Compound collecting

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Compound collecting is a common interest of home chemists. In a nutshell, it is the keeping of a collection of various compounds reserved for display purposes. It is similar to element collecting and mineral collecting as it usually focuses on the collecting of hard to acquire, aesthetically pleasing, and unusual samples. Compound collecting is not as common as element collecting, for it is less well-defined, while element collecting is limited to a set number of safely obtainable elements. Usually compound collectors focus on a specific type of compound, like copper compounds or colorful compounds.


Below are some of the common focuses of compound collecting:

  • Copper compounds - Since copper is common and relatively cheap, and its compounds are vivid and varied, many amateur chemists have collections of copper compounds.
  • Salts of elements - Sometimes it is easier to get compounds of every element than a sample of the element itself, so compounds of the elements are collected instead.
  • Coordination complexes - Various bright colored complexes of metals, visually pleasant; most require sealing as they're not very stable in open air.
  • Coloration - Some compound collectors may seek out various compounds that have vivid colors.
  • Smell - Some compound collectors enjoy isolating compounds that have interesting smells. Esters are a common target, as are numerous natural products.


Element collections are usually displayed or stored in some fashion resembling the periodic table, but compound collections are harder to organize. Often they are displayed by chemical makeup or properties, or simply set up based on their production date, if they are organized at all. Salts can be grouped based on their metal cation.

See also


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