60Nd Neodymium

Year Discovered


Discovered By

Baron Carl Auer von Welsbach of Austria

Biological Rating

Not necessary for life.


Named from the Greek words meaning “new twin,” neodymium is a silvery-yellow metal. It is a very active metal, reacting with air, water and most acids. Neodymium is used in alloys for powerful permanent magnets, lasers, and to color glazes and glass. It colors glass many shades of red and purple, and also is used in didymium glass for welder’s goggles. Mischmetal contains 18% neodymium. Neodymium also is used as spectral filters in astronomical work, as well as filters in tanning beds, where it filters out infrared rays, while allowing the ultraviolet tanning rays through.

Biological Benefits

Neodymium has no known biological use.

Role in Life Processes

No known benefits for life processes in plants and animals.


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