71Lu Lutetium

Year Discovered


Discovered By

Georges Urbain of France, Carl Auer von Welsbach of Germany and C. James of the USA

Biological Rating

Not necessary for life.


Named from the Greek name for Paris, lutetium is a very hard, very dense silvery metal. It is a fairly rare and it is very difficult to isolate into pure form. It has very few practical uses, although it is used as a catalyst, and in phosphors for color TV tubes.

Biological Benefits

Lutetium has no known biological use. It does stimulate the metabolism.

Role in Life Processes

No known benefits for life processes in plants and animals.


Lutetium is obtained from the minerals bastnasite and monazite, where it occurs as an impurity. It is mined in the USA, china, Russia, Australia, and India. Lutetium is found in small amounts in any mineral containing yttrium.