price: Donated
Size: 2.5"
Purity: 99.99%
Lead Isotopically pure lead-207

Larger | Spin | 3D
Isotopically pure lead-207.
Separating different isotopes of the same element is incredibly difficult. In the case of uranium, this is a really, really good thing: Isolating the bomb ingredient uranium-235 from the far less radioactive uranium-238 is so difficult that only whole governments are able to do it. If it were any easier, there would be a lot more atomic bombs in the world (or maybe a whole lot less, if we had blown ourselves up already). It's hard because you can't use any chemical means of separation: The isotopes are chemically identical in every respect. You instead have to use some physical property, like the density, viscosity, etc, of the substance, which will typically very only a tiny, tiny amount from one isotope to another.
So it should come as no surprise that this isotopically pure lead-207 was created as part of the "Star Wars" research program of the US Government: In all likelihood no one else would have been able to afford the process. The idea was to create some kind of laser using a lead-vapor cell (see below). It didn't work, so now there are vials of this incredibly exotic stuff floating around eBay at prices no doubt thousands of times less than the cost of creating it.
Source: eBay seller heruur
Contributor: eBay seller heruur
Acquired: 24 December, 2003
Price: Donated
Size: 1"
Purity: 99.99%
The Elements book Mad Science book Periodic Table Poster  Click here to buy a book, photographic periodic table poster, card deck, or 3D print based on the images you see here!
Lead Homemade bullets

Larger | Spin | 3D
Homemade bullets.
I made these bullets using a hand-held bullet mold I got from eBay. If I had a rifle to go with them, I could start a revolution! The mold is made of aluminum, and I found that if it got too hot, the bullets came out looking dull, while if it was relatively cold, they came out shiny like these. Since pouring molten lead into the mold heated it up, there was a limited rate at which I could make nice shiny bullets. I guess my revolution would either have to be a low-intensity one, or use low-style bullets.
Source: Theodore Gray
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 2 October, 2003
Price: $0.10
Size: 0.5"
Purity: >95%
Lead Lead hammer 2

Larger
Lead hammer 2.
Another style of lead hammer from the same auction as the one above.
Source: Herschberger Welding Auction
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 14 September, 2003
Price: $10
Size: 12"
Purity: 95%
Lead Lead hammer 1

Larger
Lead hammer 1.
Lead hammers are used as "dead blow" hammers because they don't bounce back. They also don't mar or scratch delicate surfaces. Unfortunately they tend to rub off bits of highly toxic lead dust and should really not be used anymore. A better alternative is a hammer with a hollow head filled with steel shot.
This hammer came from an Amish auction: Click the Source link for a story about the auction.
Source: Herschberger Welding Auction
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 14 September, 2003
Price: $10
Size: 12"
Purity: 95%
Lead Link in multi-metal chain

Larger
Link in multi-metal chain.
I had been wondering about how hard it would be to make a multi-part graphite mold with which I could cast chain links around each other. That is, given an existing link, cast a new one interlinked with it. This turns out to be quite do-able: Here is the mold I made (using my drill press as a vertical mill and a round-ended router bit):

In case you ever want to try this, I'll give you an important hint: The third link is the real test, not the second one.

Using this mold I have cast a chain out of all the metals I can easily cast. Click the Sample Group link below to see all the links together.

This chain (counted as one sample) is the 600th sample added to my collection.

Source: Theodore Gray
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 9 August, 2003
Text Updated: 20 February, 2006
Price: Donated
Size: 3"
Purity: >95%
Sample Group: Multi-metal Chain
Lead Sample from the Everest Set

Larger
Sample from the Everest Set.
Up until the early 1990's a company in Russia sold a periodic table collection with element samples. At some point their American distributor sold off the remaining stock to a man who is now selling them on eBay. The samples (except gases) weigh about 0.25 grams each, and the whole set comes in a very nice wooden box with a printed periodic table in the lid.

