Formula: Er
Element, lanthanide and rare earth metal. Erbium is not found free in nature.
Specific gravity: 9.05
Colour: Silvery white
Solubility: Slowly tarnishes in air, reacts slowly with water and dissolves in acids (ChC)
Melting point: 1530oC
Boiling point: 2860oC
Abundance in the Earth's crust: 3 parts per million by mass, 0.4 parts per million by moles (ChC).
Abundance in the Solar System: 1 part per billion by mass, 10 parts per trillion by moles (ChC).
Oxidation state: When present in compounds, erbium exists mostly in the trivalent state, Er3+.

Erbium salts are a rose pink color.
Erbium isotopes are good neutron absorbers and are used in nuclear reactor control rods.
Erbium is used in yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG) medical lasers for procedures involving skin resurfacing such as acne scars, mole removal tattoo removal and warts (ChC).


Erbium is not found free in nature but is found in a number of minerals, mainly as impurities in monazite, bastnäsite, xenotime and euxenite. Commercially it is refined from xenotime and euxenite using a complex ion-exchange process (ChC).

Erbium-bearing minerals include:



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