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The Mineralogy of Tellurium

General Properties
Atomic Number:52
Standard atomic weight (Ar):127.60(3)
Electron configuration:[Kr] 4d10 5s2 5p4
Tellurium coin
Atomic Properties
Electronegativity (Pauling scale):2.1
Atomic Radius:123 pm
Ionic Radius:221 pm (-2)
Van der Waals Radius:206 pm
1st Ionization energy:869 kJ/mol
1st Electron affinity:-190 kJ/mol
Oxidation States:-2,2,4,5,6
Physical Properties
Standard State:solid
Bonding Type:metallic
Melting Point:723 K
Boiling Point:1261 K
Density:6.24 g/cm3
Main isotopes of Tellurium
Isotope% in NatureHalf LifeDecay typeDecay product
120Te0.09%>2.2x1016yβ+β+ ?120Sn
122Te2.55%-Spontaneous fission ?
123Te0.89%>9.2x1016yε ?123Sb
124Te4.74%-Spontaneous fission ?
125Te7.07%-Spontaneous fission ?
126Te18.84%-Spontaneous fission ?
Main ions of Tellurium
NameIonExample minerals
ditelluride[Te2]2-Frohbergite, Mattagamite
tellurite[TeO3]2-Balyakinite, Cesbronite, Emmonsite, Fairbankite
metatellurate[TeO4]2-Brumadoite, Utahite
orthotellurate[TeO6]6-Eztlite, Cuzticite, Xocolatlite
Other Information
Year Discovered:1782
Discovered By:
Franz-Joseph Müller von Reichenstein
Isolated By:
Martin Heinrich Klaproth
Named For:
after Roman Tellus, deity of the Earth
CPK color coding:#D47A00
External Links:WikipediaWebElementsLos Alamos National LaboratoryTheodore Gray's PeriodicTable.com
Simple Compounds and Mineral Names
Sulfidestellurium sulphideTeS+2
Fluoridestellurium hexafluorideTeF6+6
tellurium tetrafluorideTeF4+4
Chloridesditellurium chlorideTe2Cl
tellurium dichlorideTeCl2+2
tritellurium dichlorideTe3Cl20,+2
tellurium tetrachloride tetramer[TeCl4]4+4
Bromidesditellurium bromideTe2Br
tellurium tetrabromide tetramer[TeBr4]4+4
Iodidestellurium iodideTeI+1
ditellurium iodideTe2I
tetratellurium tetraiodideTe4I4+1
tellurium tetraiodide tetramer[TeI4]4+4
Oxidestellurium oxideTeO+2
tellurium dioxideTeO2+4Tellurite, Paratellurite
tellurium trioxideTeO3+6
Mineral Diversity of Tellurium
1. Elements 1 valid mineral species
2. Sulfides And Sulfosalts 70 valid mineral species
3. Halides2 valid mineral species
4. Oxides 45 valid mineral species
7. Sulfates 12 valid mineral species
8. Phosphates, Arsenates, Vanadates3 valid mineral species
9. Silicates 1 valid mineral species
Total:134 valid species containing essential Tellurium
Geochemistry of Tellurium
Goldschmidt classification:Chalcophile
Te2- forms minerals with Cu+.
Te2- forms minerals with Ag+.
Te2- forms minerals with Au+.
Elemental Abundance for Tellurium
Crust (CRC Handbook)1 x 10-9mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Greenwood)1 x 10-9mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Wänke)2.03 x 10-9mass fraction, kg/kg
Solar System (Kaye & Laby)4.9 x 10-6atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Ahrens)4.81 x 10-6 (10%)atom mole fraction relative to Si=1 (% uncertainty)
Element association of Tellurium in the Mineral World
This table compares the known valid mineral species listed listed with Tellurium 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 Tellurium and the element listed for that row.

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

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 Tellurium% of Te mineralsRelative to % in all minerals
Oxygen249 minerals with Te and O49.21%38.40% lower
Lead139 minerals with Te and Pb27.47%169.61% higher
Hydrogen138 minerals with Te and H27.27%51.04% lower
Copper135 minerals with Te and Cu26.68%103.91% higher
Bismuth101 minerals with Te and Bi19.96%369.50% higher
Sulfur88 minerals with Te and S17.39%16.60% lower
Silver70 minerals with Te and Ag13.83%303.70% higher
Iron61 minerals with Te and Fe12.06%44.86% lower
Palladium52 minerals with Te and Pd10.28%689.86% higher
Zinc42 minerals with Te and Zn8.30%59.49% higher
Gold41 minerals with Te and Au8.10%1,239.90% higher
Chlorine39 minerals with Te and Cl7.71%4.37% higher
Antimony31 minerals with Te and Sb6.13%24.75% higher
Selenium29 minerals with Te and Se5.73%144.34% higher
Calcium28 minerals with Te and Ca5.53%77.30% lower
Arsenic21 minerals with Te and As4.15%65.99% lower
Magnesium19 minerals with Te and Mg3.75%71.46% lower
Manganese19 minerals with Te and Mn3.75%65.96% lower
Nickel15 minerals with Te and Ni2.96%3.71% lower
Mercury15 minerals with Te and Hg2.96%63.40% higher
Uranium12 minerals with Te and U2.37%54.27% lower
Iridium9 minerals with Te and Ir1.78%385.31% higher
Carbon9 minerals with Te and C1.78%77.05% lower
Platinum8 minerals with Te and Pt1.58%146.50% higher
Potassium6 minerals with Te and K1.19%87.34% lower
Aluminium6 minerals with Te and Al1.19%94.09% lower
Tin6 minerals with Te and Sn1.19%33.29% lower
Titanium5 minerals with Te and Ti0.99%85.54% lower
Molybdenum3 minerals with Te and Mo0.59%52.42% lower
Germanium3 minerals with Te and Ge0.59%1.96% lower
Vanadium3 minerals with Te and V0.59%86.74% lower
Cobalt3 minerals with Te and Co0.59%53.78% lower
Chromium3 minerals with Te and Cr0.59%66.65% lower
Phosphorus3 minerals with Te and P0.59%94.93% lower
Silicon3 minerals with Te and Si0.59%97.90% lower
Tungsten3 minerals with Te and W0.59%28.10% lower
Thallium2 minerals with Te and Tl0.40%70.04% lower
Sodium1 mineral with Te and Na0.20%98.97% 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 Te Relative Frequency
Antimony << Tellurium >> Iodine

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

Localities with greatest number of different Tellurium mineral species
map should go here
2Moctezuma Mine (Bambolla Mine), Moctezuma, Mun. de Moctezuma, Sonora, Mexico38 Te minerals
5Kawazu mine (Rendaiji mine; Rendaizi mine), Rendaiji, Shimoda City, Shizuoka, Japan27 Te minerals
6Trixie Mine (Trixie shaft; Old Trump prospect), East Tintic District, East Tintic Mts, Utah Co., Utah, USA27 Te minerals
8Kockbulak mine (Kochbulak Au-Ag-Te deposit), Sughd, Tajikistan25 Te 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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