Germanium metal ingot - one troy ounce - .99999 bullion
Discovered by Clemens Winkler in 1886 and named for his homeland of Germany, Germanium is a silvery metallic element with the same crystalline structure as diamonds when formed under standard conditions. In this form it is very hard and brittle and can break like a piece of glass if dropped or mishandled. It is a rare metal, with an average concentration in the Earth's crust of 1.6 parts per million. In 2011 only about 118 tonnes was mined worldwide (compared with about 2500 tonnes of gold), with China producing 80 tonnes and the next largest producing country being Russia with 5 tonnes. This could make it subject to supply disruptions and accounts for its inclusion along with several of our other metals with a position of prominence on the BGS World Mineral Statistics Risk List (see below link).
Germanium's semiconductor properties began being utilized in electronic military devices during World War II. It has since been largely replaced by much cheaper silicon for this purpose but is still used extensively in fiber optics, infrared systems, and as a polymerization catalyst which consumes most of its worldwide production. The United States government deemed it a critical material in 1987 and added it to the national defense stockpile. Please see the below links for more information.
Inscribed on our ingots are the chemical symbol (Ge), purity (99.999%), weight (one troy ounce), and a serial number (this number is unique and will vary). On the reverse is our logo. These ingots are smooth and lightly polished, similar to the one pictured. There can be tiny edge dings/chips which do not detract from the inherent value of this rare industrial metal. As always, weight and purity are guaranteed by Rare World Metals Mint. As we've inadvertently experienced as shown in the last picture in this listing, these ingots are fragile and will shatter if dropped on a hard surface, and while the shattered pieces will nicely show the beautiful inner crystalline structure, we advise against it. We will not accept a broken ingot as part of our 30 day no questions asked return policy and as such recommend storing them in a safe place including in the shipping tube. Germanium in solid form is considered safe when handled appropriately but gas or liquid containing germanium compounds such as germanium chloride and germane can be toxic. As with all of our metals please keep in a safe place, do not ingest, and keep out of the reach of children.
Each ingot will be shipped with an assay certificate and with our velvet logo bag for storage. If you are not completely satisfied with any purchase from us, you have 30 days to return it for a full refund (buyer to pay return shipping). Domestic shipping is free for all orders over $199 (enter code free shipping at checkout). For orders of $199 or under, domestic shipping is $9.95. International shipping is now via USPS international priority express and costs $45 for shipments up to a pound (9 one ounce ingots or less including packaging materials) and $10 for each additional pound.