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This is a compressed and sintered button of rhenium powder. It could be melted down into a solid button in an arc or e-beam furnace (see above), but it's interesting to keep a few of these around in pre-melted condition for comparison. I got this one from Oliver Sacks on a visit to New York, during which we visited a company in New Jersey to melt his kilogram of iridium down into a solid slab.
Source: Oliver Sacks
Contributor: Oliver Sacks
Acquired: 4 August, 2004