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The Mineralogy of Bismuth

General Properties
Atomic Number:83
Standard atomic weight (Ar):208.98040(1)
Electron configuration:[Xe] 4f14 5d10 6s2 6p3
Artificially grown bismuth crystal illustrating the stairstep crystal structure
Atomic Properties
Electronegativity (Pauling scale):2.02
Atomic Radius:143 pm
Ionic Radius:103 pm (+3)
1st Ionization energy:703 kJ/mol
1st Electron affinity:-91 kJ/mol
Oxidation States:-3,3,5
Physical Properties
Standard State:solid
Bonding Type:metallic
Melting Point:544 K
Boiling Point:1837 K
Density:9.78 g/cm3
Main isotopes of Bismuth
Isotope% in NatureHalf LifeDecay typeDecay product
Main ions of Bismuth
NameIonExample minerals
Other Information
Year Discovered:1753
Discovered By:
Claude François Geoffroy
Named For:German: Wismuth - "white mass"
CPK color coding:#9E4FB5
External Links:WikipediaWebElementsLos Alamos National LaboratoryTheodore Gray's
Simple Compounds and Mineral Names
Sulfidesdibismuth trisulfideBi2S3+3Bismuthinite
tetrabismuth trisulfideBi4S3Ikunolite
Selenidesbismuth selenideBiSeNevskite
dibismuth triselenideBi2Se3+3Guanajuatite, Paraguanajuatite
Telluridesbismuth tellurideBiTeTsumoite
dibismuth tritellurideBi2Te3+3Tellurobismuthite
tetrabismuth tritellurideBi4Te3Pilsenite
heptabismuth tritellurideBi7Te3Hedleyite
Hydridesbismuth trihydrideBiH3+3
Hydroxidesbismuth hydroxideBi(OH)3+3
Fluoridesbismuth trifluorideBiF3+3Gananite
bismuth pentafluorideBiF5+5
bismuth oxyfluorideBiOF+3Zavaritskite
Chloridesbismuth trichlorideBiCl3+3
bismuth oxychlorideBiOCl+3Bismoclite
Iodidesbismuth triiodideBiI3
Oxidesdibismuth trioxideBi2O3+3Bismite, Sphaerobismoite
Carbonatesbismuth subcarbonateBi2CO3O2+3Bismutite
Phosphatesbismuth phosphateBiPO4+3Ximengite
Arsenatesbismuth arsenateBiAsO4+3Rooseveltite, Tetrarooseveltite
Vanadatesbismuth vanadateBiVO4+3, Clinobisvanite, Dreyerite, Pucherite
Molybdatesdibismuth molybdateBi2MoO6Koechlinite
Tungstatesbismuth tungstateBi2WO6+3Russellite
Niobates/Tantalatesbismuth niobateBiNbO4Bismutocolumbite
bismuth tantalateBiTaO4Bismutotantalite
Silicatesbismuth silicateBi4(SiO4)3+3Eulytine
Mineral Diversity of Bismuth
1. Elements 1 valid mineral species
2. Sulfides And Sulfosalts 123 valid mineral species
3. Halides6 valid mineral species
4. Oxides 15 valid mineral species
5. Carbonates 3 valid mineral species
7. Sulfates 9 valid mineral species
8. Phosphates, Arsenates, Vanadates35 valid mineral species
9. Silicates 2 valid mineral species
Total:194 valid species containing essential Bismuth
Geochemistry of Bismuth
Goldschmidt classification:Chalcophile
Bi3+ is concentrated in residual soils and sediments (less certainty.)
Bi2- forms minerals with Au+.
Bi3- forms minerals with Au+.
Elemental Bismuth in Nature
Found as native element:BismuthBi
Elemental Abundance for Bismuth
Crust (CRC Handbook)8.5 x 10-9mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Kaye & Laby)4 x 10-9mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Greenwood)8 x 10-9mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)6.0 x 10-8mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)1.27 x 10-7mass fraction, kg/kg
Sea Water (CRC Handbook)2 x 10-11mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Sea Water (Kaye & Laby)2 x 10-11mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Solar System (Kaye & Laby)1.4 x 10-7atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Ahrens)1.44 x 10-7 (8.2%)atom mole fraction relative to Si=1 (% uncertainty)
Element association of Bismuth in the Mineral World
This table compares the known valid mineral species listed listed with Bismuth and the other elements listed based on the official IMA formula. Note that unlike other sections on this page this includes non-essential elements.

