64Gd Gadolinium

Year Discovered


Discovered By

Jean Galissard de Marignac of Switzerland

Biological Rating

Not necessary for life.


Named after Finnish mineralogist J Gadolin, gadolinium is a soft, silvery metal. It is ferromagnetic at cool temperatures, but it loses its magnetism near room temperature. It is moderately reactive, slowly reacting with air, water and acids. Gadolinium is used in special magnets, color TV tubes, CD disks, laser crystals, and neutron radiography. It is also used in several superconducting alloys, as it has unusual superconducting properties, as well as in alloys with iron and chromium.

Biological Benefits

Gadolinium has no known biological use.

Role in Life Processes

No known benefits for life processes in plants and animals.


Gadolinium is chiefly obtained from bastnasite and monazite, where it occurs as an impurity. It also occurs in the mineral gadolinite. It is mined in the USA, China, Russia, Australia, and India.