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The Mineralogy of Nickel

General Properties
Atomic Number:28
Standard atomic weight (Ar):58.6934(4)
Electron configuration:[Ar] 3d8 4s2
Nickel electrolytic and 1cm³ cube
Atomic Properties
Electronegativity (Pauling scale):1.91
Atomic Radius:149 pm
Ionic Radius:69 pm (+2)
Van der Waals Radius:163 pm
1st Ionization energy:737 kJ/mol
1st Electron affinity:-112 kJ/mol
Oxidation States:-1,1,2,3,4
Physical Properties
Standard State:solid
Bonding Type:metallic
Melting Point:1728 K
Boiling Point:3186 K
Density:8.91 g/cm3
Metal/Non-Metal:transition metal
Main isotopes of Nickel
Isotope% in NatureHalf LifeDecay typeDecay product
58Ni68.077%>7x1020yβ+β+ ?58Fe
Main ions of Nickel
NameIonExample minerals
nickel aquo complex[Ni(H2O)6]2+
Other Information
Year Discovered:1751
Discovered By:
Axel Fredrik Cronstedt
Year Isolated:1751
Isolated By:Axel Fredrik Cronstedt
Named For:From the Swedish: Kopparnickel - "copper-colored ore"
CPK color coding:#50D050
External Links:WikipediaWebElementsLos Alamos National LaboratoryTheodore Gray's
Simple Compounds and Mineral Names
Sulfidesnickel (II) sulfideNiS+2Millerite
nickel (II) persulfideNiS2+2Vaesite
trinickel disulfideNi3S2Heazlewoodite
Selenidesnickel (II) selenideNiSe+2Sederholmite, Mäkinenite
nickel (II) perselenideNiSe2+2Penroseite, Kullerudite
trinickel tetraselenideNi3Se4+2,+3Wilkmanite
Telluridesnickel (II) tellurideNiTe+2Imgreite
nickel (II) pertellurideNiTe2+2Melonite
Hydroxidesnickel (II) hydroxideNi(OH)2+2Theophrastite
Fluoridesnickel (II) fluorideNiF2+2
Chloridesnickel (II) chlorideNiCl2+2
nickel (II) chloride hexahydateNiCl2 · 6H2O+2Nickelbischofite
Iodidesnickel (II) iodideNiI2+2
Oxidesnickel (II) oxideNiO+2Bunsenite
nickel (III) oxideNi2O3
Carbonatesnickel (II) carbonateNiCO3+2Gaspéite
nickel (II) carbonate hexahydrateNiCO3 · 6H2O+2Hellyerite
Nitratesnickel (II) nitrateNi(NO3)2+2
nickel (II) nitrate dihydrateNi(NO3)2 · 2H2O+2
nickel (II) nitrate tetrahydrateNi(NO3)2 · 4H2O+2
nickel (II) nitrate hexahydrate[Ni(H2O)6](NO3)2+2
nickel (II) nitrate nonahydrateNi(NO3)2 · 9H2O+2
Sulfatesnickel (II) sulfate monohydrateNiSO4 · H2O+2Dwornikite
nickel (II) sulfate hexahydrateNiSO4 · 6H2O+2Nickelhexahydrite, Retgersite
nickel (II) sulfate heptahydrateNiSO4 · 7H2O+2Morenosite
Nickel as a chromophore in minerals and gems
Ni2+ in octahedral sitesGreen colour in many nickel minerals.
Ni2+ in large, distorted sitesCan give a yellow colour.
Mineral Diversity of Nickel
1. Elements 10 valid mineral species
2. Sulfides And Sulfosalts 47 valid mineral species
3. Halides3 valid mineral species
4. Oxides 9 valid mineral species
5. Carbonates 13 valid mineral species
6. Borates1 valid mineral species
7. Sulfates 11 valid mineral species
8. Phosphates, Arsenates, Vanadates15 valid mineral species
9. Silicates 8 valid mineral species
10. Organic Compounds1 valid mineral species
Total:118 valid species containing essential Nickel
Geochemistry of Nickel
Goldschmidt classification:Siderophile
Ni2+ was one of the ions least depleted from the mantle in the formation of the crust.
Ni2+ enters early-forming phases in igneous rocks.
Ni3+ is commonly concentrated in residual soils and sediments.
Ni3+ is concentrated in deep-sea ferromanganese nodules relative to seawater.
Ni2+ is essential to nutrition of at least some vertebrates ('essential minerals').
Elemental Abundance for Nickel
Crust (CRC Handbook)8.4 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Kaye & Laby)7.2 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Greenwood)9.9 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)1.05 x 10-4mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Wänke)6.95 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Weaver)3.5 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)2 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Shaw)1.9 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Sea Water (CRC Handbook)5.6 x 10-10mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Sea Water (Kaye & Laby)6.6 x 10-9mass per volume fraction, kg/L
The Sun (Kaye & Laby)5.0 x 10-2atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Kaye & Laby)5.0 x 10-2atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Ahrens)4.93 x 10-2 (5.1%)atom mole fraction relative to Si=1 (% uncertainty)
Element association of Nickel in the Mineral World
This table compares the known valid mineral species listed listed with Nickel 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 Nickel and the element listed for that row.

