Stukenberg Geology Museum of Kazan State University
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Native Elements

Native elements are minerals found in nature as separate chemical elements or as their mixtures. There are about 50 native elements in earth's crust. This class is traditionally divided into three subclasses: metals (Au, Ag, Cu, Pt), semi-metals (As, Sb, Bi) and non-metals (C, S, Se, Te).

Occurrence of native elements is limited. Diamond, graphite and sulphur generate independent big deposits, but precious metals and alloys (Au, Ag, Cu, Au2Cu3 etc.) usually do not. There are also native elements of space origin such as meteorite iron. Many of these minerals, such as gold, platinum and diamond, are concentrated in placers.

The Mineralogy Section of the KSU Geology Museum has a remarkable collection of native gold, which enumerates about 100 samples from the Berezovskoye Deposit in the Urals, which is the oldest in Russia. In the beginning of the XIX century the collection was acquired by professor A.A.Stukenberg in the Urals for Kazan University.

Except native gold the Mineralogy Section has a considerable set of native silver samples from Norway deposits and native copper from Tatarstan. Small deposits of native copper had been developed in Tataria since the time of Peter the Great.

Native semi-metals are represented in the exposition by pebble-shaped aggregates of native bismuth, brought from placer deposits of the North-West of the Russian Federation.

Wonderful druses of sulphur crystals from different deposit of the former USSR and big samples of graphite or native carbon are of greatest interest among the exhibited native non-metals.

Native carbon can be found on the Earth as two minerals, diamond and graphite. The structure of these minerals is quite different, but chemical composition is the same (C). Minerals of the same chemical composition, but different crystal structure can turn into each other in certain conditions. Russian chemist O.I.Leipunsky was the first who predicted the possibility of obtaining diamond from graphite in 1939, but the first data on obtaining imitation diamond was published by American corporation "General Electric" in 1955.

Native Silver. Norway
Native Silver.

Diamond Embedded. Brazil
Diamond Embedded.

Native Sulphur. Fergana
Native Sulphur.

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