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The Mineralogy of Osmium

General Properties
Atomic Number:76
Standard atomic weight (Ar):190.23(3)
Electron configuration:[Xe] 4f14 5d6 6s2
Osmium crystals, grown by chemical vapour transport
Atomic Properties
Electronegativity (Pauling scale):2.2
Atomic Radius:185 pm
Ionic Radius:63 pm (+4)
1st Ionization energy:840 kJ/mol
1st Electron affinity:-106 kJ/mol
Oxidation States:-2,-1,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
Physical Properties
Standard State:solid
Bonding Type:metallic
Melting Point:3306 K
Boiling Point:5285 K
Density:22.59 g/cm3
Metal/Non-Metal:transition metal
Main isotopes of Osmium
Isotope% in NatureHalf LifeDecay typeDecay product
184Os0.02%>5.6x1013yβ+β+ ?184W
α ?180W
187Os1.96%-α ?183W
188Os13.24%-α ?184W
189Os16.15%-α ?185W
190Os26.26%-α ?186W
192Os40.78%>9.8x1012yβ-β- ?192Pt
α ?188W
Main ions of Osmium
NameIonExample minerals
red osmate[OsO4(OH)2]2-
Other Information
Year Discovered:1803
Discovered By:
Smithson Tennant
Named For:From Greek: osme - "a smell"
CPK color coding:#266696
External Links:WikipediaWebElementsLos Alamos National LaboratoryTheodore Gray's PeriodicTable.com
Simple Compounds and Mineral Names
Sulfidesosmium disulphideOsS2+4Erlichmanite
Selenidesosmium diselenideOsSe2+4
Telluridesosmium ditellurideOsTe2+4
Fluoridesosmium hexafluorideOsF6+6
osmium octafluorideOsF8+8
osmium tetrafluorideOsF4+4
osmium heptafluorideOsF7+7
osmium pentafluoride[OsF5]4+5
Chloridesosmium trichlorideOsCl3+3
osmium tetrachlorideOsCl4+4
osmium pentachlorideOsCl5+5
Bromidesosmium tribromideOsBr3+3
osmium tetrabromideOsBr4+4
Iodidesosmium iodideOsI+1
osmium diiodideOsI2+2
osmium triiodideOsI3+3
Oxidesosmium dioxideOsO2+4
osmium tetraoxideOsO4+8
Mineral Diversity of Osmium
1. Elements 1 valid mineral species
2. Sulfides And Sulfosalts 3 valid mineral species
Total:4 valid species containing essential Osmium
Geochemistry of Osmium
Goldschmidt classification:Siderophile
Os4+ is enriched in Ca-Al-rich inclusions in meteorites relative to the composition of the solar system.
Elemental Abundance for Osmium
Crust (CRC Handbook)1.5 x 10-9mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Kaye & Laby)2 x 10-10mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Greenwood)5 x 10-9mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Wänke)1.02 x 10-9mass fraction, kg/kg
The Sun (Kaye & Laby)8.0 x 10-7atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Kaye & Laby)6.7 x 10-7atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Ahrens)6.75 x 10-7 (6.3%)atom mole fraction relative to Si=1 (% uncertainty)
Element association of Osmium in the Mineral World
This table compares the known valid mineral species listed listed with Osmium 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 Osmium and the element listed for that row.

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

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 Osmium% of Os mineralsRelative to % in all minerals
Ruthenium20 minerals with Os and Ru80.00%36,280.00% higher
Iridium11 minerals with Os and Ir44.00%11,905.40% higher
Sulfur9 minerals with Os and S36.00%72.63% higher
Arsenic9 minerals with Os and As36.00%194.97% higher
Iron6 minerals with Os and Fe24.00%9.78% higher
Molybdenum3 minerals with Os and Mo12.00%863.00% 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 Os Relative Frequency
Rhenium << Osmium >> Iridium

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

Localities with greatest number of different Osmium mineral species
map should go here
Witwatersrand Gold Fields, South Africa3 Os minerals
Østhammeren (Osthammeren), Feragen, Røros, Trøndelag, Norway3 Os minerals
Lapland, Finland3 Os minerals
Outokumpu Cu-Co-Zn-Ni-Ag-Au ore field, North Karelia, Finland2 Os minerals
Aleksandrov Log Pt deposit, Solov'eva Mtn, Nizhnii Tagil, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia2 Os 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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