|Necklace with ruthenium beads.|
According to the eBay seller, the pewter-colored beads in this quite pretty necklace are made of solid ruthenium (not plated). Unfortunately, this is not the case. Analysis by x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy at the Center for Microanalysis of Materials, University of Illinois (partially supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under grant DEFG02-91-ER45439) indicates that they are copper-based with a thin plating of gold and ruthenium.
So, on the plus side, they do contain ruthenium and are thus a legitimate sample of this element. But solid ruthenium would have been a lot cooler. From this experience I learned that ruthenium is a commonly used plating for costume jewelry, which means I can add it to the list of elements you can buy at Walmart.
Source: eBay seller shiningjewel
Contributor: Theodore Gray
Acquired: 14 February, 2003