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The Mineralogy of Boron

General Properties
Atomic Number:5
Standard atomic weight (Ar):10.811(7)
Electron configuration:[He] 2s2 2p1
Pure crystalline boron
Atomic Properties
Electronegativity (Pauling scale):2.04
Atomic Radius:87 pm
Ionic Radius:27 pm (+3)
1st Ionization energy:801 kJ/mol
1st Electron affinity:-27 kJ/mol
Oxidation States:1,2,3
Physical Properties
Standard State:solid
Bonding Type:covalent network
Melting Point:2348 K
Boiling Point:4273 K
Density:2.46 g/cm3
Main isotopes of Boron
Isotope% in NatureHalf LifeDecay typeDecay product
Main ions of Boron
NameIonExample minerals
Other Information
Year Discovered:1808
Discovered By:
Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac
Louis Jacques Thénard

Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac, Louis Jacques Thénard
Year Isolated:1808
Isolated By:
Humphry Davy
Named For:from borax and carbon
CPK color coding:#FFB5B5
External Links:WikipediaWebElementsLos Alamos National LaboratoryTheodore Gray's PeriodicTable.com
Simple Compounds and Mineral Names
Nitridesboron nitrideBN+3Qingsongite
Sulfidesdiboron trisulphideB2S3+3
hexaborane B6H10
pentaborane B5H9
pentaborane B5H11
tetraborane B4H10
Fluoridesboron trifluorideBF3+3
diboron tetrafluorideB2F4+2
Chloridesboron trichlorideBCl3+3
diboron tetrachlorideB2Cl4+2
Bromidesboron tribromideBBr3+3
Iodidesboron triiodideBI3+3
Oxidesdiboron trioxideB2O3+3
Mineral Diversity of Boron
3. Halides5 valid mineral species
6. Borates150 valid mineral species
7. Sulfates 3 valid mineral species
9. Silicates 86 valid mineral species
Total:244 valid species containing essential Boron
Geochemistry of Boron
Goldschmidt classification:Lithophile
B3+ solute is a micronutrient on land.
B3+ is essential to nutrition of at least some vertebrates ('essential minerals').
Elemental Abundance for Boron
Crust (CRC Handbook)1.0 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Kaye & Laby)7.0 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Greenwood)9 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)1.0000 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)1.5000 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Sea Water (CRC Handbook)4.44 x 10-6mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Sea Water (Kaye & Laby)4.4 x 10-6mass per volume fraction, kg/L
The Sun (Kaye & Laby)1.1 x 10-5atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Kaye & Laby)2.1 x 10-5atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Ahrens)2.12 x 10-5 (10%)atom mole fraction relative to Si=1 (% uncertainty)
Element association of Boron in the Mineral World
This table compares the known valid mineral species listed listed with Boron 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 Boron and the element listed for that row.

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

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 Boron% of B mineralsRelative to % in all minerals
Oxygen823 minerals with B and O97.98%22.66% higher
Hydrogen579 minerals with B and H68.93%23.73% higher
Silicon352 minerals with B and Si41.90%48.68% higher
Calcium339 minerals with B and Ca40.36%65.59% higher
Magnesium261 minerals with B and Mg31.07%136.15% higher
Aluminium242 minerals with B and Al28.81%43.71% higher
Sodium200 minerals with B and Na23.81%24.69% higher
Iron139 minerals with B and Fe16.55%24.31% lower
Chlorine106 minerals with B and Cl12.62%70.87% higher
Fluorine100 minerals with B and F11.90%53.22% higher
Manganese84 minerals with B and Mn10.00%9.35% lower
Potassium59 minerals with B and K7.02%24.99% lower
Yttrium45 minerals with B and Y5.36%124.88% higher
Barium43 minerals with B and Ba5.12%12.19% higher
Carbon38 minerals with B and C4.52%41.64% lower
Titanium34 minerals with B and Ti4.05%40.78% lower
Cerium34 minerals with B and Ce4.05%38.05% higher
Lithium33 minerals with B and Li3.93%89.72% higher
Beryllium26 minerals with B and Be3.10%39.59% higher
Sulfur26 minerals with B and S3.10%85.16% lower
Strontium24 minerals with B and Sr2.86%12.17% higher
Lead23 minerals with B and Pb2.74%73.13% lower
Copper17 minerals with B and Cu2.02%84.53% lower
Phosphorus17 minerals with B and P2.02%82.69% lower
Niobium16 minerals with B and Nb1.90%35.44% lower
Chromium15 minerals with B and Cr1.79%0.46% higher
Arsenic15 minerals with B and As1.79%85.37% lower
Caesium14 minerals with B and Cs1.67%263.80% higher
Tin14 minerals with B and Sn1.67%6.24% lower
Nitrogen12 minerals with B and N1.43%33.93% lower
Vanadium12 minerals with B and V1.43%68.05% lower
Lanthanum11 minerals with B and La1.31%15.26% higher
Antimony10 minerals with B and Sb1.19%75.76% lower
Thorium10 minerals with B and Th1.19%66.58% higher
Zirconium9 minerals with B and Zr1.07%53.23% lower
Tantalum7 minerals with B and Ta0.83%30.04% lower
Rubidium4 minerals with B and Rb0.48%766.19% higher
Zinc3 minerals with B and Zn0.36%93.14% lower
Nickel3 minerals with B and Ni0.36%88.40% lower
Tungsten2 minerals with B and W0.24%71.13% lower
Neodymium1 mineral with B and Nd0.12%79.70% lower
Uranium1 mineral with B and U0.12%97.70% 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 B Relative Frequency
Beryllium << Boron >> Carbon

Most widespread minerals containing Boron
This list of minerals containing Boron is built from the mindat.org 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 Boron mineral species. It is more useful when comparing rare species rather than common species.
NameFormulaCrystal SystemMindat Localities

Localities with greatest number of different Boron mineral species
map should go here
2Fuka mine, Fuka, Bicchu-cho (Bitchu-cho), Takahashi City, Okayama, Japan22 B minerals
4Inder B deposit and salt dome, Inder, Atyrau, Kazakhstan22 B minerals
8Dara-i-Pioz Glacier (Dara-Pioz), Alai Range (Alayskiy), Tien Shan Mtn, Districts of Republican Subordination, Tajikistan20 B minerals
7Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Mine (PCS Mine; Potash Corporation of America Mine), Penobsquis, Cardwell Parish, Kings Co., New Brunswick, Canada21 B minerals

Important ores of Boron
NameFormulaCrystal System
BoraxNa2(B4O5)(OH)4 · 8H2OMonoclinic
KerniteNa2[B4O6(OH)2] · 3H2OMonoclinic
UlexiteNaCa[B5O6(OH)6] · 5H2OTriclinic
ColemaniteCa[B3O4(OH)3] · H2OMonoclinic

Spotted a mistake/omission? - These pages are a work in progress, so please send all comments/corrections to jolyon@mindat.org. 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)
Mineral and/or Locality  
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