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The Mineralogy of Zinc

General Properties
Symbol:Zn
Atomic Number:30
Standard atomic weight (Ar):65.38(2)
Electron configuration:[Ar] 3d10 4s2
Photos
<
Pure zinc
>
Atomic Properties
Electronegativity (Pauling scale):1.65
Atomic Radius:142 pm
Ionic Radius:74 pm (+2)
Van der Waals Radius:139 pm
1st Ionization energy:906 kJ/mol
Oxidation States:2
Physical Properties
Standard State:solid
Bonding Type:metallic
Melting Point:693 K
Boiling Point:1180 K
Density:7.14 g/cm3
Metal/Non-Metal:transition metal
Main isotopes of Zinc
Isotope% in NatureHalf LifeDecay typeDecay product
64Zn48.6%>2.3x1018yβ+β+ ?64Ni
65Znsynthetic243.8dε65Cu
66Zn27.9%stable
67Zn4.1%stable
68Zn18.8%stable
69Znsynthetic56minβ−69Ga
69mZnsynthetic13.76hβ−69Ga
70Zn0.6%>1.3x1016yβ-β- ?70Ge
71Znsynthetic2.4minβ−71Ga
71mZnsynthetic3.97dβ−71Ga
72Znsynthetic46.5hβ−72Ga
Main ions of Zinc
NameIonExample minerals
zincZn2+Sphalerite, Smithsonite
Other Information
Year Discovered:before 1000 BC
Discovered By:Indian metallurgists
Recognised as an element:800
Recognised By:
Rasaratna Samuccaya
Year Isolated:1746
Isolated By:
Andreas Sigismund Marggraf
Named For:From German: Zink - "prong, point"
CPK color coding:#7D80B0
External Links:WikipediaWebElementsLos Alamos National LaboratoryTheodore Gray's PeriodicTable.com
Simple Compounds and Mineral Names
Nitridestrizinc dinitrideZn3N2+2
Sulfideszinc sulphideZnS+2Sphalerite, Wurtzite
Selenideszinc selenideZnSe+2
Tellurideszinc tellurideZnTe+2
Hydrideszinc dihydrideZnH2+2
Hydroxideszinc hydroxideZn(OH)2+2Ashoverite, Sweetite, Wülfingite
Fluorideszinc difluorideZnF2+2
Chlorideszinc dichlorideZnCl2+2
Bromideszinc dibromideZnBr2+2
Iodideszinc diiodideZnI2+2
Oxideszinc oxideZnO+2Zincite
zinc peroxideZnO2+2
Carbonateszinc carbonateZnCO3+2Smithsonite
Nitrateszinc nitrateZn(NO3)2+2
Sulfateszinc sulfateZnSO4+2Zinkosite
zinc sulfate monohydrateZnSO4 · H2O+2Gunningite
zinc sulfate tetrahydrateZnSO4 · 4H2O+2Boyleite
zinc sulfate hexahydrateZnSO4 · 6H2O+2Bianchite
zinc sulfate heptahydrateZnSO4 · 7H2O+2Goslarite, Zincmelanterite
Phosphateszinc phosphateZn3(PO4)2+2
zinc phosphate tetrahydrateZn3(PO4)2 · 4H2O+2Hopeite, Parahopeite
hydrous zinc phosphateZn2(PO4)(OH)+2Tarbuttite
Arsenateszinc arsenateZn3(AsO4)2+2Reinerite
zinc arsenate dihydrateZn3(AsO4)2 · 2H2O+2Warikahnite
zinc arsenate tetrahydrateZn3(AsO4)2 · 4H2O+2Arsenohopeite, Davidlloydite
zinc arsenate octahydrateZn3(AsO4)2 · 8H2O+2Köttigite
hydrous zinc arsenateZn2(AsO4)(OH)+2Adamite, Paradamite
hydrous zinc arsenate monohydrateZn2(AsO4)(OH) · H2O+2Legrandite
Silicateszinc silicateZn2SIO4+2Willemite
Mineral Diversity of Zinc
1. Elements 4 valid mineral species
2. Sulfides And Sulfosalts 9 valid mineral species
3. Halides3 valid mineral species
4. Oxides 32 valid mineral species
5. Carbonates 10 valid mineral species
7. Sulfates 33 valid mineral species
8. Phosphates, Arsenates, Vanadates68 valid mineral species
9. Silicates 35 valid mineral species
Total:194 valid species containing essential Zinc
Geochemistry of Zinc
Goldschmidt classification:Chalcophile
Zn2+ was one of the ions least depleted from the mantle in the formation of the crust.
Zn2+ is concentrated in residual soils and sediments (less certainty.)
Zn2+ solute can be a limiting nutrient in the growth of bacteria.
Zn2+ solute is a micronutrient on land.
Zn2+ is essential to nutrition of at least some vertebrates ('essential minerals').
Elemental Abundance for Zinc
Crust (CRC Handbook)7.0 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Kaye & Laby)8.2 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Greenwood)7.6 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)8.0 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Wänke)7.6 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)7.1 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Shaw)5.2 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Sea Water (CRC Handbook)4.9 x 10-9mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Sea Water (Kaye & Laby)1.1 x 10-8mass per volume fraction, kg/L
The Sun (Kaye & Laby)1.1 x 10-3atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Kaye & Laby)1.3 x 10-3atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Ahrens)1.26 x 10-3 (4.4%)atom mole fraction relative to Si=1 (% uncertainty)
Element association of Zinc in the Mineral World
This table compares the known valid mineral species listed listed with Zinc 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 Zinc and the element listed for that row.