The first data column contains the total number of minerals listed with Bismuth and the element listed for that row.

The second data column lists this number as a percentage of all minerals listed with Bismuth.

The final data column compares this percentage against the percentage of all minerals that contain the element listed in each row.

Click on a heading to sort.
ElementValid Minerals listed with element and Bismuth% of Bi mineralsRelative to % in all minerals
Sulfur114 minerals with Bi and S51.82%165.83% higher
Lead84 minerals with Bi and Pb38.18%299.73% higher
Oxygen76 minerals with Bi and O34.55%54.66% lower
Copper62 minerals with Bi and Cu28.18%125.54% higher
Hydrogen41 minerals with Bi and H18.64%65.27% lower
Silver35 minerals with Bi and Ag15.91%380.12% higher
Tellurium35 minerals with Bi and Te15.91%424.03% higher
Selenium29 minerals with Bi and Se13.18%465.14% higher
Arsenic23 minerals with Bi and As10.45%8.02% lower
Iron21 minerals with Bi and Fe9.55%58.08% lower
Antimony18 minerals with Bi and Sb8.18%67.42% higher
Chlorine12 minerals with Bi and Cl5.45%27.42% lower
Palladium12 minerals with Bi and Pd5.45%309.24% higher
Phosphorus11 minerals with Bi and P5.00%54.61% lower
Nickel9 minerals with Bi and Ni4.09%26.28% higher
Platinum7 minerals with Bi and Pt3.18%273.66% higher
Vanadium7 minerals with Bi and V3.18%22.92% lower
Molybdenum7 minerals with Bi and Mo3.18%177.23% higher
Uranium6 minerals with Bi and U2.73%42.90% lower
Calcium6 minerals with Bi and Ca2.73%88.89% lower
Cobalt5 minerals with Bi and Co2.27%61.54% higher
Fluorine4 minerals with Bi and F1.82%78.13% lower
Sodium4 minerals with Bi and Na1.82%90.37% lower
Carbon3 minerals with Bi and C1.36%81.54% lower
Gold3 minerals with Bi and Au1.36%145.55% higher
Tin3 minerals with Bi and Sn1.36%25.59% lower
Silicon3 minerals with Bi and Si1.36%95.08% lower
Tantalum3 minerals with Bi and Ta1.36%0.91% higher
Iridium2 minerals with Bi and Ir0.91%96.44% higher
Thallium2 minerals with Bi and Tl0.91%19.49% lower
Mercury2 minerals with Bi and Hg0.91%47.19% lower
Niobium2 minerals with Bi and Nb0.91%73.02% lower
Potassium2 minerals with Bi and K0.91%90.59% lower
Indium2 minerals with Bi and In0.91%250.78% higher
Cadmium2 minerals with Bi and Cd0.91%81.89% higher
Chromium2 minerals with Bi and Cr0.91%44.82% lower
Bromine1 mineral with Bi and Br0.45%44.44% higher
Iodine1 mineral with Bi and I0.45%1.78% lower
Magnesium1 mineral with Bi and Mg0.45%96.69% lower
Aluminium1 mineral with Bi and Al0.45%97.71% lower
Manganese1 mineral with Bi and Mn0.45%96.06% lower
Nitrogen1 mineral with Bi and N0.45%76.16% lower
Tungsten1 mineral with Bi and W0.45%40.11% lower
Periodic Table
1H 2He
3Li 4Be 5B 6C 7N 8O 9F 10Ne
11Na 12Mg 13Al 14Si 15P 16S 17Cl 18Ar
19K 20Ca 21Sc 22Ti 23V 24Cr 25Mn 26Fe 27Co 28Ni 29Cu 30Zn 31Ga 32Ge 33As 34Se 35Br 36Kr
37Rb 38Sr 39Y 40Zr 41Nb 42Mo 43Tc 44Ru 45Rh 46Pd 47Ag 48Cd 49In 50Sn 51Sb 52Te 53I 54Xe
55Cs 56Ba 57La 72Hf 73Ta 74W 75Re 76Os 77Ir 78Pt 79Au 80Hg 81Tl 82Pb 83Bi 84Po 85At 86Rn
87Fr 88Ra 89Ac 104Rd 105Db 106Sg 107Bh 108Hs 109Mt 110Ds 111Rg 112Cn 113Nh 114Fl 115Mc 116Lv 117Ts 118Og
58Ce 59Pr 60Nd 61Pm 62Sm 63Eu 64Gd 65Tb 66Dy 67Ho 68Er 69Tm 70Yb 71Lu
90Th 91Pa 92U 93Np 94Pu 95Am 96Cm 97Bk 98Cf 99Es 100Fm 101Md 102No 103Lr
Default Categories CPK Electronegativity Atomic Radius Lowest Oxidation Highest Oxidation Crustal Abundance Goldschmidt Mineral Species Minerals with Bi Relative Frequency
Lead << Bismuth >> Polonium

