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This irregular lump was sawed off a large 500 gram piece (for lutetium, 500 grams is a lot) by Tim Worstall. Tim is the world's leading expert on the scandium and scandium oxide trade by virtue of the fact that he is about 60% of the world's scandium trade. (And some day I may actually have some scandium from him, but for convoluted reasons, at the moment I have a couple of other rare earths instead.)
In a bizarre twist that lends credence to the theory that there are really only a few thousand people in the world and it's all a whole lot smaller than it seems, the lump from which this piece was cut spent several years unknown to me sitting at a company just a couple of miles from where it is now, having been sold there by Tim. They eventually sent it back to him in Belgium where it sat for a while longer before it got sold to my friend Max Whitby who knew about it because I told him about the small piece that Tim sent from Belgium back to within a couple of miles where he'd sent the whole thing earlier.
The small piece traveled a couple miles down the road by way of Belgium, and the big piece went from Belgium to England because of a website operated out of east-central Illinois, not usually thought of as a hotbed of activity in the lutetium market.
Source: Tim Worstall
Contributor: Tim Worstall
Text Updated: 11 August, 2007