Dear Gwen, Lalit, et al… Tantalum is the mate of Niobium. The
process of separating the two is the most costly of all metal
separations. Example of pricing: 28 GA, 6" X 36" Titanium $10.00,
Niobium $110.00, Tantalum - who knows these days… $700.00 plus,
Titanium must be acid etched or washed or something. Highly caustic,
expensive ventilation system required. That is why you will see Ti
prices pretty much the same as Nb.
Niobium is the most beautiful precious metal on the planet (I’m
highly prejudiced!). It is soooooo easy to work with, soooooo
beautiful to color, sooo easy to sell. Why would anyone work with
any other reactive metal?
Tantalum? I’ve never heard of any jeweler using it. The mill
doesn’t even sell a jewelry grade.
The following are the two places I would recommend you take a peek
at. 1) www.hollyyashi.com They have been doing Nb since dirt was
young. They are the most experienced, and have the most beautiful
products. Other related HY sites: www.cycorp.com/flynn/hyprod1.htm
and www.rumorsno.com/yashi/holly.htm I hope both of these
sites are still working.
- Bill Seeley, Reactive Metals, Clarkdale, AZ:
firstname.lastname@example.org 800-876-3434. Bill ‘knows everything
there is to know’ about reactive metals. Talk to him before you dive
into anything you may not be sure about. He sells it, he lives it,
he breaths it. I highly recommend you visit with him.
Good luck to all, and I hope you have fun. “Red”