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

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 Nickel% of Ni mineralsRelative to % in all minerals
Oxygen78 minerals with Ni and O44.57%41.74% lower
Hydrogen69 minerals with Ni and H39.43%26.83% lower
Sulfur61 minerals with Ni and S34.86%78.09% higher
Iron59 minerals with Ni and Fe33.71%47.47% higher
Arsenic40 minerals with Ni and As22.86%100.28% higher
Cobalt32 minerals with Ni and Co18.29%1,194.44% higher
Copper23 minerals with Ni and Cu13.14%4.75% higher
Carbon16 minerals with Ni and C9.14%23.28% higher
Antimony15 minerals with Ni and Sb8.57%74.68% higher
Magnesium14 minerals with Ni and Mg8.00%41.99% lower
Phosphorus12 minerals with Ni and P6.86%38.00% lower
Aluminium12 minerals with Ni and Al6.86%65.52% lower
Silicon10 minerals with Ni and Si5.71%79.45% lower
Selenium10 minerals with Ni and Se5.71%143.99% higher
Bismuth9 minerals with Ni and Bi5.14%25.77% higher
Chlorine9 minerals with Ni and Cl5.14%31.85% lower
Calcium8 minerals with Ni and Ca4.57%81.45% lower
Zinc7 minerals with Ni and Zn4.00%25.28% lower
Lead6 minerals with Ni and Pb3.43%64.25% lower
Palladium5 minerals with Ni and Pd2.86%113.49% higher
Manganese5 minerals with Ni and Mn2.86%75.33% lower
Tellurium5 minerals with Ni and Te2.86%6.27% lower
Nitrogen5 minerals with Ni and N2.86%49.24% higher
Platinum4 minerals with Ni and Pt2.29%167.33% higher
Uranium4 minerals with Ni and U2.29%52.34% lower
Vanadium3 minerals with Ni and V1.71%58.64% lower
Mercury2 minerals with Ni and Hg1.14%33.89% lower
Iridium2 minerals with Ni and Ir1.14%145.94% higher
Rhodium2 minerals with Ni and Rh1.14%223.61% higher
Chromium2 minerals with Ni and Cr1.14%30.91% lower
Potassium2 minerals with Ni and K1.14%88.22% lower
Sodium2 minerals with Ni and Na1.14%93.97% lower
Barium1 mineral with Ni and Ba0.57%87.70% lower
Silver1 mineral with Ni and Ag0.57%82.83% lower
Molybdenum1 mineral with Ni and Mo0.57%50.41% lower
Ruthenium1 mineral with Ni and Ru0.57%136.48% higher
Tin1 mineral with Ni and Sn0.57%68.95% lower
Boron1 mineral with Ni and B0.57%88.78% lower
Thallium1 mineral with Ni and Tl0.57%49.60% lower
Germanium1 mineral with Ni and Ge0.57%6.01% 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 Ni Relative Frequency
Cobalt << Nickel >> Copper

Most widespread minerals containing Nickel
This list of minerals containing Nickel 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 Nickel mineral species. It is more useful when comparing rare species rather than common species.
NameFormulaCrystal SystemMindat Localities
AnnabergiteNi3(AsO4)2 · 8H2OMonoclinic425

Localities with greatest number of different Nickel mineral species
map should go here
1132 North Ni Mine (Mount Edwards Mine), Widgiemooltha, Coolgardie Shire, Western Australia, Australia17 Ni minerals
2Km-3 Mine, Lavrion (Laurion; Laurium), Lavrion District Mines, Lavrion District (Laurion; Laurium), Attikí Prefecture (Attica; Attika), Greece17 Ni minerals
3Lord Brassey Mine, Heazlewood district, Waratah-Wynyard municipality, Tasmania, Australia16 Ni minerals
4Belorechenskoe deposit (Belorechenskoye; Dakhovskoe; Belaya Rechka), Adygea Republic (Adygeya), Northern Caucasus Region, Russia15 Ni minerals
5Jáchymov (St Joachimsthal), Jáchymov District (St Joachimsthal), Krušné Hory Mts (Erzgebirge), Karlovy Vary Region, Bohemia (Böhmen; Boehmen), Czech Republic14 Ni minerals
6Kitka River Valley, Kuusamo, Northern Finland Region, Finland13 Ni minerals
7Vermilion Mine, Denison Township, Sudbury District, Ontario, Canada12 Ni minerals
8Palhal Mine, Branca, Albergaria-a-Velha, Aveiro District, Portugal12 Ni 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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