The Rare Earth Elements

The Rare Earth Elements (REE) or Rare Earths are a group of 15 chemical elements of very closely similar characteristics that occur together in nature in a few ore minerals. Bastnaesite is one typical ore.

The characteristic of the RRE is not that it is hard to obtain them from Nature as much as that it is very challenging to separate them from one another. Whole careers have been spent to develop ways to do this.

Uses of the rare earths for many high-tech applications often require them to be completely free from one another making the purification very labor intensive even with modern technological means. The US perfected the technology in the 1960s and after producing them commercially for years the technology was transferred to China for more cost effective production. This worked for a decade or two during which time the “West” used Chinese-produced REE to make cell phones, x-ray imaging plates, digital cameras, GPS devices, computer parts, catalysts, neodymium magnets and other products…. then China wanted to start to make the finished products too so it cut back its export creating a techno-political crisis. This is how the public has gotten to know about the REE.

All the rare earths except Promethium (which is highly radioactive) are presented here; they are as the oxides in over 99.9% purity. We present them in the oxide state rather than metallic elements because the elements themselves are quite reactive and would need to be stored under oil to prevent rapid oxidation. The oxides are stable powders, some exhibit interesting fluorescence under UV.

We supply them as a set in little screw cap vials one of the vials being Bastnaesite ore.

Price: $200

To order send us an email to attard@attminerals.com or call us at (619) 275-2016.