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The mineralogy of Nickel

General Properties
Atomic Number:28
Standard atomic weight (Ar):58.6934(4)
Electron configuration:[Ar] 3d8 4s2
Nickel electrolytic and 1cm³ cube
Atomic Properties
Electronegativity (Pauling scale):1.91
Atomic Radius:149 pm
Ionic Radius:69 pm (+2)
Van der Waals Radius:163 pm
1st Ionization energy:737 kJ/mol
1st Electron affinity:-112 kJ/mol
Oxidation States:-1,1,2,3,4
Physical Properties
Standard State:solid
Bonding Type:metallic
Melting Point:1728 K
Boiling Point:3186 K
Density:8.91 g/cm3
Metal/Non-Metal:transition metal
Main isotopes of Nickel
Isotope% in NatureHalf LifeDecay typeDecay product
58Ni68.077%>7×1020yβ+β+ ?58Fe
Main ions of Nickel
NameIonExample minerals
nickel aquo complex[Ni(H2O)6]2+
Other Information
Year Discovered:1751
Discovered By:
Axel Fredrik Cronstedt
Year Isolated:1751
Isolated By:Axel Fredrik Cronstedt
Named For:From the Swedish: Kopparnickel - "copper-colored ore"
CPK color coding:#50D050
External Links:WikipediaWebElementsLos Alamos National LaboratoryTheodore Gray's
Simple Compounds and Mineral Names
Sulfidesnickel (II) sulfideNiS+2Millerite
nickel (II) persulfideNiS2+2Vaesite
trinickel disulfideNi3S2Heazlewoodite
Selenidesnickel (II) selenideNiSe+2Sederholmite, Mäkinenite
nickel (II) perselenideNiSe2+2Penroseite, Kullerudite
trinickel tetraselenideNi3Se4+2,+3Wilkmanite
Telluridesnickel (II) tellurideNiTe+2Imgreite
nickel (II) pertellurideNiTe2+2Melonite
Hydroxidesnickel (II) hydroxideNi(OH)2+2Theophrastite
Fluoridesnickel (II) fluorideNiF2+2
Chloridesnickel (II) chlorideNiCl2+2
nickel (II) chloride hexahydateNiCl2 · 6H2O+2Nickelbischofite
Iodidesnickel (II) iodideNiI2+2
Oxidesnickel (II) oxideNiO+2Bunsenite
nickel (III) oxideNi2O3
Carbonatesnickel (II) carbonateNiCO3+2Gaspéite
nickel (II) carbonate hexahydrateNiCO3 · 6H2O+2Hellyerite
Nitratesnickel (II) nitrateNi(NO3)2+2
nickel (II) nitrate dihydrateNi(NO3)2 · 2H2O+2
nickel (II) nitrate tetrahydrateNi(NO3)2 · 4H2O+2
nickel (II) nitrate hexahydrate[Ni(H2O)6](NO3)2+2
nickel (II) nitrate nonahydrateNi(NO3)2 · 9H2O+2
Sulfatesnickel (II) sulfate monohydrateNiSO4 · H2O+2Dwornikite
nickel (II) sulfate hexahydrateNiSO4 · 6H2O+2Nickelhexahydrite, Retgersite
nickel (II) sulfate heptahydrateNiSO4 · 7H2O+2Morenosite
Nickel as a chromophore in minerals and gems
Ni2+ in octahedral sitesGreen colour in many nickel minerals.
Ni2+ in large, distorted sitesCan give a yellow colour.
Mineral Diversity of Nickel
1. Elements 11 valid mineral species
2. Sulfides And Sulfosalts 47 valid mineral species
3. Halides3 valid mineral species
4. Oxides 10 valid mineral species
5. Carbonates 13 valid mineral species
6. Borates1 valid mineral species
7. Sulfates 11 valid mineral species
8. Phosphates, Arsenates, Vanadates15 valid mineral species
9. Silicates 8 valid mineral species
10. Organic Compounds1 valid mineral species
Total:120 valid species containing essential Nickel
Geochemistry of Nickel
Goldschmidt classification:Siderophile
Ni2+ was one of the ions least depleted from the mantle in the formation of the crust.
Ni2+ enters early-forming phases in igneous rocks.
Ni3+ is commonly concentrated in residual soils and sediments.
Ni3+ is concentrated in deep-sea ferromanganese nodules relative to seawater.
Ni2+ is essential to nutrition of at least some vertebrates ('essential minerals').
Elemental Abundance for Nickel
Crust (CRC Handbook)8.4 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Kaye & Laby)7.2 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Greenwood)9.9 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)1.05 x 10-4mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Wänke)6.95 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Weaver)3.5 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)2 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Shaw)1.9 x 10-5mass fraction, kg/kg
Sea Water (CRC Handbook)5.6 x 10-10mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Sea Water (Kaye & Laby)6.6 x 10-9mass per volume fraction, kg/L
The Sun (Kaye & Laby)5.0 x 10-2atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Kaye & Laby)5.0 x 10-2atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Ahrens)4.93 x 10-2 (5.1%)atom mole fraction relative to Si=1 (% uncertainty)
Element association of Nickel in the Mineral World
This table compares the known valid mineral species listed listed with Nickel and the other elements listed based on the official IMA formula. Note that unlike other sections on this page this includes non-essential elements.