To learn more about the set you can visit my page about element collecting for a general description and information about how to buy one, or you can see photographs of all the samples from the set displayed on my website in a periodic table layout or with bigger pictures in numerical order.

Source: Rob Accurso
Contributor: Rob Accurso
Acquired: 7 February, 2003
Text Updated: 18 January, 2009
Price: Donated
Size: 0.2"
Purity: >99%
The Elements book Mad Science book Periodic Table Poster  Click here to buy a book, photographic periodic table poster, card deck, or 3D print based on the images you see here!
Lead Sample from the RGB Set

Larger
Sample from the RGB Set.
The Red Green and Blue company in England sells a very nice element collection in several versions. Max Whitby, the director of the company, very kindly donated a complete set to the periodic table table.

To learn more about the set you can visit my page about element collecting for a general description or the company's website which includes many photographs and pricing details. I have two photographs of each sample from the set: One taken by me and one from the company. You can see photographs of all the samples displayed in a periodic table format: my pictures or their pictures. Or you can see both side-by-side with bigger pictures in numerical order.

The picture on the left was taken by me. Here is the company's version (there is some variation between sets, so the pictures sometimes show different variations of the samples):


Source: Max Whitby of RGB
Contributor: Max Whitby of RGB
Acquired: 25 January, 2003
Text Updated: 11 August, 2007
Price: Donated
Size: 0.2"
Purity: 99%
Lead Galena Lead Sulfide

Larger | 3D
Galena (Lead Sulfide)
The fascinating thing about this mineral is how much it looks and feels like plain lead, when it's actually a compound, lead sulfide, with a crystal structure identical to that of table salt. My dad has huge crystals of galena, and for years I thought they were crystallized lead metal, not a lead compound. Think about how different sodium metal and sodium chloride, table salt, are: Isn't it strange that this lead compound should look almost identical to lead metal, when chemically it's more like salt? Very strange.
Source: Ed Pegg Jr
Contributor: Ed Pegg Jr
Acquired: 22 January, 2003
Price: Donated
Size: 1"
Purity: <80%
Lead Doorstop No1

Larger
"Doorstop No. 1"
There's just something about mass quantities of mass in small packages. This is about 50 pounds of lead (one and a half of the thick tiles discussed above) melted into a bowl and simply left to cool after carefully skimming the surface. The bowl was the same one used to form the inner surface of the Atomic Potluck series, so you could set this object into an Atomic Potluck bowl and have a compound lump that would weigh more than many supermodels, while not taking up much more space than one of their ... um ... handbags.
Source: Theodore Gray
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 18 August, 2002
Price: Donated
Size: 8"
Purity: >95%
Lead Atomic Potluck II

Larger | Spin | 3D | Sound
"Atomic Potluck II"
Flushed with the success of "Atomic Potluck", I made another one as a thank you for Ed, for helping extract the lead on a very hot day. This one has more of a traditional pot lid: I made the handle by bending a bar of lead into the right shape and then setting it into the lid when it was still molten.
Source: Theodore Gray
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 3 August, 2002
Price: Donated
Size: 9"
Purity: >95%
Lead Atomic Potluck

