This is an outdated version published on 2022-06-21. Read the most recent version.

Elementary, my dear Watson! The making of a collection of the natural elements


  • Metodija Najdoski Institute of Chemistry, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, Macedonia
  • Zoran Zdravkovski Institute of Chemistry



Periodic table, Element samples, sample display frame, Tesla coil, chemical elements from Macedonia


A unique collection of samples of the chemical elements has been created and displayed at our Institute of Chemistry. Although whole collections are now commercially available, we decided to use, as much as possible, samples from local resources. The general idea was for each item to have a story, making it more interesting for the students and visitors. We were able to acquire elemental samples mined in Macedonia. Other samples were from our student and research labs, as well as donations from colleagues, and the rest were obtained from commercial sources. A web page was created with all the information on each sample, some of them containing videos. Next to the noble gases, mini Tesla coils were mounted to light up the gases.


(1) Bethany Halford, Element collecting: A niche hobby that connects people to chemistry, Chemical and En-gineering News, 97 (26), July 1, 2019, pp 20–21,, accessed February 2022.

(2) Element collecting, Wikipedia, wiki/Element_collecting, ac-cessed February 2022.

(3) Matthew Field, A place for element collec-tors/chemical enthusiasts!,, accessed February 2022.

(4) Periodic Element Samples,– tions/periodic-element-samples, accessed February 2022.

(5) How to Get Your Own Element Collection,, accessed February 2022.

(6) Sean Michael Ragan, Build a periodic table of ele-ments collection cabinet,, accessed May 2022.

(7) NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, Wikipedia,, accessed May 2022.

(8) Mark J Winter, The periodic table of the elements,, accessed May 2022.

(9) World Trade Organization,, 1984, accessed May 2022.





How to Cite

Najdoski, M., & Zdravkovski, Z. (2022). Elementary, my dear Watson! The making of a collection of the natural elements. Macedonian Journal of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, 41(1).




Most read articles by the same author(s)

> >>