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Bismuth

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Formula:
Bi
Colour:
Reddish-white to creamy-white; tarnishes iridescent pinkish, yellowish or bluish
Lustre:
Metallic
Hardness:
2 - 2½
Specific Gravity:
9.7 - 9.83
Crystal System:
Trigonal
Member of:
Name:
As a chemical element Bismuth was officially discovered in 1753 by French scientist Claude Geoffroy. The origin of the name comes from the German words Weisse Masse meaning white mass. However, around 1400 the element name is already present in some scientific treaties. In fact before Geoffroy, also the Swiss scientist Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim (1493 - 1541) probably better known under his Latinized name of Paracelsus, mentioned the word “Bisemutum”. He said that the Latin word came from a German term “Wissmut”. For him, the word “wissmut” was because in Saxony, around St. Georges, the mineral was extracted (gemutet), in the fields (in den Wiesen). For others, the word comes from another similar german word: Weissmuth = white material, and this is supported by the fact that bismuth is a bright metal of white colour.
Arsenic Group.

Although long thought to be stable, bismuth, as an element, was shown to be weakly radioactive, with an enormously long half-life period: 1.9 × 1019  years (de Marcillac et al., 2003).


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Classification of BismuthHide

Approved, 'Grandfathered' (first described prior to 1959)
1.CA.05

1 : ELEMENTS (Metals and intermetallic alloys; metalloids and nonmetals; carbides, silicides, nitrides, phosphides)
C : Metalloids and Nonmetals
A : Arsenic group elements
Dana 7th ed.:
1.3.1.5
1.3.1.4

1 : NATIVE ELEMENTS AND ALLOYS
3 : Semi-metals and non-metals
1.49

1 : Elements and Alloys (including the arsenides, antimonides and bismuthides of Cu, Ag and Au)

Pronounciation of BismuthHide

Pronounciation:
PlayRecorded byCountry
Jolyon & Katya RalphUnited Kingdom

Physical Properties of BismuthHide

Metallic
Transparency:
Opaque
Colour:
Reddish-white to creamy-white; tarnishes iridescent pinkish, yellowish or bluish
Streak:
Silver-white
Hardness:
2 - 2½ on Mohs scale
Hardness:
VHN100=16 - 18 kg/mm2 - Vickers
Tenacity:
Sectile
Cleavage:
Perfect
Perfect {0001}, Good {1011}, poor {1014}
Density:
9.7 - 9.83 g/cm3 (Measured)    9.753 g/cm3 (Calculated)

Optical Data of BismuthHide

Type:
Anisotropic
Anisotropism:
Distinct
Reflectivity:
400nmR1=47.0%R2= 58.2%
420nmR1=49.3%R2= 58.8%
440nmR1=51.4%R2= 59.7%
460nmR1=52.9%R2= 60.9%
480nmR1=54.4%R2= 62.4%
500nmR1=56.2%R2= 63.9%
520nmR1=57.8%R2= 65.3%
540nmR1=59.3%R2= 66.6%
560nmR1=60.4%R2= 67.8%
580nmR1=61.4%R2= 69.0%
600nmR1=62.4%R2= 69.9%
620nmR1=63.1%R2= 70.7%
640nmR1=63.6%R2= 71.5%
660nmR1=63.9%R2= 72.2%
680nmR1=64.0%R2= 72.8%
700nmR1=64.1%R2= 73.2%

Reflectance graph
Graph shows reflectance levels at different wavelengths (in nm). Top of box is 100%. Peak reflectance is 73.2%.
R1 shown in black, R2 shown in red
Colour in reflected light:
Brilliant creamy white, tarnishing to yellow
Pleochroism:
Weak

Chemical Properties of BismuthHide

Formula:
Bi
Common Impurities:
Fe,Te,As,S,Sb

Crystallography of BismuthHide

Crystal System:
Trigonal
Class (H-M):
3m (3 2/m) - Hexagonal Scalenohedral
Space Group:
R3m
Cell Parameters:
a = 4.55 Å, c = 11.85 Å
Ratio:
a:c = 1 : 2.604
Unit Cell V:
212.46 ų (Calculated from Unit Cell)
Z:
6
Morphology:
Crystals, to 12 cm, but indistinct, commonly in parallel groupings, or hoppered; reticulated, arborescent, foliated, granular.
Twinning:
Polysynthetic

X-Ray Powder DiffractionHide

Image Loading

Radiation - Copper Kα
Data Set:
Data courtesy of RRUFF project at University of Arizona, used with permission.
Powder Diffraction Data:
d-spacingIntensity
3.28 (100)
2.37 (40)
2.273 (41)
1.868 (23)
1.491 (11)
1.443 (16)
1.330 (11)
Comments:
Synthetic.

