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The Mineralogy of Scandium

General Properties
Atomic Number:21
Standard atomic weight (Ar):44.955912(6)
Electron configuration:[Ar] 3d1 4s2
Scandium sublimed dendritic and a cube
Atomic Properties
Electronegativity (Pauling scale):1.36
Atomic Radius:184 pm
Ionic Radius:74.5 pm (+3)
1st Ionization energy:633 kJ/mol
1st Electron affinity:-18 kJ/mol
Oxidation States:1,2,3
Physical Properties
Standard State:solid
Bonding Type:metallic
Melting Point:1814 K
Boiling Point:3103 K
Density:2.99 g/cm3
Metal/Non-Metal:transition metal
Main isotopes of Scandium
Isotope% in NatureHalf LifeDecay typeDecay product
44m2Scsynthetic58.61hIsomeric transition44Sc
Main ions of Scandium
NameIonExample minerals
Other Information
Year Discovered:1879
Discovered By:
Lars Fredrik Nilson
Year Predicted:1871
Year Isolated:1879
Isolated By:Lars Fredrik Nilson
Named For:
From Latin: Scandia - "Scandinavia"
CPK color coding:#E6E6E6
External Links:WikipediaWebElementsLos Alamos National LaboratoryTheodore Gray's PeriodicTable.com
Simple Compounds
Sulfidesdiscandium trisulphideSc2S3+3
Telluridesdiscandium tritellurideSc2Te3+3
Hydridesscandium dihydrideScH2+2
scandium trihydrideScH3+3
Hydroxidesscandium hydroxideSc(OH)3+3
Fluoridesscandium trifluorideScF3+3
Chloridesscandium trichlorideScCl3+3
Iodidesscandium triiodideScI3+3
Oxidesdiscandium trioxideSc2O3+3
Mineral Diversity of Scandium
4. Oxides 2 valid mineral species
8. Phosphates, Arsenates, Vanadates3 valid mineral species
9. Silicates 9 valid mineral species
Total:14 valid species containing essential Scandium
Geochemistry of Scandium
Goldschmidt classification:Lithophile
Sc3+ was one of the ions least depleted from the mantle in the formation of the crust.
Sc3+ is enriched in Ca-Al-rich inclusions in meteorites relative to the composition of the solar system.
Sc3+ enters early-forming phases in igneous rocks.
Sc3+ is commonly concentrated in residual soils and sediments.
Elemental Abundance for Scandium
Crust (CRC Handbook)2.2 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Kaye & Laby)2.2 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Greenwood)2.5 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)3.0 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Wänke)2.14 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)1.1 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Shaw)7 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Sea Water (CRC Handbook)6 x 10-13mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Sea Water (Kaye & Laby)< 4 x 10-12mass per volume fraction, kg/L
The Sun (Kaye & Laby)3.5 x 10-5atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Kaye & Laby)3.4 x 10-5atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Ahrens)3.42 x 10-5 (8.6%)atom mole fraction relative to Si=1 (% uncertainty)
Element association of Scandium in the Mineral World
This table compares the known valid mineral species listed listed with Scandium 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 Scandium and the element listed for that row.

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

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 Scandium% of Sc mineralsRelative to % in all minerals
Oxygen54 minerals with Sc and O100.00%25.21% higher
Silicon26 minerals with Sc and Si48.15%70.87% higher
Calcium26 minerals with Sc and Ca48.15%97.59% higher
Hydrogen19 minerals with Sc and H35.19%36.83% lower
Aluminium15 minerals with Sc and Al27.78%38.58% higher
Magnesium12 minerals with Sc and Mg22.22%68.93% higher
Phosphorus11 minerals with Sc and P20.37%74.27% higher
Zirconium9 minerals with Sc and Zr16.67%627.73% higher
Iron7 minerals with Sc and Fe12.96%40.69% lower
Beryllium6 minerals with Sc and Be11.11%401.19% higher
Titanium6 minerals with Sc and Ti11.11%62.59% higher
Sodium5 minerals with Sc and Na9.26%51.50% lower
Manganese4 minerals with Sc and Mn7.41%32.84% lower
Potassium3 minerals with Sc and K5.56%40.66% lower
Tin3 minerals with Sc and Sn5.56%212.60% higher
Tantalum3 minerals with Sc and Ta5.56%366.50% higher
Barium2 minerals with Sc and Ba3.70%18.82% lower
Yttrium1 mineral with Sc and Y1.85%22.25% 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 Sc Relative Frequency
Calcium << Scandium >> Titanium

Most widespread minerals containing Scandium
This list of minerals containing Scandium 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 Scandium mineral species. It is more useful when comparing rare species rather than common species.
NameFormulaCrystal SystemMindat Localities
KolbeckiteScPO4 · 2H2OMonoclinic28

Localities with greatest number of different Scandium mineral species
map should go here
2Heftetjern pegmatite, Tørdal, Drangedal, Telemark, Norway7 Sc minerals
4Seula mine (ex Montecatini quarry), Mount Camoscio, Oltrefiume, Baveno, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola Province, Piedmont, Italy6 Sc minerals
8Locatelli Quarry, Mount Camoscio, Oltrefiume, Baveno, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola Province, Piedmont, Italy4 Sc minerals
6Allende meteorite (Pueblito de Allende meteorite; Qutrixpileo meteorite [NHM cat.]), Pueblito de Allende, Chihuahua, Mexico4 Sc minerals
Scala dei Ratti Quarry (Ratti Quarry; Scala Quarry), Feriolo, Baveno, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola Province, Piedmont, Italy4 Sc 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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