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The Mineralogy of Tin

General Properties
Atomic Number:50
Standard atomic weight (Ar):118.710(7)
Electron configuration:[Kr] 4d10 5s2 5p2
Old tin ingots
Atomic Properties
Electronegativity (Pauling scale):1.96
Atomic Radius:145 pm
Ionic Radius:112 pm (+2)
Van der Waals Radius:217 pm
1st Ionization energy:709 kJ/mol
1st Electron affinity:-107 kJ/mol
Oxidation States:-4,2,4
Physical Properties
Standard State:solid
Bonding Type:metallic
Melting Point:505 K
Boiling Point:2875 K
Density:7.31 g/cm3
Main isotopes of Tin
Isotope% in NatureHalf LifeDecay typeDecay product
112Sn0.97%-β+β+ ?112Cd
114Sn0.66%-Spontaneous fission ?
115Sn0.34%-Spontaneous fission ?
116Sn14.54%-Spontaneous fission ?
117Sn7.68%-Spontaneous fission ?
118Sn24.22%-Spontaneous fission ?
119Sn8.59%-Spontaneous fission ?
120Sn32.58%-Spontaneous fission ?
122Sn4.63%-β-β- ?122Te
124Sn5.79%>1x1017yβ-β- ?124Te
Main ions of Tin
NameIonExample minerals
tin(II)Sn2+Herzenbergite, Romarchite
stannate[Sn(OH)6]2-Burtite, Natanite, Jeanbandyite
Other Information
Year Discovered:around 3500 BC
Named For:from the Anglo-Saxon word "tin"
CPK color coding:#668080
External Links:WikipediaWebElementsLos Alamos National LaboratoryTheodore Gray's
Simple Compounds and Mineral Names
Sulfidestin sulphideSnS+2
tin disulphideSnS2+4Berndtite
Selenidestin selenideSnSe+2
tin diselenideSnSe2+4
Telluridestin tellurideSnTe+2
Fluoridestin difluorideSnF2+2
tin tetrafluorideSnF4+4
Chloridestin dichlorideSnCl2+2
tin tetrachlorideSnCl4+4
Bromidestin dibromideSnBr2+2
tin tetrabromideSnBr4+4
Iodidestin diiodideSnI2+2
tin tetraiodideSnI4+4
Oxidestin oxideSnO+2Romarchite
tin dioxideSnO2+4Cassiterite
Mineral Diversity of Tin
1. Elements 11 valid mineral species
2. Sulfides And Sulfosalts 36 valid mineral species
3. Halides2 valid mineral species
4. Oxides 17 valid mineral species
6. Borates2 valid mineral species
9. Silicates 11 valid mineral species
Total:79 valid species containing essential Tin
Geochemistry of Tin
Goldschmidt classification:Chalcophile
Sn4+ is concentrated in residual soils and sediments (less certainty.)
Elemental Abundance for Tin
Crust (CRC Handbook)2.3 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Kaye & Laby)1.5 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Greenwood)2.1 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)2.500 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)5.500 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Sea Water (CRC Handbook)4 x 10-12mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Sea Water (Kaye & Laby)8.1 x 10-10mass per volume fraction, kg/L
The Sun (Kaye & Laby)3.0 x 10-6atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Kaye & Laby)3.9 x 10-6atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Ahrens)3.82 x 10-6 (9.4%)atom mole fraction relative to Si=1 (% uncertainty)
Element association of Tin in the Mineral World
This table compares the known valid mineral species listed listed with Tin 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 Tin and the element listed for that row.

