Native Osmium + Iridium


Native Osmium and Iridium crystals in a sealed glass vial mounted to a small piece of wood from the Ural Economic Region in Russia. Judging purely based on the looks of it, there’s possibly around 0.1-0.2 grams within the vial, but no guarantees. If you’re interested, you can also send a message to receive very similar Osmium, Ruthenium and Iridium crystals from the same location sent to you in a tiny little bag or a capsule of a guaranteed 0.1 or 0.2 grams, respectively, for a much lower price. Those will be uploaded soon, but this one, however, carries with it much better eye appeal and much more certain provenance!


These outstanding Osmium and incredible Iridium crystals were found in Russia and are now waiting to come home with you! According to WebMineral, Native Osmium typically presents with around 25-63% Iridium, 31-75% Osmium, and as much as 5% Ruthenium, and these haven’t been assayed, so you’re likely looking at metal crystals that have a composition somewhere in that range. With the beauty of this display piece, this would make for one incredible sample for any element collector looking for the rarest elements as they’re found in nature!

Osmium has a hardness of 6-7 and a specific gravity of 22.48, and Iridium has a specific gravity of 22.65 – 22.84. Yes, you read that right. The two most dense metals. Ruthenium has a hardness of 6.5, and a specific gravity of around 12.

However, back to Osmium, it has been found in around 308 localities worldwide to date, with around 100 in North America – some in Oregon, California, Nevada, and New Mexico, but none yet known to have been found in Colorado. It seems that most Osmium comes from Japan, Russia, South Africa, Columbia, Canada, and Australia, but there’s localities scattered all around the world on nearly every Continent. It’s also often found as an alloy in many Nickel and Platinum ores, as with other PGMs. Smithson Tennant named these small crystals Osmium after the Greek “osme” meaning “a smell”, because of the chlorine-like and slightly garlic-like smell of the volatile osmium tetroxide he had isolated in 1803.

He also named Iridium “after Iris (Ἶρις), the Greek winged goddess of the rainbow and the messenger of the Olympian gods, because many of the salts he obtained were strongly colored,” according to Wikipedia. He surprisingly didn’t name Ruthenium, however, as it was discovered by Karl Ernst Claus 41 years later, naming it after his homeland – Russia.

The nomenclature for Iridosmine, Osmiridium, Rutheniridosmine, Iridian Ruthenium, Osmian Ruthenium, and Ruthenian Osmium can get kinda confusing, and has been revised a few times in the last 60 years. But, that isn’t really important in this context, anyway, as it’s not exactly clear as to how this specific specimen can be called, since its exact chemical composition is unknown. But, it’s definitely one of those!

The previous seller described this as, “numerous minute crystals of silvery metallic osmium var. iridosmine – an iridium rich varietal of native osmium!!! Upon close inspection one can see that the crystals exhibit characteristic platy forms – some with rounded hexagonal features – and silvery metallic luster!!! The pics hardly do it justice!!! Must be seen in person to be fully appreciated!!!” It was also listed to come from the Urals, in Russia, and measured the vial at 2.3cm x .54cm.

Osmium is one of the rarest elements in the Earth’s crust, along with Iridium. And, while you can get a purified sample of a gram for around $80 on Amazon at or an ounce of each element at for around $1,300 and $6,250, respectively, to find them as they’re found naturally is a bit harder to do, and this isn’t cheap! Especially with the beautiful display someone obviously put some time and care into.

However, if you’re looking for a cheaper sample of Os, Ir & Ru, you can still send a message to get 0.1 grams in a bag of Osmiridium, or 0.2 grams of Rutheniridosmine in a capsule (as will be shown in a video in a month or two) for a lower price than this… Or, you can go for a higher price and get a certified antique, and get the Osmiridium that was collected over 100 years ago and is shown in the video linked at the end. Additionally, most all of the forms of Osmium, Iridium and Ruthenium available for you to bring home and add to your collection can be seen in the Glitter & Gold Short.

Osmium is hard, and fragile, and isn’t used commercially for very many applications… yet. But, r/WallStreetOsmium took off after r/WallStreetBets took on GameStop, so if they’re right about Osmium, too, it may just be a good investment! Iridium is already 3x the price of Gold! Regardless, be sure to keep your eye out for this nondescript silvery-looking metal the next time your out on a hike or panning a river!


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