62Sm Samarium

Year Discovered


Discovered By

Paul Lecoq de Boisbaudran of France

Biological Rating

Not necessary for life.


Named after the mineral samarskite (which itself is named after a Russian mining official), samarium is a silvery-white lanthanide metal. It is stable in dry air, but reacts with moist air, water and acids. Samarium alloyed with cobalt makes powerful permanent magnets, which have the highest known resistance to demagnetization. Samarium is used in alcohol reagents, lasers, and in the tinting of special infrared absorbing glass. It also is used as a neutron absorber in nuclear reactors, infrared equipment, headphones and miniature speakers, catalysts, ceramics, carbon arc lamps, and electronics.

Biological Benefits

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

Role in Life Processes

No known benefits to life processes in plants and animals.


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