Radioactive Things

We sell high quality specimens of Pitchblende, Uraninite, Autunite, Curite, Kasolite, Becquerelite, Cuprosklodowskite, Torbernite and other radioactive minerals from many of the world’s most famous mines that have been closed for decades. We also sell collectibles from the early days of the nuclear power industry and WWII, scientific instruments such as spinthariscopes and antique Radium-based quack medical devices. We’re owned by Pro Partners & Associates, which has been in business for over 15 years as a provider of unique items for people with unique interests.

Believed to have originated in supernova explosions, Uranium is the heaviest natural element on earth, and it continually decays over time with a half-life of 4.5 billion years. It was discovered by Klaproth in 1789 in the black mineral Pitchblende and in 1896 Becquerel demonstrated that Uranium was radioactive.

This photo below shows a large and very active specimen of Pitchblende that dates to Martin Klaproth and the location where he collected the mineral in Jáchymov, in the Czech Republic. The specimen measures 200 mR/hr on a Ludlum Model 3. 

In 1898 Marie Curie discovered a new element in Pitchblende that was a part of the Uranium decay chain. She named the new element Radium and it is incredibly over 2 million times more radioactive than Uranium itself. Fission was discovered in 1938 by Otto Hahn and explained theoretically in 1939 by Lise Meitner. U235, the raw material for fission, was in very short supply at the time as only 0.7% of natural Uranium is composed of U-235 (99% is U-238, and a trace amount is U-234)

This photo below shows a large Uraninite specimen from Shinkolobwe mine in The Congo, which contained the highest grade of Uranium ore found anywhere on earth. On the Ludlum Model 3 it measures well beyond 200 mR/hr.

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As Major General Nichols of the Manhattan project put it: "Our best source, the Shinkolobwe mine, represented a freak occurrence in nature. It contained a tremendously rich lode of uranium pitchblende. Nothing like it has ever again been found…. The pitchblende aboveground in the Congo amounted to a thousand tons of 65 percent ore, and the waste piles of ore contained two thousand tons of 20 percent U3O8...After the war the MED and the AEC considered ore containing three-tenths of 1 percent as a good find…” 

For a fascinating look at the interplay of Uranium, culture and photography, please take a look at this one-of-a-kind project by Jesse Andrewartha (click on the photo below, which will take you to the project): 

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Note: Please read our tips for safe handling before purchasing items from our website. All items are legal to own, and are shipped in accordance with USPS regulations. Most items shipped via USPS Priority Mail. No international shipping.

© Pro Partners & Associates 2017