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The mineralogy of Tin

General Properties
Atomic Number:50
Standard atomic weight (Ar):118.710(7)
Electron configuration:[Kr] 4d10 5s2 5p2
Old tin ingots
Atomic Properties
Electronegativity (Pauling scale):1.96
Atomic Radius:145 pm
Ionic Radius:112 pm (+2)
Van der Waals Radius:217 pm
1st Ionization energy:709 kJ/mol
1st Electron affinity:-107 kJ/mol
Oxidation States:-4,2,4
Physical Properties
Standard State:solid
Bonding Type:metallic
Melting Point:505 K
Boiling Point:2875 K
Density:7.31 g/cm3
Main isotopes of Tin
Isotope% in NatureHalf LifeDecay typeDecay product
112Sn0.97%-β+β+ ?112Cd
114Sn0.66%-Spontaneous fission ?
115Sn0.34%-Spontaneous fission ?
116Sn14.54%-Spontaneous fission ?
117Sn7.68%-Spontaneous fission ?
118Sn24.22%-Spontaneous fission ?
119Sn8.59%-Spontaneous fission ?
120Sn32.58%-Spontaneous fission ?
122Sn4.63%-β-β- ?122Te
124Sn5.79%>1×1017yβ-β- ?124Te
Main ions of Tin
NameIonExample minerals
tin(II)Sn2+Herzenbergite, Romarchite
stannate[Sn(OH)6]2-Burtite, Natanite, Jeanbandyite
Other Information
Year Discovered:around 3500 BC
Named For:from the Anglo-Saxon word "tin"
CPK color coding:#668080
External Links:WikipediaWebElementsLos Alamos National LaboratoryTheodore Gray's
Simple Compounds and Mineral Names
Sulfidestin sulphideSnS+2
tin disulphideSnS2+4Berndtite
Selenidestin selenideSnSe+2
tin diselenideSnSe2+4
Telluridestin tellurideSnTe+2
Fluoridestin difluorideSnF2+2
tin tetrafluorideSnF4+4
Chloridestin dichlorideSnCl2+2
tin tetrachlorideSnCl4+4
Bromidestin dibromideSnBr2+2
tin tetrabromideSnBr4+4
Iodidestin diiodideSnI2+2
tin tetraiodideSnI4+4
Oxidestin oxideSnO+2Romarchite
tin dioxideSnO2+4Cassiterite
Mineral Diversity of Tin
1. Elements 11 valid mineral species
2. Sulfides And Sulfosalts 36 valid mineral species
3. Halides2 valid mineral species
4. Oxides 19 valid mineral species
6. Borates2 valid mineral species
9. Silicates 11 valid mineral species
Total:81 valid species containing essential Tin
Geochemistry of Tin
Goldschmidt classification:Chalcophile
Sn4+ is concentrated in residual soils and sediments (less certainty.)
Elemental Abundance for Tin
Crust (CRC Handbook)2.3 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Kaye & Laby)1.5 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Greenwood)2.1 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)2.500 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Upper Crust (Ahrens/Taylor)5.500 x 10-6mass fraction, kg/kg
Sea Water (CRC Handbook)4 x 10-12mass per volume fraction, kg/L
Sea Water (Kaye & Laby)8.1 x 10-10mass per volume fraction, kg/L
The Sun (Kaye & Laby)3.0 x 10-6atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Kaye & Laby)3.9 x 10-6atom mole fraction relative to Si=1
Solar System (Ahrens)3.82 x 10-6 (9.4%)atom mole fraction relative to Si=1 (% uncertainty)
Element association of Tin in the Mineral World
This table compares the known valid mineral species listed listed with Tin 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 Tin and the element listed for that row.

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

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 Tin% of Sn mineralsRelative to % in all minerals
Oxygen130 minerals with Sn and O44.37%42.75% lower
Sulfur117 minerals with Sn and S39.93%97.38% higher
Iron81 minerals with Sn and Fe27.65%30.35% higher
Copper78 minerals with Sn and Cu26.62%109.73% higher
Hydrogen70 minerals with Sn and H23.89%55.79% lower
Calcium45 minerals with Sn and Ca15.36%35.04% lower
Silicon40 minerals with Sn and Si13.65%50.07% lower
Zinc37 minerals with Sn and Zn12.63%150.11% higher
Antimony32 minerals with Sn and Sb10.92%129.23% higher
Lead30 minerals with Sn and Pb10.24%3.59% higher
Palladium29 minerals with Sn and Pd9.90%684.14% higher
Aluminium24 minerals with Sn and Al8.19%57.88% lower
Manganese23 minerals with Sn and Mn7.85%26.65% lower
Arsenic22 minerals with Sn and As7.51%36.58% lower
Silver20 minerals with Sn and Ag6.83%105.33% higher
Magnesium17 minerals with Sn and Mg5.80%54.55% lower
Tantalum16 minerals with Sn and Ta5.46%372.56% higher
Platinum15 minerals with Sn and Pt5.12%722.77% higher
Boron14 minerals with Sn and B4.78%5.03% lower
Bismuth9 minerals with Sn and Bi3.07%25.53% lower
Chlorine9 minerals with Sn and Cl3.07%57.13% lower
Indium9 minerals with Sn and In3.07%1,134.15% higher
Sodium9 minerals with Sn and Na3.07%83.42% lower
Beryllium9 minerals with Sn and Be3.07%42.79% higher
Potassium7 minerals with Sn and K2.39%73.70% lower
Lithium7 minerals with Sn and Li2.39%18.93% higher
Vanadium6 minerals with Sn and V2.05%52.79% lower
Tellurium6 minerals with Sn and Te2.05%32.64% lower
Titanium5 minerals with Sn and Ti1.71%74.27% lower
Nickel5 minerals with Sn and Ni1.71%42.86% lower
Niobium5 minerals with Sn and Nb1.71%40.38% lower
Gold4 minerals with Sn and Au1.37%132.70% higher
Cadmium3 minerals with Sn and Cd1.02%113.31% higher
Molybdenum3 minerals with Sn and Mo1.02%15.30% lower
Barium3 minerals with Sn and Ba1.02%76.87% lower
Mercury3 minerals with Sn and Hg1.02%41.82% lower
Scandium3 minerals with Sn and Sc1.02%203.13% higher
Fluorine3 minerals with Sn and F1.02%86.42% lower
Nitrogen3 minerals with Sn and N1.02%51.19% lower
Zirconium3 minerals with Sn and Zr1.02%53.92% lower
Tungsten3 minerals with Sn and W1.02%27.99% higher
Thallium3 minerals with Sn and Tl1.02%20.01% lower
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 Sn Relative Frequency
Indium << Tin >> Antimony

Most widespread minerals containing Tin
This list of minerals containing Tin 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 Tin mineral species. It is more useful when comparing rare species rather than common species.
NameFormulaCrystal SystemMindat Localities

Localities with greatest number of different Tin mineral species
map should go here
2Oploca Vein System (Oploca mine), Pirquitas Ag-Sn Deposit, Rinconada Department, Jujuy Province, Argentina15 Sn minerals
4Pirquitas Ag-Sn Deposit, Rinconada Department, Jujuy Province, Argentina13 Sn minerals
7Bisbee, Cochise County, Arizona, USA12 Sn minerals
8Campbell Mine (Campbell shaft), Bisbee, Cochise County, Arizona, USA12 Sn minerals

Important ores of Tin
NameFormulaCrystal System

Minor ores of Tin
NameFormulaCrystal System

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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