Per Theodore Cleve of Sweden and M. Delafontaine and J. Soret of Switzerland
Not necessary for life.
Named for the Greek word for Sweden, holmium is a soft silvery-white metal that is moderately reactive, slowly reacting with water and acids. It is stable in dry air. Holmium has unusual magnetic properties and is used in working with strong magnetic fields. It also is used in certain alloys and as a dopant in laser crystals. Holmium is a “burnable neutron-eater”, which means it can absorb neutrons in nuclear reactors, but is slowly consumed in the process. Biological Rating No known benefit to life processes in plants and animals.
Holmium has no known biological use. It does act to stimulate the metabolism.
Role in Life Processes
No known benefit to life processes in plants and animals.
Holmium chiefly is obtained from bastnasite and monazite, where it occurs as an impurity. Holmium also occurs in gadolinite. It is mined in the USA, China, Russia, Australia, and India.