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

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 Zinc% of Zn mineralsRelative to % in all minerals
Oxygen248 minerals with Zn and O86.11%12.60% higher
Hydrogen202 minerals with Zn and H70.14%30.21% higher
Iron92 minerals with Zn and Fe31.94%39.78% higher
Sulfur76 minerals with Zn and S26.39%34.88% higher
Arsenic73 minerals with Zn and As25.35%122.18% higher
Copper72 minerals with Zn and Cu25.00%99.33% higher
Silicon54 minerals with Zn and Si18.75%32.55% lower
Manganese53 minerals with Zn and Mn18.40%58.98% higher
Magnesium44 minerals with Zn and Mg15.28%10.82% higher
Calcium42 minerals with Zn and Ca14.58%40.81% lower
Aluminium41 minerals with Zn and Al14.24%28.39% lower
Phosphorus29 minerals with Zn and P10.07%8.92% lower
Lead29 minerals with Zn and Pb10.07%5.03% higher
Sodium25 minerals with Zn and Na8.68%54.20% lower
Potassium23 minerals with Zn and K7.99%17.66% lower
Titanium19 minerals with Zn and Ti6.60%4.55% lower
Tellurium16 minerals with Zn and Te5.56%82.32% higher
Chlorine16 minerals with Zn and Cl5.56%26.35% lower
Carbon15 minerals with Zn and C5.21%29.75% lower
Tin15 minerals with Zn and Sn5.21%183.14% higher
Antimony13 minerals with Zn and Sb4.51%7.98% lower
Silver9 minerals with Zn and Ag3.13%6.04% lower
Vanadium8 minerals with Zn and V2.78%32.96% lower
Niobium7 minerals with Zn and Nb2.43%28.13% lower
Nickel7 minerals with Zn and Ni2.43%25.25% lower
Beryllium6 minerals with Zn and Be2.08%6.56% lower
Chromium5 minerals with Zn and Cr1.74%4.99% higher
Selenium5 minerals with Zn and Se1.74%25.84% lower
Uranium5 minerals with Zn and U1.74%63.78% lower
Yttrium4 minerals with Zn and Y1.39%46.99% lower
Thallium4 minerals with Zn and Tl1.39%22.54% higher
Cadmium4 minerals with Zn and Cd1.39%176.85% higher
Mercury4 minerals with Zn and Hg1.39%19.62% lower
Cobalt4 minerals with Zn and Co1.39%1.64% lower
Fluorine4 minerals with Zn and F1.39%83.35% lower
Strontium4 minerals with Zn and Sr1.39%50.82% lower
Tungsten3 minerals with Zn and W1.04%36.74% higher
Zirconium3 minerals with Zn and Zr1.04%56.88% lower
Germanium3 minerals with Zn and Ge1.04%93.32% higher
Indium3 minerals with Zn and In1.04%300.45% higher
Lanthanum2 minerals with Zn and La0.69%59.38% lower
Cerium2 minerals with Zn and Ce0.69%79.00% lower
Lithium2 minerals with Zn and Li0.69%69.11% lower
Barium1 mineral with Zn and Ba0.35%92.53% lower
Caesium1 mineral with Zn and Cs0.35%22.14% lower
Palladium1 mineral with Zn and Pd0.35%74.05% lower
Boron1 mineral with Zn and B0.35%93.18% lower
Gallium1 mineral with Zn and Ga0.35%166.96% 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 Zn Relative Frequency
Copper << Zinc >> Gallium


Most widespread minerals containing Zinc
This list of minerals containing Zinc 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 Zinc mineral species. It is more useful when comparing rare species rather than common species.
NameFormulaCrystal SystemMindat Localities
SphaleriteZnSIsometric19823
SmithsoniteZnCO3Trigonal2331
HemimorphiteZn4Si2O7(OH)2 · H2OOrthorhombic1650
HydrozinciteZn5(CO3)2(OH)6Monoclinic1019
Aurichalcite(Zn,Cu)5(CO3)2(OH)6Monoclinic841
GahniteZnAl2O4Isometric391
Wurtzite(Zn,Fe)SHexagonal373
DescloizitePbZn(VO4)(OH)Orthorhombic354
WillemiteZn2SiO4Trigonal304
AdamiteZn2(AsO4)(OH)Orthorhombic216
Photos

Localities with greatest number of different Zinc mineral species
map should go here
1Tsumeb Mine (Tsumcorp Mine), Tsumeb, Otjikoto Region (Oshikoto), Namibia48 Zn minerals
2Sterling Mine, Sterling Hill, Ogdensburg, Franklin Mining District, Sussex Co., New Jersey, USA37 Zn minerals
Christiana Mine, Kamariza Mines (Kamareza Mines), Agios Konstantinos [St Constantine] (Kamariza), Lavrion District Mines, Lavrion District (Laurion; Laurium), Attikí Prefecture (Attica; Attika), Greece29 Zn minerals
4Franklin Mine, Franklin, Franklin Mining District, Sussex Co., New Jersey, USA29 Zn minerals
5Ojuela Mine, Mapimí, Mun. de Mapimí, Durango, Mexico23 Zn minerals
6Block 14 opencut, Broken Hill, Yancowinna Co., New South Wales, Australia22 Zn minerals
7Friedrichssegen Mine, Frücht, Bad Ems District, Lahn valley, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany20 Zn minerals
8Kabwe Mine (Broken Hill Mine), Kabwe (Broken Hill), Kabwe District, Central Province, Zambia19 Zn minerals


Important ores of Zinc
NameFormulaCrystal System
SphaleriteZnSIsometric
Wurtzite(Zn,Fe)SHexagonal
Photos


Minor ores of Zinc
NameFormulaCrystal System
HemimorphiteZn4Si2O7(OH)2 · H2OOrthorhombic
SmithsoniteZnCO3Trigonal
ZinciteZnOHexagonal
Photos


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)
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