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The mineralogy of Lanthanum

General Properties
Atomic Number:57
Standard atomic weight (Ar):138.90547(7)
Electron configuration:[Xe] 5d1 6s2
1.5 grams pure lanthanum
Atomic Properties
Electronegativity (Pauling scale):1.1
Atomic Radius:169 pm
Ionic Radius:103.2 pm (+3)
1st Ionization energy:538 kJ/mol
1st Electron affinity:-48 kJ/mol
Oxidation States:2,3
Physical Properties
Standard State:solid
Bonding Type:metallic
Melting Point:1193 K
Boiling Point:3737 K
Density:6.15 g/cm3
Main isotopes of Lanthanum
Isotope% in NatureHalf LifeDecay typeDecay product
139La99.910%-Spontaneous fission ?
Main ions of Lanthanum
NameIonExample minerals
lanthanum(III)La3+Monazite-(La), Rhabdophane-(La)
Other Information
Year Discovered:1838
Discovered By:
Carl Gustaf Mosander
Named For:From Greek: lanthanein - "to lie (hidden)"
CPK color coding:#70D4FF
External Links:WikipediaWebElementsLos Alamos National LaboratoryTheodore Gray's
Simple Compounds and Mineral Names
Sulfideslanthanum sulphideLaS+2
dilanthanum trisulphideLa2S3+3
Selenideslanthanum selenideLaSe+2
Tellurideslanthanum tellurideLaTe+2
Hydrideslanthanum dihydrideLaH2+2
lanthanum trihydrideLaH3+3
Fluorideslanthanum trifluorideLaF3+3Fluocerite-(La)
Chlorideslanthanum trichloride trihydrateLaCl3 · 3H2O+3
lanthanum trichlorideLaCl3+3
Bromideslanthanum tribromideLaBr3+3
Iodideslanthanum triiodideLaI3+3
Oxidesdilanthanum trioxideLa2O3+3
Carbonateslanthanum carbonateLa2(CO3)3+3
lanthanum carbonate octahydrateLa2(CO3)3 · 8H2O+3Lanthanite-(La)
basic lanthanum carbonateLaCO3OH+3, Kozoite-(La)
Phosphateslanthanum phosphateLaPO4+3Monazite-(La)
lanthanum phosphate monohydrateLaPO4 · H2O+3Rhabdophane-(La)
Vanadateslanthanum vanadateLaVO4+3Wakefieldite-(La)
Mineral Diversity of Lanthanum
3. Halides2 valid mineral species
4. Oxides 1 valid mineral species
5. Carbonates 8 valid mineral species
8. Phosphates, Arsenates, Vanadates10 valid mineral species
9. Silicates 14 valid mineral species
Total:35 valid species containing essential Lanthanum
Geochemistry of Lanthanum
Goldschmidt classification:Lithophile
La3+ was one of the ions least depleted from the mantle in the formation of the crust.
La3+ is enriched in Ca-Al-rich inclusions in meteorites relative to the composition of the solar system.
La3+ is concentrated in residual soils and sediments (less certainty.)
Elemental Abundance for Lanthanum
Crust (CRC Handbook)3.9 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Kaye & Laby)5.0 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Greenwood)3.5 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)1.6000 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Wänke)2.9000 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Weaver)2.8000 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)3.0000 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Shaw)3.200 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Sea Water (CRC Handbook)3.4 x 10-12mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Sea Water (Kaye & Laby)3.4 x 10-12mass per volume fraction, kg/L
The Sun (Kaye & Laby)5.0 x 10-7atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Kaye & Laby)4.4 x 10-7atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Ahrens)4.46 x 10-7 (2.0%)atom mole fraction relative to Si=1 (% uncertainty)
Element association of Lanthanum in the Mineral World
This table compares the known valid mineral species listed listed with Lanthanum 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 Lanthanum and the element listed for that row.

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

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 Lanthanum% of La mineralsRelative to % in all minerals
Oxygen212 minerals with La and O98.15%28.12% higher
Cerium129 minerals with La and Ce59.72%2,023.87% higher
Hydrogen108 minerals with La and H50.00%6.41% lower
Silicon92 minerals with La and Si42.59%57.58% higher
Calcium83 minerals with La and Ca38.43%64.39% higher
Iron68 minerals with La and Fe31.48%50.15% higher
Carbon60 minerals with La and C27.78%273.65% higher
Aluminium55 minerals with La and Al25.46%32.44% higher
Sodium50 minerals with La and Na23.15%26.40% higher
Fluorine45 minerals with La and F20.83%179.58% higher
Neodymium42 minerals with La and Nd19.44%3,357.47% higher
Strontium34 minerals with La and Sr15.74%544.35% higher
Titanium33 minerals with La and Ti15.28%133.06% higher
Manganese30 minerals with La and Mn13.89%31.28% higher
Phosphorus28 minerals with La and P12.96%15.61% higher
Magnesium25 minerals with La and Mg11.57%8.28% lower
Arsenic18 minerals with La and As8.33%28.80% lower
Thorium17 minerals with La and Th7.87%1,048.27% higher
Copper13 minerals with La and Cu6.02%52.04% lower
Niobium12 minerals with La and Nb5.56%96.34% higher
Barium12 minerals with La and Ba5.56%26.95% higher
Boron11 minerals with La and B5.09%2.39% higher
Yttrium11 minerals with La and Y5.09%122.90% higher
Vanadium8 minerals with La and V3.70%13.63% lower
Zirconium8 minerals with La and Zr3.70%68.59% higher
Zinc6 minerals with La and Zn2.78%44.35% lower
Uranium5 minerals with La and U2.31%53.46% lower
Chromium5 minerals with La and Cr2.31%35.79% higher
Beryllium4 minerals with La and Be1.85%12.92% lower
Lead4 minerals with La and Pb1.85%81.05% lower
Potassium3 minerals with La and K1.39%84.53% lower
Sulfur3 minerals with La and S1.39%93.06% lower
Praseodymium2 minerals with La and Pr0.93%2,534.26% higher
Chlorine1 mineral with La and Cl0.46%93.46% lower
Samarium1 mineral with La and Sm0.46%1,217.13% higher
Tungsten1 mineral with La and W0.46%41.46% lower
Lithium1 mineral with La and Li0.46%76.69% 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 La Relative Frequency
Barium << Lanthanum >> Cerium

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

Localities with greatest number of different Lanthanum mineral species
map should go here
5Aris Quarries, Aris, Windhoek Rural, Khomas Region, Namibia4 La minerals
8Mochalin Log (Motchaline-log), Kyshtym, Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia4 La minerals
3Bastnäs Mines, Riddarhyttan, Skinnskatteberg, Västmanland County, Sweden4 La minerals
7Clara Mine, Oberwolfach, Wolfach, Ortenaukreis, Freiburg Region, Baden-Württemberg, Germany4 La minerals
Unnamed manganese deposit, Shobu, Ise City, Mie Prefecture, Japan4 La minerals

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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