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Bismuth

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Formula:
Bi
System:
Trigonal
Colour:
Reddish-white to ...
Lustre:
Metallic
Hardness:
2 - 2½
Member of:
Name:
As chemical element Bismuth was officially discovered in 1753 by French scientist Claude Geoffroy. The origin of the name comes from the German words Weisse Masse meaning white mass. However around 1400 the element name is already present in some scientific treaties. In fact before Geoffroy, also the Swiss scientist Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim (1493 - 1541) probably better known under his latinized name of Paracelsus, mentioned the word “Bisemutum”. He said that the latin word came from a german term “Wissmut”. For him, the word “wissmut” was because in Saxony, around St. Georges, the mineral was extracted (gemutet), in the fields (in den Wiesen). For others, the word comes from another similar german word: Weissmuth = white material, and this is supported by the fact that bismuth is a bright metal of white colour.
Arsenic Group

Classification of Bismuth

Valid - first described prior to 1959 (pre-IMA) - "Grandfathered"
1.CA.05

1 : ELEMENTS (Metals and intermetallic alloys; metalloids and nonmetals; carbides, silicides, nitrides, phosphides)
C : Metalloids and Nonmetals
A : Arsenic group elements
Dana 7th ed.:
1.3.1.5
1.3.1.4

1 : NATIVE ELEMENTS AND ALLOYS
3 : Semi-metals and non-metals
1.49

1 : Elements and Alloys (including the arsenides, antimonides and bismuthides of Cu, Ag and Au)
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Type Occurrence of Bismuth

Year of Discovery:
1546

Occurrences of Bismuth

Geological Setting:
In hydrothermal veins with ores of Co, Ni, Ag, and Sn; in pegmatites and topaz-bearing Sn–W quartz veins.

Physical Properties of Bismuth

Metallic
Diaphaneity (Transparency):
Opaque
Colour:
Reddish-white to creamy-white; tarnishes iridescent pinkish, yellowish or bluish
Streak:
Silver-white
Hardness (Mohs):
2 - 2½
Hardness (Vickers):
VHN100=16 - 18 kg/mm2
Tenacity:
Sectile
Cleavage:
Perfect
Perfect {0001}, Good {1011}, poor {1014}
Density:
9.7 - 9.83 g/cm3 (Measured)    9.753 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Crystallography of Bismuth

Crystal System:
Trigonal
Class (H-M):
3m (3 2/m) - Hexagonal Scalenohedral
Space Group:
R3m
Cell Parameters:
a = 4.55Å, c = 11.85Å
Ratio:
a:c = 1 : 2.604
Unit Cell Volume:
V 212.46 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
6
Morphology:
Crystals, to 12 cm, but indistinct, commonly in parallel groupings, or hoppered; reticulated, arborescent, foliated, granular.
Twinning:
Polysynthetic
X-Ray Powder Diffraction:
Image Loading

Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
X-Ray Powder Diffraction Data:
d-spacingIntensity
3.28 (100)
2.37 (40)
2.273 (41)
1.868 (23)
1.491 (11)
1.443 (16)
1.330 (11)
Comments:
Synthetic.

Optical Data of Bismuth

Type:
Anisotropic
Anisotropism:
Distinct
Reflectivity:
400nmR1=47.0%R2= 58.2%
420nmR1=49.3%R2= 58.8%
440nmR1=51.4%R2= 59.7%
460nmR1=52.9%R2= 60.9%
480nmR1=54.4%R2= 62.4%
500nmR1=56.2%R2= 63.9%
520nmR1=57.8%R2= 65.3%
540nmR1=59.3%R2= 66.6%
560nmR1=60.4%R2= 67.8%
580nmR1=61.4%R2= 69.0%
600nmR1=62.4%R2= 69.9%
620nmR1=63.1%R2= 70.7%
640nmR1=63.6%R2= 71.5%
660nmR1=63.9%R2= 72.2%
680nmR1=64.0%R2= 72.8%
700nmR1=64.1%R2= 73.2%

Reflectance graph
Graph shows reflectance levels at different wavelengths (in nm). Top of box is 100%. Peak reflectance is 73.2%.
R1 shown in black, R2 shown in red
Colour in reflected light:
Brilliant creamy white, tarnishing to yellow
Pleochroism:
Weak

Chemical Properties of Bismuth

Formula:
Bi
Essential elements:
All elements listed in formula:
Analytical Data:
Durango, Mexico.
Bi (98.77)
Sb (0.5)
As (0.19)
S (0.2)
Total (99.66)
Common Impurities:
Fe,Te,As,S,Sb

