The Periodic Coffee Table
August 7, 2008 This one will certainly be a conversation starter at your next Trivial Pursuit party. Crafted from burred oak, the Periodic Coffee Table contains actual samples of elements, displayed and illuminated beneath a sheet of toughened glass with each individually embedded inside a solid acrylic block.
The table itself measures 4 ft x 2.5 ft x 16 inches and it looks like all of the current man-made elements get a run beside the 92 naturally occurring ones, but no, this doesn't mean radioactive coffee - a nuclear danger symbol appears in the spaces for these elements and according to Elemental Displays, where you can order the table at a price of USD$8850, the design addresses any potential safety issues:
"By embedding all element samples in clear acrylic, they are beautifully presented and also protected from tarnishing. This format also helps to addresses health and safety issues, as all potentially toxic or corrosive substances are permanently encased in a thick layer of robust resin. Argon gas and mineral oil is further used to ampoule reactive samples and preserve their freshly cut appearance."
The verdict: it beats an embedded chessboard hands down.