Depleted Uranium Dice (ca. 1950s)

Depleted uranium dice

Why, or by whom, these depleted uranium (DU) dice were made is a complete mystery. If I had to guess, I would say that they were produced as a type of memento by the Atomic Energy Commission, possible as paperweights. Nineteen fifties most likely. They are nickel coated and 7/8" across.

All you have to do is pick these things up to know they are made of DU—not even lead is this heavy.

The photo to the right includes a plate of uncoated depleted uranium for comparison.

Depleted uranium, in this case uranium metal, has less uranium-234 and uranium-235, and more uranium-238 than the uranium found in nature. By weight, natural uranium is approximately 99.3% U-238, 0.7% U-235 and 0.006% U-234. The composition of depleted uranium varies, but it is often on the order of 99.8% U-238 and 0.2% U-235.