Relationship of Bismuth to other Species

Member of:
Other Members of Group:
1.1CopperCu
1.2SilverAg
1.5GoldAu
1.6AuricuprideCu3Au
1.7Tetra-auricuprideAuCu
1.8ZincZn
1.9CadmiumCd
1.10DanbaiteCuZn2
1.11ZhanghengiteCuZn
1.12MercuryHg
1.13KolymiteCu7Hg6
1.14MoschellandsbergiteAg2Hg3
1.15EugeniteAg11Hg2
1.16SchachneriteAg1.1Hg0.9
1.17ParaschachneriteAg3Hg2
1.18LuanheiteAg3Hg
1.19Weishanite(Au,Ag)3Hg2
1.20IndiumIn
1.21AluminiumAl
1.22Khatyrkite(Cu,Zn)Al2
1.23Cupalite(Cu,Zn)Al
1.24DiamondC
1.25GraphiteC
1.26ChaoiteC
1.27LonsdaleiteC
1.28SiliconSi
1.29TinSn
1.30LeadPb
1.31AnyuiiteAu(Pb,Sb)2
1.31NovodnepriteAuPb3
1.32LeadamalgamPb0.7Hg0.3
1.33ArsenicAs
1.34ArsenolampriteAs
1.35PaxiteCuAs2
1.36KoutekiteCu5As2
1.37DomeykiteCu3As
1.38Algodonite(Cu1-xAsx)
1.39NovákiteCu20AgAs10
1.40KutinaiteAg6Cu14As7
1.41AntimonySb
1.42StibarsenAsSb
1.43ParadocrasiteSb3As
1.44HorsforditeCu, Sb
1.45CuprostibiteCu2(Sb,Tl)
1.46Allargentum(Ag1-xSbx)
1.47AurostibiteAuSb2
1.48DyscrasiteAg3Sb
1.50MaldoniteAu2Bi
1.51SulphurS8
1.52RosickýiteS
1.53SeleniumSe
1.54TelluriumTe
1.55ChromiumCr
1.56RheniumRe
1.57IronFe
1.58ChromferideFe3Cr1-x (x=0.6)
1.59FerchromideCr3Fe1-x
1.60WairauiteCoFe
1.61NickelNi
1.62Kamacite(Fe,Ni)
1.63Taenite(Fe,Ni)
1.64TetrataeniteFeNi
1.65AwaruiteNi3Fe
1.66Palladium(Pd,Pt)
1.67PotaritePdHg
1.68PaolovitePd2Sn
1.69Stannopalladinite(Pd,Cu)3Sn2
1.70CabriitePd2CuSn
1.71Taimyrite-I(Pd,Cu,Pt)3Sn
1.72Atokite(Pd,Pt)3Sn
1.73Rustenburgite(Pt,Pd)3Sn
1.74Zvyagintsevite(Pd,Pt,Au)3(Pb,Sn)
1.75PlumbopalladinitePd3Pb2
1.76Osmium(Os,Ir,Ru)
1.77Iridium(Ir,Os,Ru)
1.82PlatinumPt
1.83HongshiitePtCu
1.84NiggliitePtSn
1.85IsoferroplatinumPt3Fe
1.86TetraferroplatinumPtFe
1.87TulameenitePt2CuFe
1.88FerronickelplatinumPt2FeNi
1.89Rhodium(Rh,Pt)

Other Names for Bismuth

Name in Other Languages:
Arabic:بزموت
Azeri:Bismut
Basque:Bismuto
Belarusian:Вісмут
Bosnian (Latin Script):Bizmut
Bulgarian:Бисмут
Catalan:Bismut
Chuvash:Висмут
Corsican:Bismutu
Croatian:Bizmut
Czech:Bismut
Danish:Bismuth
Dutch:Bismut
Esperanto:Bismuto
Estonian:Vismut
Finnish:Vismutti
French:Bismuth
Friulian:Bismût
Galician:Bismuto
Hungarian:Bizmut
Icelandic:Bismút
Indonesian:Bismut
Irish Gaelic:Biosmat
Italian:Bismuto
Javanese:Bismut
Kurdish (Latin Script):Bîzmût
Latin:Bisemutum
Latvian:Bismuts
Lithuanian:Bismutas
Lojban:jinmrbismu
Luxembourgish:Bismuth
Manx:Bismut
Norwegian (Bokmål):Vismut
Norwegian (Nynorsk):Vismut
Occitan:Bismut
Persian:بیسموت
Polish:Bizmut
Portuguese:Bismuto
Quechua:Wismutu
Romanian:Bismut
Russian:Висмут
Saterland Frisian:Bismuth
Serbian (Cyrillic Script):Бизмут
Serbo-Croatian:Bizmut
Sicilian:Bismutu
Simplified Chinese:自然铋
Slovak:Bizmut
Slovenian:Bizmut
Spanish:Bismuto
Swahili:Bismuthi
Swedish:Vismut
Turkish:Bizmut
Ukrainian:Бісмут
Vietnamese:Bitmut
Welsh:Bismwth

Other Information

Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

References for Bismuth

Reference List:
Palache, Charles, Harry Berman & Clifford Frondel (1944), The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Volume I: Elements, Sulfides, Sulfosalts, Oxides. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York. 7th edition, revised and enlarged, 834pp.: 134-135.

Internet Links for Bismuth

Specimens:
The following Bismuth specimens are currently listed for sale on minfind.com.

Localities for Bismuth

map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.
Mineral and/or Locality  
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