Larger | Sound
"Atomic Potluck"
This is art, OK? It's a bowl with a cloth thrown over it, just like a housewife in the 1950's would take to the potluck block party. Except it's made out of 40 pounds of lead, and we use it as a containment vessel for our highly radioactive Fiestaware bowl (see uranium), which is also exactly the kind of thing a 1950's housewife would take to the potluck.
I came into the lead for it when I had an opportunity to scavenge about 3/4 of a ton of lead shielding from an abandoned hospital x-ray room. (I could have had the CAT scan machine too, but it was too hard to move.)
I was scheduled to tour this abandoned hospital with a developer (who is trying to sell my company on the idea of moving to the office complex he's going to build after demolishing the hospital), and I had actually planned to stop by the hardware store on the way back to work to pick up a few bars of lead, because I needed some to make some kind of enclosure for the Fiestaware. I thought 10 pounds would do (and it would have).
But that plan obviously changed after I saw the huge quantities of lead in the x-ray room. A single sliding door (which we were ultimately unable to recover) had at least 1500 pounds of lead in it (6 by 8 feet by 1/2 inch thick).
The day after the tour Ed Pegg, Jim, and I went in with sledge hammers, nail pullers, lanterns, and of course permission, to see how much lead we could mine. It came in two forms, 1/8" thick sheets about 2 by 4 feet: Ed and Jim smashed the drywall covering them and un-nailed about 15 sheets from the wall. And 1/2" thick plates about one foot square, covered over in thin cinderblocks: I smashed out 22 of them, each weighing 36 pounds.
In two hours we had a lifetime supply of lead.
I melted down one of those thick plates in a medium-sized stainless steel mixing bowl, then used some wood blocks to press the next smaller size of bowl down into the molten lead, pressing it into the space between the two sizes of bowl. Thus was formed the bowl part of "Atomic Potluck".
For the lid I simply traced out a circle somewhat larger than the bowl on one of the thin sheets, cut it out with tinsnips, then used my (now sore) thumbs to flute the edges artistically.
Both parts are heavily varnished to prevent lead transfer to people touching them (though I'd still never store food in it).
Source: Theodore Gray
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 31 July, 2002
Text Updated: 18 January, 2009
Price: Donated
Size: 9"
Purity: >95%
The Elements book Mad Science book Periodic Table Poster  Click here to buy a book, photographic periodic table poster, card deck, or 3D print based on the images you see here!
Lead 9mm bullets

Larger | Sound
9mm bullets.
I plucked these off some 9mm rounds I got in California many years ago. But you can pretend they were used in a bank robbery or something, it that makes them seem more interesting. The copper color comes from a thin plating of copper, but inside it's all hot lead.
The sound for this sample is a nice shot borrowed from da-admiral.com.
Source: Gun Shop in California
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 15 April, 2002
Text Updated: 11 August, 2007
Price: $0.20/bullet
Size: 0.5"
Purity: >95%
Lead Plumbing lead

Larger | 3D | Sound
Plumbing lead.
I purchased several 10lb bars of plumbing lead from a hardware store probably in the early 1990s. It's still available in this form so far as I know.
I asked Jim Zimmerman to use a cold chisel to chop off a lump of one of the bars and pound it into a nice primitive-looking lump. (Sawing it off would have generated poisonous lead dust.)
Source: Hardware Store
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 15 April, 2002
Price: $1/pound
Size: 2.5"
Purity: >95%
Lead Lead telluride

Larger | Spin | 3D
Lead telluride.
A research sample of lead telluride.
Source: Ethan Currens
Contributor: Ethan Currens
Acquired: 29 October, 2009
Text Updated: 29 October, 2009
Price: Anonymous
Size: 0.5"
Composition: PbTe
Lead Galena

Larger | Spin | 3D
Galena.
Sample of Galena.
Source: Jensan Scientifics
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 2 April, 2009
Text Updated: 3 April, 2009
Price: Anonymous
Size: 0.75"
Composition: PbS
Lead Galena, I think

Larger | Spin | 3D
Galena, I think.
Probably galena, but I'm not sure.
Source: Unknown
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 11 March, 2009
Text Updated: 12 March, 2009
Price: Unknown
Size: 2"
Composition: PbS
The Elements book Mad Science book Periodic Table Poster  Click here to buy a book, photographic periodic table poster, card deck, or 3D print based on the images you see here!
Lead Big hunk of galena

Larger | Spin | 3D
Big hunk of galena.
This is a nice well-formed cube of galena (lead sulfide) from the Sweetwater mine in Missouri.
Source: eBay seller arrowheadmine
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 11 March, 2009
Text Updated: 12 March, 2009
Price: $66
Size: 3"
Composition: PbS
Lead Density Set