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

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 Tin% of Sn mineralsRelative to % in all minerals
Oxygen46 minerals with Sn and O46.46%39.26% lower
Sulfur37 minerals with Sn and S37.37%90.99% higher
Iron29 minerals with Sn and Fe29.29%28.15% higher
Copper26 minerals with Sn and Cu26.26%109.36% higher
Hydrogen22 minerals with Sn and H22.22%58.75% lower
Zinc15 minerals with Sn and Zn15.15%183.09% higher
Calcium15 minerals with Sn and Ca15.15%38.51% lower
Silicon14 minerals with Sn and Si14.14%49.13% lower
Lead12 minerals with Sn and Pb12.12%26.40% higher
Palladium11 minerals with Sn and Pd11.11%730.40% higher
Antimony10 minerals with Sn and Sb10.10%105.88% higher
Manganese9 minerals with Sn and Mn9.09%21.48% lower
Aluminium8 minerals with Sn and Al8.08%59.36% lower
Arsenic8 minerals with Sn and As8.08%29.18% lower
Platinum7 minerals with Sn and Pt7.07%727.12% higher
Magnesium7 minerals with Sn and Mg7.07%48.72% lower
Boron6 minerals with Sn and B6.06%19.02% higher
Tantalum6 minerals with Sn and Ta6.06%346.74% higher
Silver6 minerals with Sn and Ag6.06%82.19% higher
Titanium5 minerals with Sn and Ti5.05%26.94% lower
Potassium3 minerals with Sn and K3.03%68.76% lower
Niobium3 minerals with Sn and Nb3.03%10.41% lower
Zirconium3 minerals with Sn and Zr3.03%25.43% higher
Chlorine3 minerals with Sn and Cl3.03%59.84% lower
Sodium3 minerals with Sn and Na3.03%84.01% lower
Indium3 minerals with Sn and In3.03%1,064.72% higher
Lithium3 minerals with Sn and Li3.03%34.76% higher
Bismuth3 minerals with Sn and Bi3.03%25.88% lower
Beryllium3 minerals with Sn and Be3.03%35.88% higher
Vanadium2 minerals with Sn and V2.02%51.25% lower
Gold2 minerals with Sn and Au2.02%262.36% higher
Tellurium2 minerals with Sn and Te2.02%33.72% lower
Tungsten1 mineral with Sn and W1.01%32.57% higher
Barium1 mineral with Sn and Ba1.01%78.26% lower
Mercury1 mineral with Sn and Hg1.01%41.56% lower
Nitrogen1 mineral with Sn and N1.01%47.23% lower
Nickel1 mineral with Sn and Ni1.01%68.94% lower
Fluorine1 mineral with Sn and F1.01%87.89% lower
Cadmium1 mineral with Sn and Cd1.01%101.31% higher
Molybdenum1 mineral with Sn and Mo1.01%12.33% lower
Scandium1 mineral with Sn and Sc1.01%239.71% higher
Thallium1 mineral with Sn and Tl1.01%10.90% 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 Sn Relative Frequency
Indium << Tin >> Antimony

Most widespread minerals containing Tin
This list of minerals containing Tin 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 Tin mineral species. It is more useful when comparing rare species rather than common species.
NameFormulaCrystal SystemMindat Localities
Kesterite Cu2ZnSnS4Tetragonal73

Localities with greatest number of different Tin mineral species
map should go here
1Oploca Vein System (Oploca mine), Pirquitas Ag-Sn Deposit, Rinconada Department, Jujuy, Argentina15 Sn minerals
2Pirquitas Ag-Sn Deposit, Rinconada Department, Jujuy, Argentina13 Sn minerals
3Bisbee, Warren District, Mule Mts, Cochise Co., Arizona, USA12 Sn minerals
4Campbell Mine (Campbell shaft), Bisbee, Warren District, Mule Mts, Cochise Co., Arizona, USA12 Sn minerals
5Toyoha mine, Minami-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan11 Sn minerals
6Kochbulak Au-Ag-Te deposit, Chatkal-Kuraminskii Range, Angren Region, Tashkent Viloyati (Toshkent), Uzbekistan11 Sn minerals
7Oktyabr'skoe Cu-Ni deposit (Oktyabr'skoye; Oktyabr'sky), Talnakh Cu-Ni Deposit, Noril'sk, Putoran Plateau, Taimyr Peninsula, Taymyrskiy Autonomous Okrug, Eastern-Siberian Region, Russia10 Sn minerals
Dolomite quarry, Rędziny, Czarnów, Rudawy Janowickie Mts, Lower Silesia (Dolnośląskie), Poland10 Sn minerals

Important ores of Tin
NameFormulaCrystal System

Minor ores of Tin
NameFormulaCrystal System

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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