People have adorned their bodies with metal since ancient times. For the most part, traditional jewelry has been made of simple alloys such as bronze. Now, an entrepreneur out of Belfast, Ireland, has put together a simple cube composed of 62 different metallic elements, which is more than half of all elements on the periodic table.
Cillian McMinn says he has developed an alloy made from 62 powdered metals that he has shaped into a variety of structures, and he's currently running an already funded Kickstarter campaign to bring them to customers.
The cornerstone of the campaign is what he calls the Element Cube, a 2-inch silvery cube that you could use as a paperweight, or just a conversation starter, on your desk. More intriguingly, McMinn is also selling a necklace and bracelet. The necklace is stamped to look like a square from the periodic table of the elements with "Ec" (for Elements Collection) and the number 62, while the bracelet has the number only.
"Yes, there is a larger amount of aluminum in the cubes, and smaller amounts of say, rhodium, gold or magnesium," McMinn told CNET's Crave blog. "This was to maintain the highest level of structural integrity possible, whilst keeping the price at a reasonable level. Also, if I were to have used a base material of say, titanium, the cubes would have been less than half the size due to its higher density. I feel the ratios of metals used provide the perfect balance of durability and cost-effectiveness."
McMinn also said that every item ordered comes with a full SGS material analysis report documenting that every element is present. SGS is a Swiss-based independent materials-testing organization.
"I was inspired when walking through my local museum's 'Elements!' exhibition," McMinn told us about the impetus for the Elements collection. "I'd always loved chemistry, but this gave me the push to start collecting elements myself. However I soon realized accessibility to these elements was limited, and where I could find the samples I wanted, they were hugely expensive. I quickly reached out to some metallurgy companies who had access to all these elements in powder form, and had the idea to forge them into one collectible object."
McMinn says he has submitted his alloy to the Guinness Book of World Records for inclusion as the largest metallic alloy ever created.
A pledge of £20 (about US$20, AU$45) will get you either the necklace or bracelet, while £50 (about US$75, AU$105) will snag you the cube. Estimated delivery for the items is November of this year, which is impressively soon as crowdfunding campaigns go. But McMinn says he already has his alloy powder developed, so the funds raised can go directly toward manufacturing.
Bearing in mind that not all crowdfunding campaign produce results as expected, this campaign has made its funding already, having raised over $10,000 (about £6,460, AU$13,775) on a goal of $3,800 (about £2,455, AU$5,235), and there are still 22 days left, so it looks like there are plenty of element nerds out there who appreciate what McMinn is doing. And I have to admit I'm one of them. I have a necklace on the way!