Larger | Spin | 3D
Density Set.
A cute little set of six cubes made from different metals, used to show students how different their densities can be. For cost reasons these sets rarely contain any really dense elements, such as tungsten, which is a pitty since students thus come away with the idea that lead is the densest metal, which is far from the truth. Osmium is twice as dense, and tungsten a good 75% more dense.
Source: Educational Innovations
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 11 March, 2009
Text Updated: 12 March, 2009
Price: $20
Size: 1"
Composition: PbCuFeZnAlZn
Lead Vanadinite

Larger | Spin | 3D
Vanadinite.
Description from the source:
Vanadinite (Pb5 (VO4)3Cl hex.), Apache Mine, Arizona, USA. Little but evident reddish crystals on solid matrix. 7,5x4x2 cm; 43 g.
Source: Simone Citon
Contributor: John Gray
Acquired: 28 January, 2009
Text Updated: 29 January, 2009
Price: Trade
Size: 3"
Composition: Pb5(VO4)3Cl
Lead Pyromorphite

Larger | Spin | 3D
Pyromorphite.
Description from the source:
Pyromorphite (Pb5 (PO4)3 Cl hex.), Daoping Mine, China. Little, but very nice crystal group. 1x1x0,8 cm; 2 g.
Source: Simone Citon
Contributor: John Gray
Acquired: 28 January, 2009
Text Updated: 29 January, 2009
Price: Trade
Size: 0.4"
Composition: Pb5(PO4)3Cl
Lead Pyromorphite

Larger | Spin | 3D
Pyromorphite.
Description from the source:
Pyromorphite (Pb5 (PO4)3 Cl hex.), Bad Ems, Germany. Little but evident crystal cluster. 0,8x0,5x0,4 cm; 9 g with box.
Source: Simone Citon
Contributor: John Gray
Acquired: 28 January, 2009
Text Updated: 29 January, 2009
Price: Trade
Size: 0.3"
Composition: Pb5(PO4)3Cl
The Elements book Mad Science book Periodic Table Poster  Click here to buy a book, photographic periodic table poster, card deck, or 3D print based on the images you see here!
Lead Crocoite And Cr-Cerussite

Larger | Spin | 3D
Crocoite And Cr-Cerussite.
Description from the source:
Crocoite and Cr-cerussite (Pb Cr O4 mon. ; Pb CO3 with Cr orth.), Dundas, Tasmania, Australia. Small, distinct orange Crocoite crystals with yellowish Cromecerussite on matrix, very rich in Cr this example! 6,5x2,5x1,5 cm; 20 g.
Source: Simone Citon
Contributor: John Gray
Acquired: 28 January, 2009
Text Updated: 29 January, 2009
Price: Trade
Size: 2.6"
Composition: PbCrO4 +PbCO3(Cr)
Lead Cerussite

Larger | Spin | 3D
Cerussite.
Description from the source:
Cerussite (Pb CO3 orth.), Laurion, Grecia. White acicular crystals on vugs. 3,5x2,5x2 cm; 20 g with box.
Source: Simone Citon
Contributor: John Gray
Acquired: 28 January, 2009
Text Updated: 29 January, 2009
Price: Trade
Size: 1.4"
Composition: PbCO3
Lead Cerussite

Larger | Spin | 3D
Cerussite.
Description from the source:
Cerussite (Pb CO3 orth.), S. Lauret Le Minieur, France. Translucent crystals on matrix. 2,5x2x1,5 cm; 10 g with box.
Source: Simone Citon
Contributor: John Gray
Acquired: 10 January, 2009
Text Updated: 10 January, 2009
Price: Trade
Size: 1"
Composition: PbCO3
Lead Cerussite