Most widespread minerals containing Bismuth
This list of minerals containing Bismuth is built from the locality database. This is based on the number of localities entered for mineral species and is therefore slanted towards minerals interesting to collectors with less coverage of common rock-forming-minerals so it does not give an undistorted distribution of Bismuth mineral species. It is more useful when comparing rare species rather than common species.
NameFormulaCrystal SystemMindat Localities

Localities with greatest number of different Bismuth mineral species
map should go here
1Clara Mine, Rankach valley, Oberwolfach, Wolfach, Black Forest, Baden-Württemberg, Germany32 Bi minerals
Dolomite quarry, Rędziny, Czarnów, Rudawy Janowickie Mts, Lower Silesia (Dolnośląskie), Poland29 Bi minerals
Western ore field, Scheelite deposit, Felben valley, Hohe Tauern, Salzburg, Austria27 Bi minerals
4Băiţa Mining District (Baita Bihor; Rézbánya), Nucet, Bihor Co., Romania21 Bi minerals
5Rozália Mine, Hodruša-Hámre (Hodritsch), Žarnovica Co., Banská Bystrica Region, Slovakia20 Bi minerals
Toroioaga Mine, Borşa (Baia Borşa; Borsa), Maramureș Co., Romania18 Bi minerals
7Elsmore Tin Mine (Elsmore Tin lodes), Elsmore, Gough Co., New South Wales, Australia17 Bi minerals
Güldener Falk Mine, Neustädtel, Schneeberg District, Erzgebirge, Saxony, Germany17 Bi minerals

Important ores of Bismuth
NameFormulaCrystal System

Spotted a mistake/omission? - These pages are a work in progress, so please send all comments/corrections to Thank you.

Constants and physical property data from:

David R. Lide (ed.), CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 85th Edition. CRC Press. Boca Raton, Florida (2005).
Kaye and Laby Tables of Physical & Chemical Constants (2005). Section 3.1.3, Abundances of the elements
A. Earnshaw, N. Greenwood, Chemistry of the Elements, 2nd edition, Butterworth-Heinemann, (1997)
Thomas J. Ahrens (ed.), Global Earth Physics : A Handbook of Physical Constants, American Geophysical Union (1995)
L.B. Railsback, An Earth Scientist's Periodic Table of the Elements and Their Ions : Geology 31:9 p737-740 (2003)
Emsley, J. Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. New York: Oxford University Press (2001)
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