Type Occurrence of BismuthHide

Synonyms of BismuthHide

Other Language Names for BismuthHide

Arabic:بزموت
Azeri:Bismut
Basque:Bismuto
Belarusian:Вісмут
Bosnian (Latin Script):Bizmut
Bulgarian:Бисмут
Catalan:Bismut
Chuvash:Висмут
Corsican:Bismutu
Croatian:Bizmut
Czech:Bismut
Danish:Bismuth
Dutch:Bismut
Esperanto:Bismuto
Estonian:Vismut
Finnish:Vismutti
French:Bismuth
Friulian:Bismût
Galician:Bismuto
Hungarian:Bizmut
Icelandic:Bismút
Indonesian:Bismut
Irish Gaelic:Biosmat
Italian:Bismuto
Javanese:Bismut
Kurdish (Latin Script):Bîzmût
Latin:Bisemutum
Latvian:Bismuts
Lithuanian:Bismutas
Lojban:jinmrbismu
Luxembourgish:Bismuth
Manx:Bismut
Norwegian (Bokmål):Vismut
Norwegian (Nynorsk):Vismut
Occitan:Bismut
Persian:بیسموت
Polish:Bizmut
Portuguese:Bismuto
Quechua:Wismutu
Romanian:Bismut
Russian:Висмут
Saterland Frisian:Bismuth
Serbian (Cyrillic Script):Бизмут
Serbo-Croatian:Bizmut
Sicilian:Bismutu
Simplified Chinese:自然铋
Slovak:Bizmut
Slovenian:Bizmut
Spanish:Bismuto
Swahili:Bismuthi
Swedish:Vismut
Turkish:Bizmut
Ukrainian:Бісмут
Vietnamese:Bitmut
Welsh:Bismwth

Varieties of BismuthHide

Antimonian BismuthAn antimony-bearing variety of native bismuth.

Relationship of Bismuth to other SpeciesHide

Member of:
Other Members of this group:
AntimonySbTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
ArsenicAsTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m

Common AssociatesHide

Associated Minerals Based on Photo Data:
Quartz72 photos of Bismuth associated with Quartz on mindat.org.
Bismuthinite38 photos of Bismuth associated with Bismuthinite on mindat.org.
Molybdenite19 photos of Bismuth associated with Molybdenite on mindat.org.
Siderite15 photos of Bismuth associated with Siderite on mindat.org.
Calcite14 photos of Bismuth associated with Calcite on mindat.org.
Nickeline14 photos of Bismuth associated with Nickeline on mindat.org.
Bismutite13 photos of Bismuth associated with Bismutite on mindat.org.
Skutterudite10 photos of Bismuth associated with Skutterudite on mindat.org.
Chalcopyrite10 photos of Bismuth associated with Chalcopyrite on mindat.org.
Yvonite10 photos of Bismuth associated with Yvonite on mindat.org.

Related Minerals - Nickel-Strunz GroupingHide

1.CA.05AntimonySbTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
1.CA.05ArsenicAsTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
1.CA.05StibarsenAsSbTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
1.CA.10ArsenolampriteAsOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
1.CA.10Pararsenolamprite(As,Sb)Orth. mm2 : Pmn21
1.CA.15ParadocrasiteSb3AsMon. 2 : B2

Related Minerals - Dana Grouping (8th Ed.)Hide

1.3.1.1ArsenicAsTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
1.3.1.2AntimonySbTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
1.3.1.3StibarsenAsSbTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
1.3.1.5StistaiteSnSbTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
1.3.1.7ParadocrasiteSb3AsMon. 2 : B2