Larger | Spin | 3D
Cerussite.
Description from the source:
Cerussite (Pb CO3 orth.), Tsumeb, Namibia. Nice transparent crystal cluster. 3x2,5x1,5 cm; 15 g.
Source: Simone Citon
Contributor: John Gray
Acquired: 10 January, 2009
Text Updated: 10 January, 2009
Price: Trade
Size: 1.2"
Composition: PbCO3
Lead Wulfenite from Jensan Set

Larger | Spin | 3D
Wulfenite from Jensan Set.
This sample represents molybdenum in the "The Grand Tour of the Periodic Table" mineral collection from Jensan Scientifics. Visit my page about element collecting for a general description, or see photographs of all the samples from the set in a periodic table layout or with bigger pictures in numerical order.
Source: Jensan Scientifics
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 10 January, 2009
Text Updated: 10 January, 2009
Price: Anonymous
Size: 0.5"
Composition: PbMoO4
The Elements book Mad Science book Periodic Table Poster  Click here to buy a book, photographic periodic table poster, card deck, or 3D print based on the images you see here!
Lead Photo Card Deck of the Elements

Larger | Spin | 3D
Photo Card Deck of the Elements.
In late 2006 I published a photo periodic table and it's been selling well enough to encourage me to make new products. This one is a particularly neat one: A complete card deck of the elements with one big five-inch (12.7cm) square card for every element. If you like this site and all the pictures on it, you'll love this card deck. And of course if you're wondering what pays for all the pictures and the internet bandwidth to let you look at them, the answer is people buying my posters and cards decks. Hint hint.
Source: Theodore Gray
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 19 November, 2008
Text Updated: 21 November, 2008
Price: $35
Size: 5"
Composition: HHeLiBeBCNOFNeNaMg AlSiPSClArKCaScTiVCrMn FeCoNiCuZnGaGeAsSeBrKr RbSrYZrNbMoTcRuRhPdAg CdInSnSbTeIXeCsBaLaCePr NdPmSmEuGdTbDyHoErTm YbLuHfTaWReOsIrPtAuHgTl PbBiPoAtRnFrRaAcThPaUNp PuAmCmBkCfEsFmMdNoLrRf DbSgBhHsMtDsRgUubUutUuq UupUuhUusUuo
Lead Crocoite from Jensan Set

Larger | Spin | 3D
Crocoite from Jensan Set.
This sample represents lead in the "The Grand Tour of the Periodic Table" mineral collection from Jensan Scientifics. Visit my page about element collecting for a general description, or see photographs of all the samples from the set in a periodic table layout or with bigger pictures in numerical order.
Source: Jensan Scientifics
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 30 October, 2008
Text Updated: 31 October, 2008
Price: Anonymous
Size: 1"
Composition: Pb(CrO4)
Lead Wulfenite

Larger | Spin | 3D
Wulfenite.
Description from the source:
Wulfenite (Pb Mo O4 tet.), Red Cloud Mine, Arizona, USA. Perfect crystal. 1,3x1,2x0,4 cm; 10 g with box.
Source: Simone Citon
Contributor: John Gray
Acquired: 26 October, 2008
Text Updated: 26 October, 2008
Price: Trade
Size: 0.5"
Composition: PbMoO4
Lead Crocoite

Larger | Spin | 3D
Crocoite.
Description from the source:
Crocoite (Pb Cr O4 mon.), Adelaide Mine, Dundas, Tasmania, Australia. Classic red orange elongated crystals on limonitic matrix. 7x4,5x3 cm; 72 g.
Source: Simone Citon
Contributor: John Gray
Acquired: 30 September, 2008
Text Updated: 1 October, 2008
Price: Trade
Size: 2.75"
Composition: PbCrO4
Lead Wolfenite

Larger | Spin | 3D
Wolfenite.
I'm not sure why I have this mineral: I think it may have been a free sample included with some other mineral purchase. In any case, it's quite lovely, and unusual in chemical composition: Lead and molybdenum.
Source: eBay
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 15 October, 2005
Price: Donated
Size: 0.25"
Composition: Pb(MoO4)
The Elements book Mad Science book Periodic Table Poster  Click here to buy a book, photographic periodic table poster, card deck, or 3D print based on the images you see here!
Lead Cerussite

