What could a non-metal, non-lead, heavy rock be made from?

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Offline thedoc

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Joseph asked the Naked Scientists:
   I have a rock with metal in it that is non magnetic, yet non lead, but very heavy.  Any idea of what this might be?  Also I have a small rock with gold flecks on it, might this just be crystals that resemble a goldish tint?
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 11/05/2016 09:50:02 by _system »


Offline chiralSPO

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That's not a lot of info to go on...

Essentially all transition metals could feel "heavy" and of these iron, nickel and cobalt are really the only ones that are strongly attracted to magnets (although most of these metals are somewhat magnetic, you just might not feel a tug on a hand-held permanent magnet...), so there are >25 other metals it could potentially be (maybe a dozen likely candidates).

As far as gold flecks, could be pyrite.

Hard to give answers without more info. Can you give an estimate of the density of the "heavy metal", give pictures of both, or a more thorough description of the color, luster and shape etc.?

EDIT: I just noticed the original post asked about non-metal. My answers still stand, but now I have to add: it could be a compound of any number of metals. With the exception of a few iron-rich minerals (like hematite and magnetite) essentially no metal-rich minerals are obviously magnetic. As I pointed out earlier, "heavy" isn't very helpful. With some numbers we can offer suggestions.
« Last Edit: 11/05/2016 15:38:17 by chiralSPO »


Offline Atomic-S

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Certain meteorites, which are largely iron, are nonetheless only mildly magnetic, so that their magnetic tendencies may not be obvious on casual testing.