Related Minerals - Hey's Chemical Index of Minerals GroupingHide

1.1CopperCuIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.2SilverAgIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.5GoldAuIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.6AuricuprideCu3AuOrth.
1.7Tetra-auricuprideAuCuTet.
1.8ZincZnHex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
1.9CadmiumCdHex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
1.10DanbaiteCuZn2Iso.
1.11ZhanghengiteCuZnIso.
1.12MercuryHgTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
1.13KolymiteCu7Hg6Iso.
1.14MoschellandsbergiteAg2Hg3Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m)
1.15EugeniteAg11Hg2Iso.
1.16SchachneriteAg1.1Hg0.9Hex.
1.17ParaschachneriteAg3Hg2Orth.
1.18LuanheiteAg3HgHex.
1.19Weishanite(Au,Ag)3Hg2Hex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
1.20IndiumInTet.
1.21AluminiumAlIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.22Khatyrkite(Cu,Zn)Al2Tet.
1.23Cupalite(Cu,Zn)AlOrth.
1.24DiamondCIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
1.25GraphiteCHex. 6mm : P63mc
1.26ChaoiteCHex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P6/mmm
1.27LonsdaleiteCHex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
1.28SiliconSi
1.29TinSnTet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I41/amd
1.30LeadPbIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.31AnyuiiteAuPb2Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I4/mcm
1.31NovodnepriteAuPb3Tet. 4 2m : I4 2m
1.32LeadamalgamPb0.7Hg0.3Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : I4/mmm
1.33ArsenicAsTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
1.34ArsenolampriteAsOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m)
1.35PaxiteCuAs2Mon.
1.36KoutekiteCu5As2Hex.
1.37DomeykiteCu3AsIso. 4 3m : I4 3d
1.38Algodonite(Cu1-xAsx)Hex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
1.39NovákiteCu20AgAs10Mon.
1.40KutinaiteAg6Cu14As7 Iso.
1.41AntimonySbTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
1.42StibarsenAsSbTrig. 3m (3 2/m) : R3m
1.43ParadocrasiteSb3AsMon. 2 : B2
1.44HorsforditeCu, Sb
1.45CuprostibiteCu2(Sb,Tl)Tet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : P4/nmm
1.46Allargentum(Ag1-xSbx)Hex.
1.47AurostibiteAuSb2Iso. m3 (2/m 3) : Pa3
1.48DyscrasiteAg3SbOrth. mm2 : Pmm2
1.50MaldoniteAu2BiIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fd3m
1.51SulphurS8Orth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Fddd
1.52RosickýiteSMon. 2/m : P2/b
1.53SeleniumSeTrig. 3 2 : P31 2 1
1.54TelluriumTeHex.
1.55ChromiumCrIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Im3m
1.56RheniumReHex.
1.57IronFeIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Im3m
1.58ChromferideFe3Cr1-x (x=0.6)Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Pm3m
1.59FerchromideCr3Fe1-xIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Pm3m
1.60WairauiteCoFe
1.61NickelNiIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.62Kamacite(Fe,Ni)Iso.
1.63Taenite(Fe,Ni)Iso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.64TetrataeniteFeNiTet.
1.65AwaruiteNi3FeIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.66Palladium(Pd,Pt)
1.67PotaritePdHgTet. 4/mmm (4/m 2/m 2/m) : P4/mmm
1.68PaolovitePd2SnOrth.
1.69Stannopalladinite(Pd,Cu)3Sn2Hex.
1.70CabriitePd2CuSnOrth. mmm (2/m 2/m 2/m) : Pmmm
1.71Taimyrite(Pd,Cu,Pt)3SnOrth.
1.72Atokite(Pd,Pt)3SnIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.73Rustenburgite(Pt,Pd)3Sn
1.74ZvyagintsevitePd3PbIso.
1.75PlumbopalladinitePd3Pb2Hex.
1.76Osmium(Os,Ir,Ru)Hex. 6/mmm (6/m 2/m 2/m) : P63/mmc
1.77Iridium(Ir,Os,Ru)Iso.
1.82PlatinumPtIso. m3m (4/m 3 2/m) : Fm3m
1.83HongshiitePtCuTrig.
1.84NiggliitePtSnHex.
1.85IsoferroplatinumPt3FeIso.
1.86TetraferroplatinumPtFeTet.
1.87TulameenitePt2CuFeTet.
1.88FerronickelplatinumPt2FeNiTet.
1.89Rhodium(Rh,Pt)Iso.

Other InformationHide

Health Risks:
No information on health risks for this material has been entered into the database. You should always treat mineral specimens with care.

Bismuth in petrologyHide

An essential component of rock names highlighted in red, an accessory component in rock names highlighted in green.

References for BismuthHide

Reference List:
Sort by Year (asc) | by Year (desc) | by Author (A-Z) | by Author (Z-A)
Agricola, G. (1530) Bisemutum. in Bermannvs Sive De Re Metallica, Froben (Basileae), 75-76.
Agricola, G. (1556) Bismuth. in De Re Metallica, translated by Hoover, H.C. and Hoover, L.H. (1950), Dover (New York), 433-433.
Palache, C., Berman, H., Frondel, C. (1944) The System of Mineralogy of James Dwight Dana and Edward Salisbury Dana Yale University 1837-1892, Volume I: Elements, Sulfides, Sulfosalts, Oxides. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., New York. 7th edition, revised and enlarged, 834pp.: 134-135.
de Marcillac, P., Coron, N., Dambier, G., Leblanc, J., Moalic, J.-P. (2003) Experimental detection of α-particles from the radioactive decay of natural bismuth. Nature (Letters): 422: 876-878.

Internet Links for BismuthHide

Localities for BismuthHide

This map shows a selection of localities that have latitude and longitude coordinates recorded. Click on the symbol to view information about a locality. The symbol next to localities in the list can be used to jump to that position on the map.

Locality ListShow