The first data column contains the total number of minerals listed with Nickel and the element listed for that row.

The second data column lists this number as a percentage of all minerals listed with Nickel.

The final data column compares this percentage against the percentage of all minerals that contain the element listed in each row.

Click on a heading to sort.
ElementValid Minerals listed with element and Nickel% of Ni mineralsRelative to % in all minerals
Oxygen224 minerals with Ni and O43.84%43.43% lower
Hydrogen197 minerals with Ni and H38.55%28.67% lower
Sulfur183 minerals with Ni and S35.81%77.02% higher
Iron157 minerals with Ni and Fe30.72%44.86% higher
Arsenic110 minerals with Ni and As21.53%81.81% higher
Copper69 minerals with Ni and Cu13.50%6.38% higher
Cobalt56 minerals with Ni and Co10.96%780.63% higher
Carbon48 minerals with Ni and C9.39%24.91% higher
Antimony39 minerals with Ni and Sb7.63%60.19% higher
Phosphorus36 minerals with Ni and P7.05%37.89% lower
Aluminium32 minerals with Ni and Al6.26%67.80% lower
Selenium30 minerals with Ni and Se5.87%158.00% higher
Silicon30 minerals with Ni and Si5.87%78.53% lower
Magnesium28 minerals with Ni and Mg5.48%57.07% lower
Bismuth25 minerals with Ni and Bi4.89%18.62% higher
Chlorine23 minerals with Ni and Cl4.50%37.18% lower
Calcium20 minerals with Ni and Ca3.91%83.45% lower
Lead16 minerals with Ni and Pb3.13%68.32% lower
Tellurium15 minerals with Ni and Te2.94%3.44% lower
Nitrogen15 minerals with Ni and N2.94%39.93% higher
Zinc13 minerals with Ni and Zn2.54%49.61% lower
Uranium12 minerals with Ni and U2.35%53.32% lower
Palladium11 minerals with Ni and Pd2.15%70.54% higher
Manganese11 minerals with Ni and Mn2.15%79.89% lower
Platinum10 minerals with Ni and Pt1.96%214.51% higher
Vanadium9 minerals with Ni and V1.76%59.40% lower
Rhodium8 minerals with Ni and Rh1.57%418.02% higher
Potassium8 minerals with Ni and K1.57%82.77% lower
Iridium6 minerals with Ni and Ir1.17%230.23% higher
Mercury6 minerals with Ni and Hg1.17%33.29% lower
Sodium6 minerals with Ni and Na1.17%93.66% lower
Barium5 minerals with Ni and Ba0.98%77.90% lower
Tin5 minerals with Ni and Sn0.98%43.26% lower
Chromium4 minerals with Ni and Cr0.78%54.61% lower
Thallium3 minerals with Ni and Tl0.59%54.13% lower
Silver3 minerals with Ni and Ag0.59%82.34% lower
Boron3 minerals with Ni and B0.59%88.33% lower
Ruthenium3 minerals with Ni and Ru0.59%175.20% higher
Molybdenum3 minerals with Ni and Mo0.59%51.44% lower
Germanium3 minerals with Ni and Ge0.59%0.07% higher
Periodic Table
1H 2He
3Li 4Be 5B 6C 7N 8O 9F 10Ne
11Na 12Mg 13Al 14Si 15P 16S 17Cl 18Ar
19K 20Ca 21Sc 22Ti 23V 24Cr 25Mn 26Fe 27Co 28Ni 29Cu 30Zn 31Ga 32Ge 33As 34Se 35Br 36Kr
37Rb 38Sr 39Y 40Zr 41Nb 42Mo 43Tc 44Ru 45Rh 46Pd 47Ag 48Cd 49In 50Sn 51Sb 52Te 53I 54Xe
55Cs 56Ba 57La 72Hf 73Ta 74W 75Re 76Os 77Ir 78Pt 79Au 80Hg 81Tl 82Pb 83Bi 84Po 85At 86Rn
87Fr 88Ra 89Ac 104Rd 105Db 106Sg 107Bh 108Hs 109Mt 110Ds 111Rg 112Cn 113Nh 114Fl 115Mc 116Lv 117Ts 118Og
58Ce 59Pr 60Nd 61Pm 62Sm 63Eu 64Gd 65Tb 66Dy 67Ho 68Er 69Tm 70Yb 71Lu
90Th 91Pa 92U 93Np 94Pu 95Am 96Cm 97Bk 98Cf 99Es 100Fm 101Md 102No 103Lr
Default Categories CPK Electronegativity Atomic Radius Lowest Oxidation Highest Oxidation Crustal Abundance Goldschmidt Mineral Species Minerals with Ni Relative Frequency
Cobalt << Nickel >> Copper