Larger | Spin | 3D
Cerussite. (External Sample)
Cerussite.
Location: John Gray's Collection
Photographed: 20 November, 2007
Size: 1.25"
Composition: PbCO3
Lead Vanadinite from Jensan Set

Larger | Spin | 3D
Vanadinite from Jensan Set.
This sample represents vanadium in the "The Grand Tour of the Periodic Table" mineral collection from Jensan Scientifics. Visit my page about element collecting for a general description, or see photographs of all the samples from the set in a periodic table layout or with bigger pictures in numerical order.
Source: Jensan Scientifics
Contributor: Jensan Scientifics
Acquired: 17 March, 2003
Price: Donated
Size: 1"
Composition: Pb5(VO4)3Cl
Lead Cast lead cylinder 3

Larger | 3D
Cast lead cylinder 3. (External Sample)
See above for information about this cylinder.
Location: Oliver Sacks' Office
Photographed: 10 February, 2004
Size: 2
Purity: >99%
Lead Cast lead cylinder 2

Larger | 3D
Cast lead cylinder 2. (External Sample)
See above for more about these cylinders. This one shows what happens if you dip the cast cylinder in 30% HCl ("Muriatic acid") before varnishing it. The facets show where the boundaries of different crystal zones are. As the cylinder cooled in the mold, crystals started growing from multiple points in the liquid: They grew out until they met another crystal coming from a different direction. The result is a patchwork of internal zones, which are visible on the surface as patches that reflect light differently. Why do they reflect differently? The acid removes the surface oxidation and then starts attacking the lead itself. The lead is more vulnerable along one of its crystal axes than the others, and ridges are formed aligned with the orientation of the crystal. These ridges act as a diffraction grating that causes light from a particular direction to be reflected more strongly than light from other directions. Since the crystals zones are oriented in different directions, the patches show brighter or darker depending on which ones happen to be properly aligned with the light. Look at the QuickTime VR rotatable image to see how this play of light works. (Click the turntable icon in the top right corner of this text.)
If you compare this cylinder with the one below, you'll see that this one has much larger crystal zones than the other one. The size of the zones depends on the rate of cooling: If the material cools slowly, each crystal has longer to grow before another zone starts up and runs into it. If the cylinder cools quickly, many crystals start forming at once and each individual one doesn't have as much room to grow. If cooling is very fast, you may not get any visible crystals at all. To make this cylinder I heated the graphite mold by floating it on the pool of molten lead for several minutes before pouring the lead in. The lead then stayed liquid for a while and cooled slowly as the whole mold cooled down. The cylinder below was made the same way, but with the mold heated less.
Location: Oliver Sacks' Office
Photographed: 10 February, 2004
Size: 2
Purity: >99%
Lead Cast lead cylinder 1

Larger | 3D
Cast lead cylinder 1. (External Sample)
Oliver Sacks purchased a 35mm x 55mm tungsten cylinder from our element business and wanted a matching lead cylinder to go with it, so I made a mold to cast one. We now offer this size of cylinder in a range of different metals including lead, bismuth, antimony, sulfur, etc: Check the link for price and availability.
I made three variations so he could see some different ways of treating the material. This one was varnished straight as it came out of the mold: See below for what happens if you acid-etch it before varnishing.
Location: Oliver Sacks' Office
Photographed: 10 February, 2004
Size: 2
Purity: >99%
Lead Native lead

Larger
Native lead. (External Sample)
Natural lead nugget.
Location: The Harvard Museum of Natural History
Photographed: 2 October, 2002
Size: 2
Purity: >90%
The Elements book Mad Science book Periodic Table Poster  Click here to buy a book, photographic periodic table poster, card deck, or 3D print based on the images you see here!