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The Mineralogy of Zinc

General Properties
Atomic Number:30
Standard atomic weight (Ar):65.38(2)
Electron configuration:[Ar] 3d10 4s2
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%>2.3×1018yβ+β+ ?64Ni
70Zn0.6%>1.3×1016yβ-β- ?70Ge
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
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 11 valid mineral species
3. Halides3 valid mineral species
4. Oxides 32 valid mineral species
5. Carbonates 10 valid mineral species
7. Sulfates 35 valid mineral species
8. Phosphates, Arsenates, Vanadates71 valid mineral species
9. Silicates 35 valid mineral species
Total:201 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
Oxygen746 minerals with Zn and O87.15%12.06% higher
Hydrogen606 minerals with Zn and H70.79%30.53% higher
Iron252 minerals with Zn and Fe29.44%38.31% higher
Sulfur220 minerals with Zn and S25.70%26.59% higher
Arsenic211 minerals with Zn and As24.65%107.45% higher
Copper186 minerals with Zn and Cu21.73%70.58% higher
Silicon154 minerals with Zn and Si17.99%34.44% lower
Manganese143 minerals with Zn and Mn16.71%55.54% higher
Aluminium121 minerals with Zn and Al14.14%27.58% lower
Calcium118 minerals with Zn and Ca13.79%41.91% lower
Magnesium104 minerals with Zn and Mg12.15%5.16% lower
Phosphorus99 minerals with Zn and P11.57%1.61% higher
Lead83 minerals with Zn and Pb9.70%2.25% lower
Potassium63 minerals with Zn and K7.36%19.27% lower
Sodium63 minerals with Zn and Na7.36%60.41% lower
Titanium53 minerals with Zn and Ti6.19%6.96% lower
Chlorine48 minerals with Zn and Cl5.61%22.01% lower
Carbon45 minerals with Zn and C5.26%30.34% lower
Tellurium42 minerals with Zn and Te4.91%60.83% higher
Tin37 minerals with Zn and Sn4.32%149.77% higher
Antimony35 minerals with Zn and Sb4.09%14.49% lower
Vanadium24 minerals with Zn and V2.80%35.59% lower
Silver23 minerals with Zn and Ag2.69%19.46% lower
Niobium19 minerals with Zn and Nb2.22%22.73% lower
Beryllium16 minerals with Zn and Be1.87%13.42% lower
Chromium15 minerals with Zn and Cr1.75%1.26% higher
Selenium15 minerals with Zn and Se1.75%23.27% lower
Nickel13 minerals with Zn and Ni1.52%49.33% lower
Uranium13 minerals with Zn and U1.52%69.92% lower
Yttrium12 minerals with Zn and Y1.40%39.56% lower
Fluorine10 minerals with Zn and F1.17%84.56% lower
Strontium10 minerals with Zn and Sr1.17%52.89% lower
Cadmium10 minerals with Zn and Cd1.17%142.51% higher
Germanium9 minerals with Zn and Ge1.05%78.58% higher
Indium9 minerals with Zn and In1.05%320.94% higher
Mercury8 minerals with Zn and Hg0.93%47.09% lower
Thallium8 minerals with Zn and Tl0.93%27.25% lower
Tungsten7 minerals with Zn and W0.82%1.86% higher
Lithium6 minerals with Zn and Li0.70%65.23% lower
Lanthanum6 minerals with Zn and La0.70%36.63% lower
Gallium5 minerals with Zn and Ga0.58%367.71% higher
Cerium4 minerals with Zn and Ce0.47%83.63% lower
Cobalt4 minerals with Zn and Co0.47%62.58% lower
Palladium3 minerals with Zn and Pd0.35%72.33% lower
Barium3 minerals with Zn and Ba0.35%92.11% lower
Boron3 minerals with Zn and B0.35%93.06% lower
Zirconium3 minerals with Zn and Zr0.35%84.29% lower
Nitrogen2 minerals with Zn and N0.23%88.90% lower
Caesium1 mineral with Zn and Cs0.12%73.81% 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 Zn Relative Frequency
Copper << Zinc >> Gallium

Most widespread minerals containing Zinc
This list of minerals containing Zinc 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 Zinc mineral species. It is more useful when comparing rare species rather than common species.
NameFormulaCrystal SystemMindat Localities
HemimorphiteZn4Si2O7(OH)2 · H2OOrthorhombic1759

Localities with greatest number of different Zinc mineral species
map should go here
2Tsumeb Mine, Tsumeb, Oshikoto Region, Namibia48 Zn minerals
4Sterling Mine, Sterling Hill, Ogdensburg, Franklin Mining District, Sussex County, New Jersey, USA37 Zn minerals
7Franklin Mine, Franklin, Franklin Mining District, Sussex County, New Jersey, USA29 Zn minerals
8Christiana Mine, Mercati mines, Agios Konstantinos (Kamariza), Lavrion mining district, Lavreotiki, East Attica, Attica, Greece28 Zn minerals

Important ores of Zinc
NameFormulaCrystal System

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

Other significant minerals containing Zinc
NameFormulaCrystal System
ChalcophaniteZnMn4+3O7 · 3H2OTrigonal
ScholziteCaZn2(PO4)2 · 2H2OOrthorhombic
Significant Deposits
map should go here
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

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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