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The Mineralogy of Germanium

General Properties
Atomic Number:32
Standard atomic weight (Ar):72.64(1)
Electron configuration:[Ar] 3d10 4s2 4p2
Ultrapure chunk of polycrystalline germanium
Atomic Properties
Electronegativity (Pauling scale):2.01
Atomic Radius:125 pm
Ionic Radius:73 pm (+2)
1st Ionization energy:762 kJ/mol
1st Electron affinity:-119 kJ/mol
Oxidation States:-4,1,2,3,4
Physical Properties
Standard State:solid
Bonding Type:metallic
Melting Point:1211 K
Boiling Point:3093 K
Density:5.32 g/cm3
Main isotopes of Germanium
Isotope% in NatureHalf LifeDecay typeDecay product
Other Information
Year Discovered:1886
Discovered By:
Clemens Winkler
Year Predicted:1871
Named For:
after Germany, homeland of the discoverer
CPK color coding:#668F8F
External Links:WikipediaWebElementsLos Alamos National LaboratoryTheodore Gray's PeriodicTable.com
Simple Compounds and Mineral Names
Nitridestrigermanium tetranitrideGe3N4+4
Sulfidesgermanium sulphideGeS+2
germanium disulphideGeS2+4
Selenidesgermanium selenideGeSe+2
germanium diselenideGeSe2+4
TelluridesGermanium tellurideGeTe+2
Hydridesgermanium tetrahydrideGeH4+4
digermanium hexahydrideGe2H6+3
Fluoridesgermanium difluorideGeF2+2
germanium tetrafluorideGeF4+4
Chloridesgermanium dichlorideGeCl2+2
germanium tetrachlorideGeCl4+4
Bromidesgermanium tetrabromideGeBr4+4
Iodidesgermanium diiodideGeI2+2
germanium tetraiodideGeI4+4
Oxidesgermanium oxideGeO+2
germanium dioxideGeO2+4Argutite
Mineral Diversity of Germanium
2. Sulfides And Sulfosalts 14 valid mineral species
4. Oxides 3 valid mineral species
7. Sulfates 4 valid mineral species
9. Silicates 6 valid mineral species
Total:27 valid species containing essential Germanium
Geochemistry of Germanium
Goldschmidt classification:Chalcophile
Ge4+ was one of the ions least depleted from the mantle in the formation of the crust.
Ge4+ is concentrated in residual soils and sediments (less certainty.)
Elemental Abundance for Germanium
Crust (CRC Handbook)1.5 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Kaye & Laby)1.3 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Greenwood)1.5 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)1.6 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Wänke)1.32 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)1.6 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Sea Water (CRC Handbook)5 x 10-11mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Sea Water (Kaye & Laby)6 x 10-11mass per volume fraction, kg/L
The Sun (Kaye & Laby)7.2 x 10-5atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Kaye & Laby)1.2 x 10-4atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Ahrens)1.19 x 10-4 (9.6%)atom mole fraction relative to Si=1 (% uncertainty)
Element association of Germanium in the Mineral World
This table compares the known valid mineral species listed listed with Germanium 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 Germanium and the element listed for that row.

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

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 Germanium% of Ge mineralsRelative to % in all minerals
Sulfur61 minerals with Ge and S64.21%208.47% higher
Iron45 minerals with Ge and Fe47.37%117.07% higher
Oxygen42 minerals with Ge and O44.21%44.55% lower
Copper34 minerals with Ge and Cu35.79%174.04% higher
Hydrogen33 minerals with Ge and H34.74%37.53% lower
Lead24 minerals with Ge and Pb25.26%148.41% higher
Aluminium12 minerals with Ge and Al12.63%36.88% lower
Zinc9 minerals with Ge and Zn9.47%82.37% higher
Silver9 minerals with Ge and Ag9.47%176.97% higher
Calcium6 minerals with Ge and Ca6.32%74.04% lower
Tungsten6 minerals with Ge and W6.32%667.30% higher
Gallium6 minerals with Ge and Ga6.32%4,832.63% higher
Palladium4 minerals with Ge and Pd4.21%224.21% higher
Arsenic4 minerals with Ge and As4.21%65.44% lower
Phosphorus3 minerals with Ge and P3.16%72.94% lower
Cadmium3 minerals with Ge and Cd3.16%539.42% higher
Silicon3 minerals with Ge and Si3.16%88.77% lower
Molybdenum3 minerals with Ge and Mo3.16%153.89% higher
Tellurium3 minerals with Ge and Te3.16%0.96% higher
Vanadium3 minerals with Ge and V3.16%29.25% lower
Carbon3 minerals with Ge and C3.16%59.19% lower
Nickel3 minerals with Ge and Ni3.16%2.76% higher
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 Ge Relative Frequency
Gallium << Germanium >> Arsenic

Most widespread minerals containing Germanium
This list of minerals containing Germanium 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 Germanium mineral species. It is more useful when comparing rare species rather than common species.
NameFormulaCrystal SystemMindat Localities

Localities with greatest number of different Germanium mineral species
map should go here
2Tsumeb Mine (Tsumcorp Mine), Tsumeb, Oshikoto Region, Namibia15 Ge minerals
7Kipushi Mine, Kipushi, Haut-Katanga, DR Congo4 Ge minerals
4Capillitas mining district, Andalgalá Department, Catamarca Province, Argentina5 Ge minerals
5Maikain Au deposit, Bayanaul, Pavlodar Region, Kazakhstan5 Ge minerals
8Carboire, Ariège, Occitanie, France4 Ge minerals

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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