Molybdenum
Mo
atomic number
42
melting point
2623°C

1. Using forceps, tweezers, or a platinum wire loop, immerse a small mineral fragment or tiny bit of mineral powder in a hot flame using a lamp, candle, or Bunsen gas burner; molybdenum will impart a pale yellowish-green tinge to the tip of the blue portion of the flame.

2. Roast a small quantity of powdered mineral on a charcoal block using the oxidizing portion of the flame, then mix a tiny bit of the roasted sample with sodium metaphosphate flux and apply the blowpipe to the mixture; in the oxidizing portion of the flame, the fused bead will be a yellowish-green color which pales as it cools; in the reducing portion of the flame, the fused bead will turn a dirty green at first but as it cools it will clear up to a beautiful fine green color.

3. Place a small amount of finely powdered mineral sample in a test tube, insert a small wedge of paper (about 1 mm x 1 mm in size) into the tube along with a few drops of water, then add a few drops of concentrated H2SO4 and heat the mixture until fumes of acid begin to form, now cool the solution and then slowly add drops of water to it; the solution will turn a beautiful deep azure-blue color at first but with continued dilution will begin to fade.