Most widespread minerals containing Nickel
This list of minerals containing Nickel is built from the locality database. This is based on the number of localities entered for mineral species and is therefore slanted towards minerals interesting to collectors with less coverage of common rock-forming-minerals so it does not give an undistorted distribution of Nickel mineral species. It is more useful when comparing rare species rather than common species.
NameFormulaCrystal SystemMindat Localities

Localities with greatest number of different Nickel mineral species
map should go here
3132 North Ni Mine (Mount Edwards Mine), Widgiemooltha, Coolgardie Shire, Western Australia, Australia17 Ni minerals
6Lord Brassey Mine, Heazlewood district, Waratah-Wynyard municipality, Tasmania, Australia16 Ni minerals
5Km 3 open pit, Km 3 mines, Km 3, Lavrion Mining District, Lavreotiki, East Attica, Attica, Greece17 Ni minerals
7Belorechensk deposit, Maykopsky District, Adygea, Russia15 Ni minerals
8Bon Accord Ni deposit, Barberton, Ehlanzeni District, Mpumalanga, South Africa15 Ni minerals

Spotted a mistake/omission? - These pages are a work in progress, so please send all comments/corrections to Thank you.

Constants and physical property data from:

David R. Lide (ed.), CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 85th Edition. CRC Press. Boca Raton, Florida (2005).
Kaye and Laby Tables of Physical & Chemical Constants (2005). Section 3.1.3, Abundances of the elements
A. Earnshaw, N. Greenwood, Chemistry of the Elements, 2nd edition, Butterworth-Heinemann, (1997)
Thomas J. Ahrens (ed.), Global Earth Physics : A Handbook of Physical Constants, American Geophysical Union (1995)
L.B. Railsback, An Earth Scientist's Periodic Table of the Elements and Their Ions : Geology 31:9 p737-740 (2003)
Emsley, J. Nature's Building Blocks: An A-Z Guide to the Elements. New York: Oxford University Press (2001)
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